Top 10 Uses Cases for Robotic Process Automation in 2022 (by Industry and Job Area)
Employees spend 60% of their time on “work about work” and just 27% on skills-based tasks.
While addressing this is challenging, there’s a better way to get people to work faster and achieve more with fewer resources: robotic process automation (RPA).
By 2023, 93% of businesses will have implemented RPA because of the real impact it has on employees and business growth. RPA automates rote, manual, and repetitive tasks, freeing workers to focus on higher-value activities while increasing operational agility in your business.
Sounds great. But where can you implement RPA?
Discover the top RPA use cases in major industries and how automation software can benefit your business.
Common Business Operations Use Cases
From improving efficiency and enabling cost optimization to providing better business insights, RPA can bring significant business value.
We’ll explore 10 use cases that show RPA’s profound impact on businesses across the following sectors:
1. Customer Service and Support Use Cases
One key differentiator that ensures your business stands out from the crowd is the customer experience you provide.
The customer experience affects the purchasing decision for 73% of consumers and 42% who will pay more for a welcoming experience.
RPA automates the most mundane transactions, turning them into memorable experiences so you can gain new customers and retain existing ones. Let’s look at some common RPA applications in the customer service and support function.
Create/Open Customer Accounts
Creating and opening customer accounts is one of the most repetitive and manual processes, especially in the banking industry.
Customer requests rapidly stream through multiple support channels for opening new accounts, which employees process manually. This leads to hiring more workers to process data, time delays in completing the opening or onboarding process, decreasing customer retention rates, and more.
In a bank, digital robots automate the accounts creation and opening business processes using chatbots that interact with customers and receive their details.
Once bots receive the customer’s data, they’ll read and extract what they need while interacting with multiple systems, validate it, and automatically create a new account. The customer will receive their new account details via email or text message.
In this way, automation:
- Reduces processing time
- Improves process quality with no clerical errors
- Improves service quality
- Reduces operational costs
- Increases customer satisfaction
Refund management is a labor-intensive process that can make or break your company’s reputation.
In the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, airlines had to deal with the nightmare of cancellation requests. Each request takes at least 3-4 minutes to process, translating to at least 6,000 work hours.
RPA helped airlines deal with the flood of cancellations and ensure customers got their refunds in good time.
Virtual robots address multiple cancellation or refund requests in volumes compared to full-time employees by extracting ticket information from incoming emails and opening bookings and refund applications to process customers’ requests.
These bots validate the customer data to confirm changes and issue customer refunds without human intervention.
The result: faster refund processing, improved cash flow, and happier customers.
Customers complain for several reasons: broken promises, substandard products, hidden fees and information, long waits, being passed between agents, and more.
To build or restore customer loyalty, you must manage customer complaints once you receive them. It’s no surprise that 83% of customers feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.
Your employees can’t know when every complaint comes in nor handle them simultaneously. RPA bots acknowledge customer complaints based on company regulations faster and more efficiently.
Bots can also:
- Read customers’ messages
- Send letters to customers acknowledging receipt of their complaints
- Pair customer information with a date and time
- Trigger the related communication so your customers are up-to-date and you avoid any noncompliance penalties or fines
RPA ensures timely acknowledgment of complaints, regulatory compliance, and customer satisfaction.
Manage Online Reviews
Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews survey found that 81% of consumers leave a business review up to four times a year. They’re looking for local businesses that will cater to their needs and show their support through review behavior.
Whether positive or negative, customer reviews impact your business. So, you need to identify and review this valuable feedback and give immediate responses or reach out to customers before anything goes awry.
RPA automates the online review management process through bots that:
- Automatically respond to positive and negative customer reviews
- Identify negative reviews and alert assigned employees in the relevant departments
- Request feedback and follow-ups if customers don’t react
Automate Loyalty Campaigns
Chances are you have a customer loyalty program, meaning you value your customers.
Tracking and rewarding the most loyal customers is one of the most mundane and tedious tasks for human employees. With RPA, you can increase your loyalty campaigns’ speed, accuracy, and reliability and increase customer satisfaction.
RPA bots can auto-select and group customers based on what they buy and send targeted marketing messages to a specific group.
For example, bots can email or SMS discount codes to customers who reach 50 purchases or spend over $200.
2. HR Use Cases
Human resources teams keep the business running. But most HR tasks are manual, slow, uninteresting, and repetitive.
RPA robots can work across the HR department, making daily tasks and business processes like talent sourcing and recruitment, onboarding, and payroll smoother, simpler, and less labor-intensive.
