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Automating the customer journey

January 27, 2020

I sometimes have moments when I’m struck just how much technology has utterly and irrevocably transformed human experience over the past decade.

Just think about opening a bank account – an example most of us can relate to. What used to be a strenuous process involving a couple of hours at the bank and weeks waiting for the debit card, PIN, internet banking credentials, and account statement books to arrive, has now been transformed into a simple process that takes a day or two. But how has this journey been transformed through automation?

A customer-centric journey

Online applications completed by customers are automatically moved to the backend ERP system using robotic process automation (RPA). Chatbots powered by natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) help answer the customer’s questions at the time of filling in the application form.

Specimen signature and the supporting documents are processed through optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent character recognition (ICR) tools – with any missing information collected by chatbots or email alerts triggered by RPA. The information is then validated against government records using RPA. An automated voice call is then triggered informing the customer that the account has been opened. The customer can also contact the call center – which is powered by intelligent voice recognition (IVR) systems using NLP – to respond to any queries.

What was once a process driven journey has been transformed into customer-centric journey through automation.

The challenge of implementing automation

In the face of increasing pressure on margins due to rising costs and weak global outlooks, and to improve customer satisfaction, organizations are increasingly turning to automation to realize cost benefits and improve business outcomes. However, they often take a piecemeal approach to implementing automation, restricting themselves to proof of concepts (PoC) looking at a specific process, technology, or both – resulting in failure to appreciate the true value automation can deliver.

Organizations fail to scale past PoCs and small-scale implementations due to lack of clear vision, siloed operations, confused ownership, lack of program management, and a complex IT landscape that they must navigate through to successfully deploy automation and see inherent value. Organizations that have managed to put sticking plasters over these challenges have been able to realize value, which has given other organizations confidence to go down the same blind alleys.

Applying RPA, OCR/ICR, or chatbots in isolation doesn’t result in the level of transformation possible through reimagining end-to-end processing with the customer at the center. Many organizations view automation as a straightforward technology implementation. Rather, it is a nuanced journey involving deep understanding of processes, identification of standardization and optimization opportunities, adoption of industry best practices, the redesigning of processes to meet regulatory requirements, and implementation of technologies.

Enter intelligent process automation

Intelligent process automation (IPA) involves applying the “golden triangle” of RPA, artificial intelligence (AI), and smart analytics over your existing or re-engineered business processes, fundamentally transforming your organization from being process centric to becoming customer centric. IPA puts the client at the heart of all your activities and stimulates the erosion of organizational silos around your front, middle, and back-office processes, to create a new borderless and highly automated client-centric organization.

At Capgemini, deploying our IPA solution has led to some dramatic success stories for our clients, including:

  • 90–95% reduction in transaction processing time and 95% improvement in efficiency for a global fast-moving consumergoods company by automating the credit-to-cash process
  • 20–35% reduction forecast error rate and 20% improvement in productivity for an international medical device, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods company by implementing a powerful statistical forecasting engine augmented with machine learning
  • 40–50% reduction in cost of service, reduction in vendor spend, and improvement in productivity savings for a European multi-national aerospace corporation, through implementation of a next-generation HR platform and automation toolset.

Automation has myriad applications across enterprise functions and is an unprecedented disrupter that is leading to the development of new business models, frictionless operations, and an augmented workforce at scale. With the constant drive for enhanced operational efficiency and with breakthrough technological advancements, isn’t it time you looked at implementing automation across your organization?

To learn how Capgemini’s Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM) architecture and ESOAR (Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, Robotize) framework can help to reimagine your end-to-end processing with the customer at the center, contact

Learn more about how Capgemini’s Intelligent Process Automation offering can stimulate the erosion of organizational silos around your front, middle and back-office processes, resulting in the emergence of a new, borderless, highly automated client-centric organization.

Kishor Wikhe  is the Chief Operating Officer for Capgemini’s Business Services – a global business line of the Capgemini Group. He is responsible and accountable for key activities including digitalization, reskilling, and introducing industrialized innovation across the business.