INTRODUCTION

In the previous article, we have discussed about the growing demand and benefits for self-service solution. One of the easiest ways for a company to start implementing self-service solution is by providing knowledge resources, as it does not require any advanced technology. However, it has its limitations to solve complex issues, many organizations still rely on virtual assistant or a dedicated self-service portal.

A self-service portal and virtual assistant are commonly used in companies that provide technology services and products, for example companies like HP, Dell, Netflix and Uber. These advanced forms of self-service solution are made possible with automation technology. Automation applied in self-service solution allows companies to provide services that are fast, accurate, and most importantly, reliable. This is also one of the reasons why majority of the consumers prefer self-service solution.

AUTOMATION IN SELF-SERVICE SOLUTION

Automation of self-service solution brings high level of reliability to customer interactions that conventional customer service agents cannot match. With automation, the self-service team is always available and ready to attend to any incoming support or service requests from the customers. Furthermore, automation can also reduce unnecessary work load from the employees and allow them to allocate more time for tasks that require their full attention.

The term service automation has been gaining popularity in this modern era and it is seen as a business need to enable an organization to establish better automated services. To start incorporating service automation in self-service solution, a company will need to re-assess and change their current service model based on a proven best practice framework.

The Service Automation Framework is a globally recognized framework that teaches the theory, processes, techniques and concept to automate services in any organization. The concept and practical approach of Service Automation Framework can be used to design an automated self-service solution. By applying the concepts of the framework, companies will see both employee and customer satisfaction levels rise. One of the key reasons the framework has been used by many multinational companies is because it provides comprehensive theory and design concepts, with practical methods that are applicable for designing any automated services.

The Service Automation Framework consists of 6 main capabilities which can be subdivided into a focus on ‘design’ (the first three block) and a focus on the ‘delivery’ (the last three capabilities) of automated services [1]:

  1. The User – The first capability defines the key characteristics of the groups of people a service provider aims to serve.
  2. Service Design – The business function that designs and defines the service offering of a service provider. It is the concretisation of the service concepts into an actual design, including the relevant support structures and digital interfaces;
  3. Technology – The building block that defines the setup and usability of the digital interfaces, connecting service providers with their users. This capability focus on the design of self service-technology and interfaces;
  4. Automated Deployment – The processes that enable a user to start using a service based on his or her own action. Automated deployment processes are used to onboard new uses, and are crucial for determining the user experience;
  5. Service Delivery Automation – The service delivery automation processes enable user to change or resolve any aspect of the service based on his or her own action. Service Delivery automation deals with day-to-day aspects of service delivery;
  6. Serendipity Management – The processes that facilitate a planned and continuous approach in order to constantly exceed the expectations of users.

Figure 1: Service Automation Framework [1]

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