A framework for robotic process automation (RPA) for the first-line resolution of customer queries: a case study of Safaricom
Muriithi, Kelvin Wachira
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Customer support is important for every institution, be it profit-making or non-profit making. Better services save money, complains and time. Big companies with millions of customers, strives to provide better customer care support due to the high number of customers. They have always found themselves not achieving the kind of support that their customers want. The biggest challenge that such companies with large customer base face in their customer care department, is having enough workforce to respond to customer queries. Keeping on employing new staff does not solve the problem fully as there is a limit to how many employees the company can be able to sustain beyond which the company running cost will exceed the returns. Therefore, this research proposed to solve this challenge by developing a framework for Robotic Process Automation that would enable the creation of a digital workforce to augment the human workforce available for first-line customer query resolution. The main literature that was supporting this research was previous frameworks on RPA. These frameworks do not address customer query resolution, are specific to a given technology and hence not adaptable to different technology. The existing frameworks are also specific to processes and companies which makes them inapplicable to changes in process or company. This research developed a framework that guides the implementation of RPA for customer care department. The framework is not specific to any technology and hence can be used across the company. Test processes used was customer query response process in Safaricom which is a Telcom company in Kenya. The test results gotten from the test bots was 75% success rate with 100% accuracy rate on the pulled response. There are failures that happened with accounted for 9% due to third-party applications. With this framework and the resultant prototype bot, time taken to given customers their feedback in each shift was reduced from 2 hours to about three minutes. This research enabled streamlining and standardization of the customer care processes as well as automating the reporting part of the customer care process. The results indicated that the value is not only in the bot. This study gives organizations insight on how to successfully implement RPA and what factors to beware of to avoid failure.