Work Smarter, Not Harder With Workflow Automation

Making the workplace run more smoothly 

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Work Smarter, Not Harder With Workflow Automation
Contact CentreInsights

Published: December 15, 2021

Rebekah Carter

Over the last couple of years, the workplace has transformed at an incredible rate.  

Though we’ve been moving towards a more digitized future for several years now, the pandemic further ignited this journey. Studies say that COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation by anywhere up to 7 years 

Today’s employees are working remotely, in hybrid environments, and with the assistance of artificial intelligence to guide their day-to-day processes. We’re constantly connected in the cloud and communicating over video. The next step, according to innovators like Five9 and Babble, is empowering the future workforce with Workflow Automation. 

Five9 and Babble are working together to bring the benefits of Workflow Automation (WFA) to the masses, in a way that could set the stage for a new age of productivity. I spoke to Thomas John, Vice President EMEA Partners Five9, and Mark Jordan, the Managing Director of Babble Contact to learn more about how WFA helps us work smarter, not harder 

What Does Workflow Automation Mean Today?  

The rapid transformation of the workplace has led to a significant amount of confusion and misinformation among a lot of teams. Indeed, there’s a common concern among the modern workforce that concepts like “workforce automation” really defines a quest to replace the human agent with a robot or machine.  

To clarify the reality of WFA, I asked Mark and Thomas what Workflow Automation means in today’s age of digital CX, and why it’s so important to contact centre environments.  

They told me that ultimately, workforce automation is all about taking the menial tasks responsible for consuming essential human productivity and focus time and automating them with machine learning and AI. The idea isn’t to replace the staff member but to eliminate the issues getting in the way of productive work. 

“A good way to exemplify this is by looking at the farming industry. Before the plough was invented, the farmer had to do all of the manual work of preparing the earth by hand. Now, farmers have more time to do the important things that only they can do because the plough handles the repetitive, often mundane work that takes up so much time.” 

According to Thomas and Mark, the same concept applies in the contact centre. With AI systems to deal with repetitive admin work, contact centre agents can focus on the things they do best – like having empathetic conversations.  

How Can WFA Boost Agent Productivity? 

Mark and Thomas told me the beauty of WFA is in its ability to remove mundane tasks, so they don’t consume the finite resource of “time” in the contact centre. Companies need to make sure that agents are spending their most productive moments on the things that can’t be automated – like empathy.  

“We always need humans for important conversations, but they often don’t have enough time to focus on the things they do best because of repetitive, mundane tasks. WFA eliminates the extra clutter and noise, so agents have more space to thrive.” 

For most people in the CX landscape, admin work is far from the most effective use of their time – and it’s rarely something they enjoy doing either. “We find that when people don’t actually enjoy the repetitive stuff, that’s when errors and issues start to emerge. Automating repetitive tasks with AI can reduce the number of errors while making teams happier overall.” 

How Does WFA Work? How Important is Analytics? 

Thomas and Mark note that WFA can come in many flavours, depending on the needs of the business. As customers continue to say they don’t like the feeling of knowing they’re interacting with a bot, some companies are even embedding more “errors” into their AI interactions, to make the conversation feel a little more natural. 

Workforce Automation can also appear in a variety of workflows throughout the business. “A good example is communication via email. People in the contact centre have been using templates to reply to emails for years. However, this requires them to open an email and find the right template response to send. With WFA, a human being doesn’t actually have to do this part.” 

Five9 and Babble also told me that according to a recent study, around 90% of people would introduce WFA in the near future. However, for those introducing this new technology, the right approach will be crucial. When I asked how important analytics is to WFA success, Mark and Thomas told me that analytics are crucial to both the human, and robotic side. 

While automation tools can process information and use it to churn out ideas, “It also gives human beings visibility into the operations of the contact centre, so they can learn from what’s going on.” 

Do Organisations Need to Tread Carefully with WFA? 

The biggest concern many companies have when it comes to automation in the modern contact centre is that it generally means enabling fewer interactions between humans. Both Thomas and Mark said they believe human beings will always be essential to a good customer experience, so companies need to approach the idea with caution.  

“Implementing disruptive tech like WFA can be difficult. There are a lot of acronyms people don’t fully understand, and a lot of misinformation. Some people believe we’re going to roll in with robots and take over their contact centre. That’s not what we’re aiming for here. What our customers want from Babble and Five9 is a way to empower their agents.” 

Thomas and Mark told me WFA should be implemented from the perspective of agent enhancement and development. It’s about equipping agents with the tools they need to do their jobs better and encourage better outcomes. As Mark told me: 

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all concept, but a use-specific tool. One of the things we work on with Five9 when we approach customers with this solution is helping them to understand how the technology can work to accomplish their specific goals from start to finish.” 

How Can Organisations bring WFA to Market? 

According to both Babble and Five9, the market is gradually beginning to show more interest in WFA technology. People are getting excited about the concept of a more empowered workforce, particularly as the contact centre landscape has continued to evolve.  

In the past, this technology would have been practically impossible for most companies to access on their own. Now, through the use of WFA within communication and CCaaS systems, organisations have the opportunity to access a billion-dollar investment, for an affordable price. 

“This is a big-ticket item and a valuable tool, capable of improving the interactions between everything in a contact centre ecosystem. People can already see the value of WFA. When our customers try a Babble and Five9 product, they’re instantly amazed. It’s just about showing customers what this solution can really do.”  



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