According to Glassdoor, 86% of HR professionals say recruitment is becoming more like marketing. That means you can’t attract quality talent and build high-performing teams without a strong, reputable employer brand.
The brand you build informs how you approach the recruitment process from the moment candidates submit their applications to the interview to offer negotiation and onboarding.
RPA can automate routine tasks in the recruitment process, helping you find and hire top talent by:
- Shortlisting candidate resumes or CVs based on preset logic
- Providing unbiased candidate scores
- Creating and updating candidate records in company systems
Employee onboarding or offboarding are critical to the employee experience, yet they involve multiple tedious, manual tasks from the moment a candidate accepts the job and is deployed to the time they separate from the organization.
RPA bots interact with your HR systems to:
- Streamline onboarding and offboarding tasks like creating user accounts, processing payroll, travel and expenses, performance reviews, and more
- Eliminate any potential errors in onboarding/offboarding processes
- Reduce your HR team’s workload and deliver impressive time savings
Software bots check for incomplete or overdue tasks in your onboarding checklist, upload or input new hire data into the human resource information system (HRIS), and perform data entry to trigger onboarding tasks.
Provident Finance Romania—a personal credit company—automated its onboarding process, which involved hiring hundreds of new sales representatives every year.
RPA eliminated delays and human error, made their processes up to 30 times faster, and delivered a seamless onboarding process while giving precious time back to their HR team members.
Compliance and Reporting
Keeping employees safe and compliant can be tasking. Labor laws and regulations frequently change, making it tedious and time-consuming to adapt and keep up with the changing laws.
RPA helps HR teams adhere to compliance laws by reviewing and changing your HRIS, then routing them to the relevant channels for approval.
Bots also generate error-free reports through integrated information from multiple internal and external sources and use rules to check for compliance with company policies and rules. If there are any deviations, the bots will reject the changes and update or route back to HR for further review.
3. Use Cases in Financial Services
The banking and financial services industry (BFSI) is process-oriented. Each task undergoes a stringent, meticulous completion process to avoid costly errors.
The repetitive nature of tasks in financial services companies increases the likelihood of human errors, which leads to losses.
RPA automates the manual tasks, freeing employees in financial institutions to work on high-value tasks that require human intelligence. Automation also minimizes manual errors, increases productivity, and syncs with other business applications, delivering even more benefits.
Here’s an overview of what RPA accomplishes in reconciliation, managing accounts receivables (AR) or accounts payables (AP), and detecting fraud or anti-money laundering.
Reconciliation is tedious, time-consuming, and requires the correct information about income and expenses to balance figures.
RPA bots match payment details with your financial records and bank data, reconciling statements when records match while sending records for further validation if there are any unmatched or suspicious transactions.
Manage Account Payable/Receivable
RPA automates the error-prone AR process, which relies heavily on internal documents. You can quickly generate sales quotations, validate order data, distribute invoices, monitor customer credits, and process payments.
Plus, RPA digitizes the AP process, particularly invoices from different suppliers.
Bots read and extract data from invoices, route for and automatically execute the payment, credit recipients’ bank accounts, send payment files to the bank, and reconcile reports in the system.
Automation also helps financial institutions enforce global and industry compliance standards. RPA ensures consistent, accurate implementation of accounting rules and best practices across the organization.
Detect Fraud/Anti-Money Laundering
Financial institutions across the world still grapple with money laundering. In appreciation of the growing anti-money laundering (AML) challenges, regulators encourage banks to develop innovative ways of staying ahead of tech-savvy cybercriminals.
RPA helps leading BFSI companies explore automation to identify subtle indicators of illicit activity and fraud.
Bots collect transactions, analyze their quality based on specific validation rules, and monitor them for suspicious activity. If the bots detect fraud, they’ll intimate the compliance team to probe the matter, reducing crimes and saving the bank or financial services company from reputation damage.
4. Use Cases in Insurance
Like BFSIs, insurance companies also handle volumes of customer data for different tasks, including claims management, underwriting, sales, and servicing.
All these are herculean and mundane tasks, which take several days or months, especially when there’s an oversight and insurers end up performing more checks.
RPA improves the response time speed, ensuring you retain customers and avoid further damage to your brand’s reputation. It also reduces costs and improves operational excellence.
Before RPA, insurance claim validation was a manual and tedious process as employees had to gather information from multiple documents and into other systems.
