Most Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platforms include two different types of bots, attended or unattended, which serve specific purposes and tasks. It’s important to understand the difference between these bots and how they operate, so that you will better understand how RPA works overall.
What Is an Attended Bot?
An attended bot will “attend to” or assist a human with a task and are activated by the user by the click of a button. Attended bots are meant to work side-by-side with humans to complete tasks faster than they otherwise would have done alone.
For attended bots, front-office tasks are ideal. Attended bots are meant to run in the background of a human worker.
When it comes to processes, there are no limitations to what attended bots can do whether it is for a specific industry, department or individual worker. From performing background checks for an HR department to extracting data from email, a case management system or repository, attended bots come in handy in many ways.
Benefits of Attended Bots
1. Easy to Scale
Once built out, your attended bots are easy to scale. Bots can be copied across the platform so that other human workers can have the same bots to use. This allows scaling to be done quickly, as compared to other means of automation that may require more technical effort such as hard coding.
With users allowing bots to take over manual processes there is less error involved. Spelling or incorrect information will not be a problem since the bot is grabbing data straight from the source instead of a human having to type it in, which allows risk for error.
3. Faster Than Humans
Imagine how you navigate your computer with all your work tasks. When you really think about it, you are doing quite a lot! Between accessing different applications and applying information to them, this can take time, effort and headaches with constantly logging in and out with different usernames and passwords. Attended bots can take this over and do it quickly, as they are built into the machine and keep your login credentials stored.
What Is an Unattended Bot?
Unattended bots work by themselves without any human assistance. Most of the time, unattended bots act as virtual workers dedicated to fulfill high-volume, monotonous tasks to free human workers to focus on value-adding work.
Since attended bots handle front-office tasks, unattended bots handle — you guessed it — back-office tasks. For example, data entry is one of the most tedious back-office tasks out there. For a department that strictly handles data entry, unattended bots can step in to overtake the process and do it four times faster as unattended bots work 24/7. That is the equivalent to four full-time employees!
Another popular use for unattended bots is for IVR and chatbot communication. Within RPA, it is possible to build a complete IVR and chatbot solution where an unattended bot will handle the communications of customers to answer inquiries and perform the work associated with answering the requests without ever requiring a human.
Unattended Bots Benefits
1. They can work 24/7
Unlike humans, unattended bots do not stop when the clock strikes five. Unattended bots work all day, every day without breaks or vacations. Another bonus about unattended bots? They do not need employer benefits, lowering overall costs to bring a higher return on investment.
2. They improve customer satisfaction
Unattended bots work at an accelerated rate without error, so processes are quicker than ever before. For a customer-facing business, faster processes result in quick turnarounds, improving customer satisfaction.
3. They boost employee morale
With unattended bots increasingly taking over tedious tasks, employees can focus on high-value tasks, which improves morale. This also frees employees to focus on advancing their personal skillset and expertise within their field, which will help accelerate the company forward.
Honorable Mention: What Are Hybrid Bots?
Sometimes you will have situations where a specific task might require a hybrid bot, which is the combination of using an attended and unattended bot. This usually happens when a task has simple processes for the unattended bot to take over, but at some point, will require an attended bot. This could be used in a chatbot, for instance, where an unautomated chatbot has a customer inquiry that is complicated and triggers a human agent to take over, who uses an attended bot to pull the necessary information to fulfill the process asked by the customer.
How Do I Know Which Bot to Use for My Tasks?
While we discussed some examples of how attended and unattended bots are used, it is important to understand that bots should be built on a case-by-case basis. Automating a process must be done strategically to maximize the efficiency of your RPA platform. To borrow a phrase: With great automation comes great responsibility. You do not want to be stuck in a bind where you automate a process only to find it is hindering your productivity, or worse, messing up your entire RPA business process infrastructure.
With our expertise in RPA, we can best assess specific bot assignments to your tasks, so you can make the most out of automating your processes and your RPA configuration.
We are currently offering free assessments to determine how RPA can be used to optimize your business processes. If you are interested, contact us.
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