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While the impressive automation achievements in recent years were mainly driven by structured business processes powered by RPA, hyperautomation is now leading the next big wave of automation. In this interview, Armin Herzig explains how Cognigy and SAP can work together to leverage hyperautomation and boost customer service.
Armin is a Managing Consultant and hyperautomation expert for Cognigy´s partner CAMELOT, a leading global consulting specialist for value chain management.
Today outstanding customer service is no longer a mere “nice-to-have”. Customers want to be able to call up and get information, place orders, and make inquiries at any time and via the channel of their choice. Interconnected automation solutions are needed to successfully meet these high customer demands without driving up costs – the keyword here is hyperautomation. How much "hype" do you think is generated around this topic?
Armin: Competitive pressure with regard to efficiency, effectiveness and business agility is forcing companies to put this on their agenda. We are seeing a high demand among all our customers. The market experts at Gartner also consider hyperautomation to be “inevitable”. Ultimately, this is about the integrative and interactive combination of automation technologies and software products to make end-to-end business process automation possible in the first place. This is achieved by combining Robotic Process Automation, Document Understanding, Process Mining and Virtual Assistants, among others, to create entirely new automation solutions. The key here is that hyperautomation brings individual technologies together, putting an end to their use in silos.
Virtual assistants are already being used for customer service in many major organizations. From your point of view, how important is the interoperability of Conversational AI with other systems?
Armin: Integration is the key to success. We are already using Cognigy for customer service automation in various customer projects. The user can interact with a virtual assistant via multiple communication channels and get their concerns addressed via self-service – in multiple languages thanks to real-time translation. Cognigy's high level of interoperability is crucial to this. Hyperautomation would simply not be possible without it. The ability to easily integrate third-party systems such as SAP CX Service Cloud into dialogs and processes via an interface in order to access, add or change data and information is of fundamental importance.
What can hyperautomation look like in action?
Armin: There are use cases with clear business value in all industries and many business areas. However, a lot of knowledge about the value chain and the business processes is required. Let's take the example of a premium car manufacturer that wants to enable its customers to arrange a maintenance appointment for their vehicles. Let's play out this use case for a fleet manager.
All customer-related data is already stored at the manufacturer or its service organization: The historical data of the customers and contact persons is available in the SAP CX Service Cloud. In addition, all registered vehicles can easily be associated with the respective customers, for example via the chassis numbers.
If a customer now wants to schedule a maintenance appointment, they call the service hotline. Until now, this has been associated with familiar restrictions such as fixed business hours, possible waiting times, and so on. But in today's hyperautomation world, this process is seamlessly digital. Customers make a phone call to a virtual service agent, identify themselves and explain their request. The bot then sends them a text message with a link for all the vehicles registered in their fleet, enabling them to schedule respective maintenance appointments.
The virtual agent waits until they are done and then asks for any special maintenance requests, which it simultaneously adds to the service orders. After the conversation, the bot opens the required service tickets in SAP CX Service Cloud including all data and special requests and sends a confirmation message with all these details. Therefore, completing the whole task took the customer only a few minutes. In case of any follow-up questions, they can always rely on the virtual assistant to make changes or clarify technical issues at any time – as their personal advisor available 24/7.
So hyperautomation combines the world of structured data (RPA) with unstructured input through virtual assistants? What potential savings for companies do you see?
Armin: Correct. The customer is guided through the process quickly, seamlessly and in a natural dialog by the established Conversational Design. The virtual assistant is connected to SAP CX Service Cloud via an OpenData interface, understanding and operating on any channel, while interacting with the SAP system.
Such forms of hyperautomation enable companies to cost-effectively automate business processes across channels and systems. This can boost efficiency by up to 50% compared to traditional customer interaction via a service center. The 24/7 availability of services also increases the customer satisfaction rate, ensuring long-term competitive advantages. In addition, virtual assistants only need to be built and deployed once and can then be translated into more than 100 target languages on demand.
Moreover, the use case demonstrates how multiple systems – in this case Cognigy and SAP CX Service Cloud – can be integrated using SAP standard interfaces, enabling companies to also manage even more complex business processes. This keeps costs under control while simultaneously enhancing customer service.
This video illustrates the fleet use case to show you how hyperautomation with Cognigy
and SAP looks like in action.
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