Challenges in Automation for the Service Industry
The service industry has come a long way in the last couple of decades, with business process automation services playing a key role in its evolution. From streamlining HR processes to giving people more choices and freedoms, there’s really no limit to what automation can offer a business and its end customers.
But with these huge advantages comes some challenges, many of which we can help you to overcome.
What happens when legacy doesn’t play nice with new software? Or when you have to make huge HR adjustments to make way for a fresh process? Nobody suggested integrating automation solutions was problem-free, but it can be managed when you have the right tools and experts. Many businesses in the service industry might shy away from implementing automation out of fear that it’ll be too disruptive. Existing workflows could stall, customers could temporarily suffer, and staff could feel challenged. This is why it’s important to have the right partner on board to ensure there’s minimal disruption and downtime to your business, and that the overall benefits hugely outweigh this temporary risk.
In a similar vein, businesses are often reluctant to invest in new automation software and the training that comes alongside it. For small and medium-sized businesses, this can be a financial burden. But plenty of data exists to show the long-term financial benefits of automation, which have both direct and indirect impacts on your service business’s bottom line. For example, one report says that 53% of employees state that they can save up to 2 work hours a day (240 hours per year) using automation, and 78% of management and executives can free up to 3 work hours a day (360 hours per year). When you attribute those hours to an hourly rate, the cost savings really do stack up. When you consider all of the manual labour automation reduces, and the human errors it prevents, you can see that there is a long-term ROI when investing in automation software.
Robots Taking Jobs
Many people feel worried about business automation implementation, especially when they’ve been in a job for decades and have never had any problems with the status quo. Workers might feel they’ll lose their positions and managers might not want to upset the workforce. But this is actually far from the truth. One survey showed that 89% of employees are more satisfied with their jobs and 84% happier with the company as a result of using automation at work. This is because automation can take over soul-destroying repetitive tasks and employees can use their time more productively, doing the tasks they enjoy, and that require human thought and creativity. Automation unburdens staff, especially those who feel overworked, and boosts their feeling of worth and contribution within the business.
Cyber Hacking and Threats
Automating processes often involves handling sensitive customer data. Maintaining data privacy and ensuring security is a significant challenge that should not be overlooked. Compliance with regulatory requirements and protection against potential cyber threats are vital aspects that businesses must take seriously while automating services.
But when you select high-quality automation tools, these threats are mitigated through smart cybersecurity technology. Furthermore, leaving a business with no automation can leave it exposed to manual errors or manual thefts, which is a risk that is reduced through automation.
Losing That Personal Touch
The service industry, made up of banks, hotels, retail, engineering and much more, can often pride itself on having a personal relationship with customers. The hospitality sector is a prime example of this when customers want human interactions and face-to-face attention. It is feared that too much automation in certain sectors can dehumanise the experience and make it less satisfying for the customer. This is why each business must assess its balance of needs based on what its customers will appreciate. For example, a hotel might automate the check-in process so that customers don’t have to wait for lengthy times during busy hours, which frees up check-in staff to assist with bags and perform other customer-enhancing tasks. By understanding your customers, you can give them the type of experience they’d appreciate.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Automation systems require regular maintenance, updates, and upgrades to remain effective and efficient. This is especially important in mitigating certain risks and keeping the technology healthy and effective. When partnering with the right service provider, your automation can be upgraded and kept in good health without you having to oversee this.
To summarise, while automation holds immense importance within the service industry, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and each business will need to balance the pros and cons of implementation. Strategic planning, robust change management, and a commitment to continuous improvement are key elements in overcoming these obstacles and getting the best ROI out of automation.
Talk to us today about how we can help with your business process automation services.