Customer service agents and bots now form a formidable pair. Where a customer service agent goes through monotonous and repetitive tasks of updating customer details or moving from one screen to another and performing various clicks, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has come to relieve the agent of the tedium, empower the agent in nurturing enriching client experiences and relationships.

The above scenario puts the ‘bot’ in perspective in performing repetitive human tasks. With that arises a searching query – ‘What processes can be automated and can processes be automated end-to-end?’

This sets in train the course to identify processes that can be automated end-to-end, processes that need no manual intervention and intelligence, and business processes that can be automated in part necessitating human intervention at some point.

End-to-end automation or automation in part, attended and unattended bots driven by RPA are playing a key role in streamlining business operations and reducing costs. When, where and how to use the attended bots and unattended bots?

Attended vs unattended bots – A primer

Attended bots Unattended bots
A trigger sets this bot to work The trigger of an event sets the unattended bots to work and they work based on predetermined schedules
Attended bots are ideal for business processes that cannot be automated end-to-end Ideal for automating task-heavy activities
Attended bots and human intervention form a formidable pair to complete a task Unattended bots can work without human intervention
Front-office activities are more suited to attended bots These bots fit in well to automate back-office activities
Attended bots are set up on workstations Unattended bots are set up on servers

Attended or unattended bot, How to make them work

It is about creating the bot-process nexus at the start – or identifying the process to be automated with the help of an attended or an unattended bot and mapping the step-by-step execution that would be performed by the bot.

Take the case of list building in the context of lead generation – Given a chance, sales reps would want to do more of selling than searching and building leads comprising potential prospects. Executing list building is about acquiring data from many sources and integrating data with CRM or other internal sources to equip sales reps with the prospecting information when they need it the most. Unattended, intelligent bots can automate this task of acquiring intelligence for generating leads and allow sales reps to close deals faster.

When would the bot spring into action – For this, trigger mechanisms ought to be infused to set the bot to work, which would apply to both attended as well as unattended bots.

Tracing the attended bot at work

An agent is habituated to do the talking to aspiring students who want to study abroad. So many institutions and so many courses that offer promising academic career. When a student calls, the agent must be quick to suggest institutions offering courses sought by the student and apply on behalf of the student.

In comes the attended bot. It collects relevant data from different sources to offer the best-suited course available at various institutions abroad for the agent to apply on behalf of the client.

The Marketing head of a company wants to take a decision on the budgets proposed by various units. And at this critical juncture, the marketing head doesn’t labour away at collating relevant budget data proposed by 65 units. Coming by way of Excel sheets, Google docs and emails, all the units had submitted the proposed budget through a collaborative platform. Now the attended bot takes over in the way it merges budget data into a master file in about a minute – doing away with the laborious 2-hour stretch that would have taxed the Marketing head in putting all relevant budget data together to make his decision.

Automating end-to-end process with unattended bot

The unattended bot is a good fit for application processing and validation in a bank. Take the scenario of ‘account opening’ wherein a bank is flooded with requests from customers. This in turn leads to the submission of mandatory documents from the customers – documents in different forms. Data now needs to be validated, processed, and entered in another record.

With the unattended bot automating the end-to-end validation with regards to the account-opening, operational personnel can do away with the laborious task of extracting data from documents, making the compliance check, validating and entering the collated data in another record.

Saksoft, partnering with UiPath, has helped organizations to build robot-driven processes and in turn create agile enterprises and reduce costs.