Today, bots provide no-touch, straight-through claims processing as they move volumes of claims data in a single click. This allows you to respond faster to customers when they file their claims and craft custom experiences while driving business growth.
Underwriting also requires data collection from different sources and risk analysis for specific policies.
This process can take weeks to do before arriving at viable conclusions and comes with several challenges, including documentation errors, processing delays, overburdened workers, higher costs, and more.
Implementing RPA reduces operating costs and improves underwriting efficiency by automating the data-gathering process from various sources and updating systems with the right data to produce quality reports.
Insurance brokers need to deliver quality, engaging experiences with policyholders. Otherwise, they’ll lose out on business.
RPA bots make policy administration and management easier in a highly regulated environment by:
- Identifying the context of customer messages
- Classifying the content
- Extracting data and updating systems
Compliance teams in insurance firms spend more time dealing with reactive issues than developing progressive risk mitigation strategies.
Tracking changing regulations is time-consuming and—coupled with a lack of coordination between internal departments—may cause insurers to miss certain opportunities.
RPA eliminates human error from the compliance process, provides audit trails that facilitate regulatory scrutiny and ensures compliance programs can scale up or down in response to changes in the regulatory or business landscape.
5. Use Cases in Retail
In a highly competitive industry, retail businesses must constantly improve the shopping experience while managing internal processes to offer quality customer service.
As the pressure to deliver excellent experiences increases, so does the scope for human error, which could lead to business losses and potential reputation damage.
RPA handles repetitive, rote tasks in inventory management, demand and supply planning, and orders/returns processing activities, improving operational and technical efficiency.
Physical robots are already casual co-workers in many retailers’ shops and warehouses. RPA’s software bots transform the inventory management process to:
- Track and deal with deadstock
- Limit or avoid stockouts
- Reduce lead times
- Increase supply chain visibility
- Deal with inventory discrepancies
- Track sales and demand for better purchase order management
Traditionally, demand-supply planning involved human workers gathering and standardizing data, simulating the data, and more manually.
RPA robots help retailers prepare and generate supply and demand forecasting reports at a moment’s notice for better, data-driven decision-making.
Order or return processing needn’t be a struggle for your business. RPA can facilitate round-the-clock returns with minimal human involvement. Chatbots and interactive virtual assistants can guide customers as bots update inventory systems, CRMs, ERPs, and other records involved in the order/returns process.
6. Use Cases in Information Technology
As companies embrace digital transformation, IT teams are burdened and in short supply while repetitive, manual tasks diminish their productivity.
Smart companies automate their IT processes to free and extend their current IT resources and skills to more IT and business initiatives.
Bots can handle tasks like user management, data migration, infrastructure management, and cybersecurity and SecOps to facilitate collaboration among IT professionals for improved operations and service delivery.
Manage ITSM and Users
IT service management (ITSM) is labor-intensive, involving tasks like employee onboarding/offboarding, password management or reset, service-level application monitoring, and resolving help desk tickets.
If ITSM tasks are executed improperly or slowly, unauthorized persons may access your confidential corporate resources and networks.
Some ITSM tasks happen regularly and continually every day, like creating new user accounts or changing user roles, while others are rare events, like detaching users from roles during the offboarding process.
When migrating data between different systems, you might face challenges in processing, retrieving, and mapping the data to the target system’s format. You’ll also need custom interfaces to introduce data to the target system and confirm that the job is successful.
RPA is a cost-effective and user-friendly way to migrate data and handle potential challenges. Bots copy and paste data between systems in a highly structured, rules-based environment, delivering seamless movement of data.
Automate SecOps and Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity teams also handle heavy cyber-related duties as security threats increase in volume daily. RPA automated responses to such incidents, helping you manage more alerts while speeding up your response time.
7. Use Cases in Telecommunications
Consumers expect telecommunications companies to keep them connected with global, diverse networks. This burdens telecom service providers with volumes of operational processes from talent sourcing to data management to controlling costs to developing new services.
Automation helps telecom companies increase responsiveness to disruptions and manage huge, unstructured datasets.
First Call Resolution (FCR)
FCR issues stem from customer complaints via calls, text, and email. Bots accelerate the FCR and enhance customer service agents’ productivity by finding data on the issue, presenting it to the agent, notifying them about the customer’s profile, and uploading the FCR data to the ticketing system for processing.
