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Robotic process automation (RPA) threatens to steal jobs from human workers.
That is the current worry of professionals across various industries. However, in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, RPA transforms how service providers cost-efficiently address repetitive, rule-based functions. It lets the human workforce pour their skills, time, and effort into growth-focused projects for every sector.
Much like any other new development, there is a good and bad side to this technology. Stay on this page to better understand how RPA impacts the BPO market.
Why Is RPA Called BPO’s Digital Workforce?
RPA has earned its title as “BPO’s digital workforce” because it mimics human actions to accomplish repetitive tasks faster and more accurately. This so-called virtual employee works tirelessly around the clock to deliver higher-level output.
When combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), RPA technology brings intelligent automation to BPO. The solution’s ability to support decision-making processes helps contractors understand and adjust to changing customer needs and emerging market trends.
Will RPA Replace Human Workers?
RPA absolutely cannot replace human workers. This technology simply empowers human labor. Implementing RPA encourages BPO employees to focus on doing their best—innovating and adding value to the business.
When RPA handles the nitty-gritty tasks, humans have more time to work on core business functions. They can prioritize enhancing their skills, providing a superb customer experience, or producing creative solutions to make the brand stand out.
RPA’s Positive Impact on BPO
Fortune Business Insights stated the global RPA market reached $7.11 billion in 2021. The research firm expects the industry to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 23% to achieve $43.52 billion by 2029.
These figures show that many businesses appreciate the importance of technology in their enterprises. Let us explore how positive RPA’s impact has been on BPO companies:
- Improve efficiency and scalability. RPA is programmed to automate and expedite repetitive, rule-based processes. This capability frees human workers from non-core tasks, allowing them to prioritize value-added work. The technology also helps service providers scale their operations depending on current demands.
- Increase cost savings. RPA bots eliminate the need to hire more employees, buy physical equipment, and expand office space, reducing costs for BPO organizations. This advantage enables them to offer their services at affordable prices.
- Enhance accuracy. RPA operates based on rules and scripts, ensuring consistency in completing tasks. The solution minimizes human error and improves precision, especially for data entry activities.
- Boost customer experience. RPA delivers faster and more personalized responses to common customer inquiries. Service vendors configure their chatbots, interactive voice response (IVR) solutions, and ticketing systems to provide quick replies 24/7.
- Standardize procedures. Software bots help reduce process variations and inconsistencies. This standardization improves data management, security, and compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Speed up data collection and analysis. RPA’s capacity to quickly gather and make sense of relevant information guides contractors in making informed decisions. Such insights also help identify areas that need strategic and urgent improvements.
RPA’s Negative Effects on BPO
Despite the positive impact of RPA on the functions of BPO, challenges remain. If you do not address them beforehand, anticipate wasted money, delayed output, and misaligned goals. Take a look at the possible adverse effects of RPA on service providers.
- Overreliance on automation and a lack of human oversight lead to chaos. RPA runs according to predefined rules and algorithms. Outdated instructions result in incorrect input or missing data.
- RPA might cause job displacement. Automating labor-intensive tasks might make specific BPO roles and responsibilities obsolete, leading to job losses if providers do not upskill or reskill employees.
- Contractors might encounter incompatibilities and technical issues when using RPA. If not resolved immediately, RPA issues can cause slow operations and downtime.
- RPA poses data security risks if not correctly set up. Service providers face high mitigation costs and lower trust ratings if they do not configure the technology to protect sensitive information.
How RPA Transforms Various BPO Sectors
As you explore what BPO is and how technology helps the sector meet the demand for streamlined operations, understanding RPA’s role is crucial. This action gives insights into how RPA’s impact on the BPO industry affects your business.
Here are scenarios where RPA transforms the business landscape for different industries:
Accelerate Customer Service
BPO call and contact centers optimize RPA to boost responses to customers’ basic questions, product concerns, and common inquiries. For 37% of consumers polled by Emplifi, slow response times make them most likely to feel pessimistic about a brand; 23% also emphasize the lack of 24/7 customer service availability.
Incorporating chatbots, IVR systems, and automated ticketing platforms into communication channels helps service providers meet such demands. Setting the scripts and rules accordingly allows them to address customers’ inquiries even if their agents are asleep.
Fast-track Information Technology (IT) Support
RPA-powered ticketing systems enable IT BPO vendors to identify which technical concerns require immediate resolutions. Such platforms automatically categorize problems based on complexity, urgency, and an agent’s expertise. This way, clients can receive the optimal solution they ultimately need.
Expedite Accounting and Financial Services
Financial BPO providers experience accelerated operations with RPA bots. The tech automates manual tasks such as invoice processing, account information management, and financial data collection and analysis. RPA reduces manual errors, improving accuracy, turnaround times, and compliance with accounting and financial regulations.
Speed up Healthcare Support
RPA has a significant impact on healthcare BPO as it helps streamline non-clinical tasks. Automating patient data entry, appointment scheduling, and claims processing lets healthcare professionals prioritize boosting patient care. The technology helps enhance overall healthcare service delivery by reducing administrative burdens.
Boost Manufacturing and Logistics
The manufacturing and logistics BPO sector benefits from RPA by speeding up inventory management, order processing, and supply chain tracking. Optimizing such processes helps providers advance overall efficiency and offer support at affordable costs.
Improve Knowledge and Legal Processing
RPA‘s impact on BPO extends to knowledge and legal processing as well. The solution expedites document management, contract review, and legal research while ensuring accuracy. In knowledge processing, RPA automates data collection and analysis. It simplifies the extraction of valuable insights from big data.
Enhance Sales and Marketing
BPO companies specializing in sales and marketing activities also witnessed a transformation with RPA. The tech facilitates automatic lead generation, data cleansing, and campaign management. This capability enables BPO teams to focus on customer engagement and more targeted campaigns, enhancing customer acquisition and producing higher conversion rates.
Because of such advantages, the global BPO industry hit $261.9 billion in 2022, according to Grand View Research’s latest statistics. As RPA increases the sector’s cost-effective services, BPO is projected to achieve a CAGR of over 9% by 2030.
The Bottom Line
Many have thought RPA would have a detrimental impact on BPO workers. But little did they know that service providers perceive technology as their key to cost-efficient support services. RPA offers automation capabilities to alleviate burdens brought on by tedious, repetitive processes.
Despite some negative effects, such as those discussed above, RPA delivers numerous benefits that transform various BPO segments. From faster customer service to more enhanced sales and marketing, RPA helps providers operate swiftly and deliver support effectively.
Let’s connect if you still have more questions on how RPA can upscale your business when working with a BPO firm. Our team at Unity Communications optimizes the technology to satisfy your needs and requirements in an automated and economical way.