Furthermore, with more humans working on creative strategy, innovation or even customer relations, the behavior, values and brand image of an organization are more likely to be imbued with human characteristics and a sense of empathy with customers. Perhaps such a development will finally rid corporations of the unwelcome and “robot-like” accusation leveled at so many – that they are “cold” and “faceless.”
For example, a consistent complaint from many customers of large organizations, particularly in sectors like energy and utilities, is that the customer often struggles to make contact with a person from the organization. Though humans who answer the phone are more expensive than automated systems or FAQs on a website, redeploying people displaced by RPA from the back office to the front line of customer service may reap long-term rewards through an improved customer experience.
Beating the global skills shortage
Weis recommends that businesses planning to implement RPA should include training for employees affected by the transition. “When moving from an execution mode to a control mode, you need a program to teach people automation – you up-skill people, you train people.”
With the savings in recruitment costs and efficiency brought in by the introduction of RPA, this retraining of staff should be affordable in the short term. And with a rising global skills shortage, it could prove a valuable long-term investment. Retaining employees will become even more important as RPA programs are implemented because there is a growing shortage of the specialist skills needed to manage the business process software that drives RPA.