AO.com is the largest online white-goods and electricals retailer in the UK. FY21 results showed astonishing financial results, with a revenue of more than £1 Billion. Covid-19 related restrictions accelerated a shift in customer behaviour towards online shopping, and AO experienced an exponential demand in customer orders. As an organisation that prioritises customer experience, it was key that AO were able to sustain this growth whilst maintaining their Customer-first mindset. It was also important to control costs and maintain profitability, which is often a challenge when the demand for customer contact grows, as well as the human costs to service that demand.
This was a perfect scenario for introducing Intelligent Automation and a ‘digital workforce’ to augment the human workforce and enable profitable growth. AO formed a partnership with Robiquity to explore the opportunity for RPA to handle administrative and time-consuming tasks while customer service agents were freed up to do what they do best; support the customer. Robiquity worked closely with AO business analysts and process leads to identify the opportunity for Automation using, UiPath Software, across the business. Robiquity used their ‘Automation Roadmap Assessment’ methodology and ROI calculator, to identify and prioritise a scope of Automate-now processes, aligned to AO’s business drivers. Each process was approved on the basis of hard, measurable benefits that could be realised from the point of Automation deployment. The scope included processes in the Contact Centre, Mobile, Finance and Fraud.
Within the first 6 months, several processes went live successfully on time and to budget, handling many hundreds of sales transactions per day, and realising benefits including a reduction in call handling time, faster order processing, improved credit checks and reduction in fraud. Collectively the benefits delivered significant quantitative value and improvements in customer service and employee satisfaction. The success of the first wave of Automation, together with continued analysis to fill the hopper with new opportunities, has given AO the confidence to continue with their Automation roadmap and deliver additional processes in partnership with Robiquity.