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Four areas where bots will replace humans, and related consequences

7 minutes

Automation is reshaping a labor market. While analysts predict that robots in unmanned vehicles will displace human drivers in the long run, less noticeable, but no less significant events occur, which we see every day.

In particular, the role of a call center and first-line support is gradually changing. In the enterprise segment, they are being displaced by bots. For example, in the U.S., approximately half of today's consumers prefer communicating with robots rather than human agents [1].

According to the RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) analysts, professions that do not require special knowledge, such as security guards, sellers, cleaners, couriers, will disappear soon. Meanwhile, PwC claims that widespread use of robots will not cause labor market collapse. Millions of people who will have lost their jobs due to global automation will need reskilling. Most likely their will find themselves in the maintenance and management of intelligent systems, which will require better cognitive skills and readiness for intellectual work rather than routine operations.

In parallel with the growing demand for automation, we see more and more startups willing to offer their services to enterprise customers. For example, among CROC Accelerator participants, we noted at least ten promising developers of products releasing employees from routine tasks. Most of these products can be used under SaaS model to faster integrate them into enterprise business processes.

Here we’ll talk about the key areas where automation will cause deep rethinking of some professions if not their disappearance.

Customer service automation

Automation of external and internal communications regarding typical requests is rather popular. Customers value the opportunity to reduce call center agent workload, while their clients enjoy quick information retrieval.

One of startup products in our portfolio is a client request automation platform allowing customer to go omnichannel and increase service satisfaction. A neural network-based system collects requests from various channels, quickly processes them, and prepares a response. Calls are only routed to human agents in difficult cases, helping staff to save time and energy.

According to the developer, this will help banks reduce personnel workload by at least 30% and, consequently, personnel turnover. For medium-sized businesses, such a solution helps systematize business processes, identify product bottlenecks, and get ready for the company's growth.

Another system is designed for outgoing calls, including cold calling. As compared to SMS, cost-effectiveness of phone calls is at least 20% higher, which has been repeatedly proven in practice. For most people, repeating the same call script 150 times a day is not the holy grail at all. This results in high employee turnover, mistakes, and customer loss. A robot is not susceptible to an emotional burnout, does not feel tired, easily makes 800 calls per minute and is always in a good mood. That is why robots are chosen by variety of businesses: from a small healthcare network to giant fashion retailers.

Yet another our partner integrates different tools for marketing and operational tasks into one service focused on a prime function – communication. In fact, a full-cycle customer service messenger shall substitute a corporate website. This will result in a 6x faster service desk operation and 30% department cost reduction.

Operations automation

In large companies, almost all employees are involved in contracting in one way or another. To simplify coordination with lawyers and accelerate the process, you need at least a pre-filled contract template. This is where automation is more than desirable and appropriate. Our partner having skilled on-staff lawyers offers a simple and effective tool for drafting legal documents. It is a designer tool to compile contracts, powers of attorney, HR, procedural and corporate documents. Such solutions are widely used in manufacturing: document management automation makes the process of approval faster by up to 70% and reduces the number of errors by 40-45%.

For retailers, a core operational activity element is the correct choice of an outlet location, which can also be successfully automated using geolocation system supported by AI and Big Data. Our partner's system automatically determines the best outlet location, visualizes performance indicators, and forecasts profit based on 50+ influencing factors. For example, it can indicate that a competitor's store is soon to be open within two kilometers, and recommend carrying out additional promotions to retain customers. It's not just an alternative to analysts. The robot's forecasts are 30% more accurate, dozens of times faster and cheaper for customers.

Marketing automation

Feedback is important to companies, but not that easy to collect. Customers avoid traditional polls. The way exists, however, to collect trustworthy information about the service rating without bothering customers. It is a computer vision system that can be installed at the point of service. It automatically captures all customer emotions with high accuracy and collects statistics. A similar goal is pursued by developers of voice analysis systems, which are used, for example, in call centers. In both cases, such hidden assessment helps identify areas with poor service quality and improve it, thus increasing cross-sales by 20%.

Over the last two or three years, end-to-end analytics has become one of the most popular marketing tools, and more and more companies now reasonably believe it is not less necessary than email distribution services. Managing multichannel campaigns manually takes a lot of time, and the performance assessment of certain tools is not always correct. The solution offered by one of CROC accelerator participants is designed to quickly collect key indicators in one report. It also reduces the number of errors caused by biased opinions when making channel-related decisions and allows you to quickly stop ineffective advertising and detect bottlenecks in campaigns.

HR automation

HR department has a lot of routine tasks. Perhaps even more than the legal one does. 90% of preliminary recruitment activities are routine actions from researching on job seeking websites to testing and scheduling meetings with line managers. If a company has only few recruiters, then each of them has to perform such tasks. In other words, working time of skilled and expensive personnel is wasted. Obviously, such a monotonous work perfectly suits an HR bot. It can simultaneously conduct a thousand interviews with candidates and automatically identify competence level of each of them according to the criteria set by a recruiter. As a result, HR managers are provided with best of the best CVs, and 80% of line positions are filled in a short time.

Testing candidates for non-linear positions is not always easy, especially when many sales managers should be tested. This new service is based on a neural network and allows for creating or digitizing an “ideal candidate” profile. It analyzes free-form letters of candidates to identify their temper, professional and personal features, and whether they conform to the vacancy or desired employee profile. Robotic assessment accuracy reaches 85%, depending on HR specialist tasks.

Laziness is rightly said to be the driver of progress. High demand for new products combining the hottest technologies – AI, ML, and blockchain – is quite predictable. These systems automate routine, tedious processes. This just-beginning boom is largely fueled by cloud services. Thanks to the clouds, the launch, fine-tuning, and SaaS-based offering of new products for business process automation become more affordable for all developers.

[1] 44% of US consumers want chatbots over humans for customer relations – BI Intelligence

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