Shared service center operations automated with a virtual assistant

One of the largest government agencies in the Netherlands, Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen (DJI), was interested in exploring technologies to automate their Shared Service Center. Together with Ciphix, the organisation facilitated an Innovation Pilot and multiple Proof of Concept projects to better understand how Conversational Automation and RPA technology could improve and accelerate their ways of working.

8 - 12 weeks project time

Use case: Proof of Concept

Many companies are interested in streamlining their operations but often don’t know where to begin. Ciphix can support in analysing and identifying processes most suited for automation within the organisation, this is what we call an Innovation Pilot. Then, a Proof of Concept project and an Advice Report can provide the necessary information to build a strong business case for stakeholders to consider the impact that automation can have on the organisation as a whole.

Together with Ciphix, the company brainstorms which technologies they would like to pilot and which segments of the business would be most suitable. Once the company identifies a segment of the business they would like to optimise, an Innovation Pilot can be run. The Innovation Pilot typically involves brainstorming, researching, designing, testing and evaluating.

The Proof of Concept is an opportunity to actually model an implementation and test the technologies within the workforce. Through this process, the technologies are validated: we collect data on how the functionality works, potential time to be saved and measure the satisfaction of users.

The Advice Report provides clear guidance on how innovative technologies can support the organisation and helps build a strong business case for stakeholders.

“Ciphix has helped us enormously in taking the organisation on board when applying chat functionality. We are now ready for a definitive integration of chat in our IT landscape. “

Manual service center operations

Our client, Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen (DJI), wanted to explore ways to improve the ways of working within their Shared Service Center (SSC). The center was inundated with questions from internal and external parties, requests for protocol instructions and support with form submissions. As a large and relatively complex organisation, DJI wanted to ensure that transfer of knowledge was happening as efficiently and consistently as possible. Additionally, the existing process involved extensive manual, time-consuming labour for the SSC employees. By implementing conversational automation, DJI would be able to increase employee satisfaction and maintain costs.

The organisation was interested in exploring new technologies like Conversational Automation and RPA but was not yet ready to implement. First, they wanted to test, learn and gather data to build a business case for automation.

Through the Innovation Pilot, we uncovered together with their customer care team three key processes within their SSC which needed to be addressed: Customer Contact, HR and Purchasing. With this in mind, we suggested piloting a virtual assistant. The virtual assistant could respond to queries and provide self-service opportunities within the SSC’s portal.

Further, during the Proof of Concept project, we expanded the self-service functionality by testing Search Engine and LiveChat functionalities within this Virtual Assistant. Finally, to support our client in building a business case for automation, we provided a comprehensive Advice Report highlighting how conversational automation could support their two main objectives: Operational Excellence and Customer Intimacy. Our projections illustrated that automated operations could even save the organisation over 1 million euros per year and countless hours.

This process gave our client the opportunity to assess the appetite for automation within their organisation and determine which technologies would support their human workforce best. Taking the first step in their Digital Workforce Journey.


Building a Digital Workforce

Automating shared service center operations allows internal knowledge to be shared more efficiently across the organisation. Virtual assistants, search engines and live-chat functionality ensure seamless transfer of information and help employees follow the right protocols.

The three technologies we tested together with the DJI’s customer care team were:

  1. Virtual Assistant – which could answer questions for customers, HR and purchasing queries and speed up the Purchasing form process by pre-populating data
  2. Search Engine – capable of searching a Q&A database of 770 items within 0.005 seconds and returning the correct knowledge item in it’s top 5.
  3. LiveChat – allowed users to connect to a human operator within the chat conversation upon request

Together, these solutions showed the possibilities to optimize the shared service center operations and enable the human employees to focus on more meaningful work. They would no longer need to answer repetitive questions or search the database themselves. They can rely on the Virtual Assistant and Search Engine to address frequently asked questions and the LiveChat option to connect them with those in need of more extensive support.

Conversational automation allows you to assist your customers and employees in a modern and efficient way. With 24/7 support via the virtual assistants powered by AI technology, companies are able to answer questions quickly and streamline operations.With the Natural Language Understanding of virtual assistants, organizations can confidently offload a wide range of previously time-consuming interactions to their virtual assistant.

Artificial Intelligence (or AI) is a type of computer science which enables smart machines to handle tasks that usually require human intelligence, such as understanding and acting upon natural language. Despite its artificial nature, the mission behind AI is to further human advancements.

Interested in automation but not sure where to start? Perhaps starting with an Innovation Pilot or Proof of Concept project could be the precursor to your Digital Workforce Journey  – learn more about how we can support you on the road to automation success by contacting us today!

Advantages of Conversational Automation

24/7 support - streamline operations
Ease of use - don't search, just ask
Personalized support with user understanding
Engage with customers in real time

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