July 08 2020
During this challenging COVID-19 pandemic, RPA (robotic process automation) and chatbot technologies are helping businesses survive by providing efficient and accurate solutions at the lower cost. With social distancing in place, customers expect a swift resolution to their virtual requests, which puts pressure on understaffed businesses and agencies working remotely. Resultantly, an increasing number of businesses and agencies, especially those in finance, government, healthcare, and retail, are opting for digital alternatives to manual labor. According to the MIT Technology Review, chatbot have been helping businesses cope with pandemic-related challenges: for example, IBM's Watson Assistant chatbot witnessed a 40% increase in traffic from February to April this year. Furthermore, Wikibon shows that RPA is one of the most adopted technologies during the pandemic, at a 22% adoption rate-much higher than other technologies like cloud and mobile device management.
Often adopted independent of one another, RPA and chatbot are saving many businesses on the brink of collapse due to COVID-19. However, by combining the power of automation of RPA and cognitive intelligence from chatbot, here at Laiye, we offer Laiye UiBot, an RPA product, and Laiye Wulai, a chatbot platform that builds, trains, and deploys robots for companies. Together, Laiye UiBot and Laiye Wulai form an unstoppable team, significantly enhancing a businesses' efficiency regardless of the industry.
Seamless compatibility between RPA and chatbot
RPA and chatbot complete each other like two separate pieces to the same puzzle. Interlocked, they allow businesses to see and complete the bigger picture.
RPA, like Laiye UiBot, is software that can emulate human operations on a PC according to predefined logic. Because the bots complete tasks based on rules, RPA is often adopted for back-office, administrative processes in the inventory, HR, accounting, procurement, operations, and other departments. Bots can automate mundane, repetitive tasks 24/7 with near-perfect accuracy and extremely high speeds, freeing up human labor to pursue more meaningful work. On the other hand, chatbot, like Laiye Wulai, are widely implemented for front-office, client-oriented departments such as customer service or sales. Using NLP (natural language processing), conversational abilities, and deep learning, chatbot can interact with users and dynamically improve, helping customer service teams cope with a large volume of requests.
As a result of their different strengths, RPA and chatbot are often kept in separate, excluded spheres. However, what if they could be used in harmony? Though RPA is back-office centric, process-oriented, and rule-based while chatbot are front-office centric, interaction-oriented, and versatile, the two complement each other flawlessly as if in perfect symbiosis. Chatbot serve as the eyes, ears, and mouthpiece of the system, capable of reading, listening, comprehending, and responding to users. After collecting text or verbal responses, chatbot can process this information and relay it to RPA bots, which serve as the arms and hands of the system. They can complete user requests, allowing for manual computer operations such as downloading files, consulting databases, and filling out forms.
Use cases of a combined RPA and chatbot system
RPA and chatbot are already being used separately in many industries, including finance, healthcare, retail, education, manufacturing, energy, government, logistics, and more. After integrating the two technologies, the possibilities of end-to-end automation are endless in any industry.
For example, consider a retailer that runs an e-store. A customer may wish to know the status of their shipment. The customer could ask the chatbot on the store's website regarding their order, and the chatbot could prompt the customer for their order number. The chatbot could then relay the obtained information to RPA bots, which can check the status of the order's shipment, such as the date it was shipped, the current city it is in, the estimated time of arrival, and so on. The RPA bots would then relay this information to the chatbot, which would communicate to the customer, resolving the issue.
In another scenario, RPA and chatbot can also be useful in the finance and banking sector. For example, when a new user wants to open a bank account, a chatbot can help interact with the customer and collect the necessary information. Then, RPA bots can fill in this information and help set up an account seamlessly.
Another useful application is using RPA and chatbot to help maintain public health, such as combatting COVID-19 in local communities. Laiye UiBot and Laiye Wulai worked together in Wuhan to free communities of the virus: Laiye Wulai chatbot made 30,000 outbound calls in just two hours, inquiring about each residents' health. After comprehending the responses, the chatbot sent the information to Laiye UiBot bots, which compiled, processed, and sent the data to local authorities. This reduced local authorities' workload significantly, completing an 8-hour task in only 15 minutes.
Paving the way to a future of efficiency and automation
Although these are only a few use cases, they illustrate that the combined power of chatbot and RPA could resolve requests almost instantaneously, regardless of the time of day. Especially with COVID-19, businesses that struggle to continue operations virtually could greatly benefit from fully automated processes, from back-office to front-office tasks. To enjoy even more efficiency and accuracy, businesses can go beyond simply implementing either RPA or chatbot. Instead, they can use them together, unleashing their combined power. Laiye UiBot and Laiye Wulai are here to help you with your journey.
Laiye, founded in 2015 by Ivy League Ph.D. graduates, is committed to being a leading Smart Robot platform with global influence in the era of human-robot collaboration.
Our portfolio of high-quality, secure products and services covers RPA+AI Solution, including Laiye UiBot (an RPA product), Laiye Wulai (an enterprise chatbot platform), and Xiaolai (a companion robot). Join us on LinkedIn, follow us on Facebook, or visit laiye.com/en.