Telecommunication service providers receive constant network traffic, meaning they need to have the right infrastructure for better service delivery. RPA bots reduce the network monitoring workload for your employees by:
- Collecting data from servers and various devices
- Generating timely network usage reports
- Detecting incidents or downtimes
- Notifying relevant employees of network issues
- Performing regular server performance diagnostics
Telecoms use the extract, transform, analysis (ETA) system to collect information on processes, newly onboarded customers, and networks (pricing, logs, or issues) for further analysis and to deliver critical insights for decision-making.
RPA bots transform the vast data sets into a structured format to organize the database. When combined with artificial intelligence (AI), bots can go further to analyze patterns and create highly accurate predictions.
8. Use Cases in Manufacturing
Long before software robots appeared, the manufacturing industry had adopted robotics through physical robots to assist factory workers in performing daily activities on the manufacturing floor.
RPA is now commonplace in manufacturing plants, automating rote, back-office tasks and processes. We’ve covered more use cases in our RPA for manufacturing guide, but here’s an overview of RPA’s benefits in inventory management, order fulfillment, and bills of material management.
RPA bots make your inventory management processes efficient by:
- Tracking inventory data
- Notifying employees when inventory levels are low
- Preventing undersupply and overstocking
Order fulfillment is a common pain point for manufacturers owing to the issues that arise when executing the chain of events in the entire process. Mistakes in the process can lead to late or unfilled orders, loss of customers, and lost revenue.
RPA automates rules-based tasks, such as filling data gaps, cross-checking data, updating records, and sending alerts or mailers.
The benefits: faster order entry times, fewer errors, increased transactions, reduced fines from regulatory compliance authorities, happier customers, and higher revenue.
Bills of Material (BOM) Management
BOM is a critical document that outlines the materials and components manufacturers need to build their products. It also informs employees what to purchase, how and where to purchase it, and how to assemble and package the product.
Any error in the BOM document could lead to losses from poor material planning, inaccurate costs, shipment delays, and more.
RPA bots mimic what human employees do when generating BOM, making the process less complex, highly accurate, and agile.
9. Use Cases in Healthcare and Life Sciences
Healthcare organizations get data from disparate systems such as clinical applications, insurance portals, and lab systems.
Sourcing and integrating information from all these sources can be time-consuming and labor-centric, but not for RPA. Bots handle the rote, repetitive, rules-based tasks so healthcare staff can focus on giving patients the best services.
In the Life Sciences industry, RPA improves efficiency, reduces risk and costs, and drives competitive innovation.
RPA automates highly standardized clinical trial procedures such as patient matching, regulatory submission, and Trial Master File (TMF) management, delivering better quality control and data accuracy.
Regulatory submission is a rather slow process that involves healthcare organizations compiling and monitoring the status of health records and documents. RPA automates this process, reducing the time to market for medical products and any associated costs.
Drive Product Innovation
RPA handles the mundane, rote tasks so healthcare staff can focus on high-value, competitive innovation to enable new, quality patient care delivery models and increase patient satisfaction.
By implementing RPA, you can radically improve your data collection and management process. Bots capture adverse events based on specific rules, increasing drug quality, effectiveness, and safety. This helps your organization ensure patient safety and regulatory compliance, improve operational efficiency, and significantly reduce costs.
10. Use Cases in Legal & Compliance
Your legal and compliance teams need to make strategic decisions—not spend hours doing due diligence. RPA handles things like paperwork, legal research, database lookups, and more so your legal and compliance teams can offer the best legal advice and advocacy.
RPA frees your legal team from the hassle of retrieving contract-related documents from a large internal repository. Bots extract documents from various sources, including the cloud, and archive files for future use during contract audits and other legal procedures.
Report Filing, Classifying, Recording, and Storage
Automation eliminates repetitive tasks, such as creating case documents, filing reports, recording and storing paperwork, and more. This saves precious time for your legal and compliance staff and improves productivity as they focus more on serving clients.
Software bots update compliance checklists before or after legal cases, protecting you from fines and sanctions. Bots perform due-diligence verification and alert you of any suspicious activity regularly and accurately.
Leverage RPA In Your Business
In an increasingly digital world, RPA helps businesses in every industry streamline critical workflows, improve operational excellence, and deliver engaging customer experiences—no matter the industry.
Here at Leaniar, we’re all about making your business better. We deliver digital operations across multiple industries—manufacturing, life sciences, healthcare, telecoms, IT, BFSI, retail, and e-commerce—worldwide. Our automation experts will work with you to position your business for a future workplace fueled by automation.
Get in touch with us to learn how to implement RPA in your business and start your automation journey.