When it comes to running a business, front office roles are imperative. As such, the time-consuming and customer-facing functions can gain immense benefits by implementing front office automation solutions.
Here, we will take a look at the different types of office automation, as well as office automation tools that can help to take your business to the next level in the new year.
1. What is Front Office Automation?
2. What is Back Office Automation?
3. What are the Benefits of Front Office Automation?
4. What are Examples of Front Office Automation?
Front office refers to operational activities that directly impact customers. This can range from customer service to sales to marketing to a company’s website. Front facing is just another way to say customer-facing, essentially.
Regarding front office automation, the term defines how software can take over previously manual tasks to save time, reduce errors, and streamline processes. Front office automation includes updating customer queries, collecting customer data, performing security checks, inputting information, and more.
Automation, or more specifically, robotic process automation (RPA) is the use of software to mimic human actions. RPA can carry out the tasks that a human otherwise would to remove the monotony from a person’s customer-facing responsibilities.
With front office automation, entire organisations benefit from enhanced efficiency, allowing their human resources to instead focus on high-level and creative tasks.
Just like front office automation helps businesses to achieve operational effectiveness, back office automation is just as useful. Back office refers to operation-based endeavours, such as those undertaken by finance departments and IT, for example.
Back office processes have historically been dominated by paper trails and manual efforts. But, with technological progress comes massive advancements and shifts in how things get done behind the scenes.
Even though back office processes are not customer-facing, they are integral to the business’ adequate functioning. Software solutions can collect data, store data, and transform data in a timely manner to better service customers and deliver value.
Automated workflows reduce errors, especially in processes that rely on entirely accurate data, such as financial processes.
Many financial organisations, like banks, have taken steps to digitise their workforce and workflows with the aid of back office automation.
For example, you can pair an RPA solution with an automation tool like SolveXia to achieve great results. A solution like SolveXia is able to automate interactions between IT systems to handle data easily.
You can use SolveXia to automate account reconciliations, financial reporting, compliance reporting, and more. Plus, it’s possible to accomplish all of this without having to know how to code due to the drag-and-drop user interface built to be usable by anyone, in any department.
The benefits of front office automation are extensive. Since the front office is focused on servicing customers, the core upside of implementing front office automation is improving the customer experience.
This is achieved because the time it takes for a system to handle multiple requests is naturally much faster than it takes a single person, or even a group of people. From order processing to answering customer inquiries, front office automation expedites processes.
At the same time, front office automation has the power to reduce operational costs. For example, rather than having multiple people managing the phone lines in a call center for customer support, organisations can leverage chatbots to automate resolving customer complaints or questions.
Additionally, front office automation helps to make teams more productive and efficient because it reduces manual errors and eliminates the risk of repeated efforts for the same outcome.
Now that we’ve touched on what front office automation entails and how it can help any business, let’s dive into examples to see how it works in action.
For any business, the sales process is typically extensive and relies on the involvement of multiple people/departments. Sales order processing, when completed manually, runs a huge risk of problems, mistakes, and delays.
With delayed sales processing and delivery, a company may end up losing its customers. And, as you likely already know, it’s said to cost 5x more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
Instead, you can rely on automation to accurately capture customer data and streamline tasks to multiple connected systems so that customers can receive their purchased goods and services as quickly as possible.
Transforming a prospective customer into a paying customer takes patience and constant care. When looking to attract leads that are likely to become customers, you can’t expect a human to manage every step of the process, along with their regular daily duties.
Automating the lead nurturing process opens the door to being able to segment your leads based on engagement levels and provide the necessary communication to them at the right moment in time.
This can make all the difference to keeping a potential new customer interested in your product or service versus losing them.
When it comes to sales, you also have to factor in the work of the marketing department to help drive sales and boost revenue. Automation can have a major impact on marketing teams.
For example, let’s look at one area in which front end automation is common- email marketing automation. By automating this function, marketing teams can send timely and curated emails to their target audience based on whatever variable they wish to focus on.
From user behavior to demographic, marketing teams leverage email automation to send drip campaigns and build customer relationships that make all the difference for a business’ bottom line.
When you look at all the examples thus far, you can see elements of customer service engrained. However, front office automation can also be utilized by customer service teams directly to provide support to customers.
Robotic process automation tools that are used to increase a team’s productivity can be found in many customer service support positions. Let’s take the example of chatbots and expand upon it. Customer service teams can use chatbots to answer common questions on behalf of customers.
Chatbots can also be used to properly route a questioning customer to the relevant human representative to further assist. In place of having a person sitting on the other side of the communication channel, RPA can be used to better allocate human resources while still being able to provide customers with the services they seek.
When it comes to every department within an organisation, collaboration is key. In terms of front office business, collaboration takes place to better serve customers.
To showcase, let's say a customer gets in touch with customer support to discuss a payment issue, but the customer support representative doesn’t have access to said customer’s invoice.
With automation and a centralised repository of data, the customer support agent could forgo having to track down someone from the accountant team or sales team to have the information they need in front of them to better support the customer.
Automation removes the bottlenecks and silos that often occur in a business environment that is still focused on manual efforts. Along with RPA to execute repetitive and low-level tasks, businesses can incorporate automation solutions that can handle more complex business processes as well.
As we’ve mentioned, an automation tool like SolveXia serves as a perfect complement to many RPA software solutions by providing an analytical and automated solution for back-office and financially-focused workflows.
Front office automation is redefining how businesses interact with their customers. From managing orders to growing customer relationships, front office automation reduces errors, saves money, and promotes productivity.
Similarly, when looking at back office automation examples, you can see how automation solutions are transforming organisations for the better.
To see how your RPA solutions can be further enhanced by SolveXia’s human analytical finance automation solution, schedule a demo today!
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