Automate PDFs with Digital CX Automation
Years ago, when business dealings ran mainly on paper documents, the PDF was a revelation. PDFs enabled businesses to deliver form and content in a well-formatted way so that the creator could be reassured of a pleasing and complete reader experience.
PDF-based formatting was superior to that available in a Word template, as it enabled the company to control every aspect of a document from text to margins and spacing. Elements of forms and applications could be defined as pdf action steps, and the business could avoid the formatting issues that sometimes plague a distributed Microsoft Word document.
In those heady early days, all the user had to do was print the document and take the required steps. For applications and agreements, that might mean “wet” signing a printout of the pdf document and returning it via postal mail. Or, if the company was reasonably relaxed about processes, sign then scan the document, associate it with a file name, and email pdf attachments in return.
These alternatives were giant steps forward because they reduced friction from processes. No more visiting real-world offices or waiting for an envelope in the post. People fairly rejoiced. Even processes requiring multiple PDF files were superior to the paper-based systems they replaced. And a template format often enabled automation of some internal approval or other processing steps.
e-Signature and All That
E-signature helped reduce friction further and was essentially the first step to automate PDFs ith digital CX automation. By eliminating the need for wet signatures on contracts and other text file documents, e-sign removed print and scan steps. The various third-party platforms eliminated emailing by digitizing distribution steps as soon as the customer filled in their electronic signature. E-Signature adoption was gradual – some companies embraced it immediately while others insisted on wet signatures for contracts or contracts over a specific threshold size. But even partial implementation eliminated some friction and reduced customer and company time and effort required for document processing.
Scaling the Process to Automate PDFs with Digital CX Automation
But times have changed, and customer expectations about process are much higher. Today, people find tasks like printing and scanning annoying and slow. They might even abandon something important like a purchase if there were alternatives where the process was more straightforward.
That’s why many companies have aggressively started turning pdf forms and other documents into self-service digital experiences.
- No more printing
- No more dealing with hard-to-fill-in pdf blanks
- No more scanning
- No more emails
Fortunately, technologies are readily available to convert pdf-based applications and other documents. Customers expect savvy companies to offer digital self-service experiences across all processes and use cases. The more companies get on board this trend, the greater the pressure on those still using PDFs.
Of course, many companies have replaced their most common pdf-based processes with forms-based self-service workflows. But many of those same companies struggle to automate other processes because their internal app development resources are limited. In some businesses, automating a single pdf-based process can take months because developers are not available to do the work. Instead, the project languishes in the dev queue, waiting its turn on a long list of priorities. Because PDF-based processes function even if they are suboptimal, their replacement by digital forms often gets bumped down the queue in favor of other initiatives.
So What’s the Solution?
Consider no-code CX automation. With a no-code CX development platform, anyone can design, build, connect and deploy a great digital self-service or agent-assisted experience without taxing a development team. Easy-to-use drag and drop screens turn anyone into a “citizen developer.” Going “no-code” is critical in rapidly automating PDFs with digital CX automation.
With the FICX No-Code CX Automation Platform, citizen developers can build a great deal more than pre-fab forms. Our easy-to-use tool enables:
Custom Forms: Start with pre-built templates and customize them, or begin from scratch and shape your new last-mile experience to the unique needs of your company.
Dynamic Forms: Leverage tools that adjust form fields based on information already provided by the customer or prospect. One can also change post-completion internal routing and approvals based on customer answers, like the user’s location or requested loan amount.
Image Files: Enable customers to upload an image file or video as part of a self-service or customer-assisted workflow.
Pre-Fill Forms: Instead of making a user re-input information like postal address — a process that can be very frustrating, pre-fill enables you to automatically complete information fields after the user inputs a unique identifier like an email address or an account number. Customers love the surprise of a pre-filled form as it means they can complete a task that much more quickly.
Visual IVR: Create an option to bypass confusing, seemingly eternal menus so they can complete simple tasks using visual menus accessed via links sent to the user’s smartphone. “Next generation” visual IVR has proven an effective way to deflect common information requests from connecting with live contact center agents. It’s also been effective in facilitating data entry and account pre-qualification. Many companies use these to eliminate prospects that are too small to serve. For many consumers, audio IVR is nearly always a bad experience. By giving people ways to access alternatives, you can enhance the efficiency of both your sales and customer success team.
Co-Browsing Technology: This tech enables the rep and the prospect to view web or app content together, making it easier to understand benefits and features. This can be a significant boon to prospect and existing customer satisfaction. It can even contribute to higher loyalty and customer lifetime value by encouraging more extensive use of the purchased solution.
Content-Sharing: Content sharing enables the agent to send links to visual tools that help customers get past their objections. Because an estimated seven people are better able to absorb visible versus verbal information, content sharing can be a fantastic addition to a customer experience strategy — one that helps you consistently deliver a great customer experience.
Video Chat: We make it very simple to add real-time face-to-face video chat during seller and customer service agent interactions. This is a powerful aid to improving sales conversions and boosting first-call resolution.
AI-Powered Assistants and Chatbots: You can dramatically increase distribution and adoption of machine learning-powered robotic process automation (RPA,) integrating it into a flow or flows on the web, in apps, at retail, and in call center interactions.
Using FICX Digital CX to Create PDFs Where Necessary
Some companies have systems that require a formatted document for manual data extraction and processing. In those instances, you can use a simple form to collect the data necessary for the PDF and then populate the document automatically. This eliminates customer friction while supporting any existing process steps requiring formatted information.
This approach can be made even better by dynamically filling in some information on a document using data from the company’s CRM, account management, and other systems. This saves the customer the trouble of re-inputting details that the company already has and can help avoid duplicate accounts caused by mistyping. It even mitigates the need to remember to click save as part of a pdf action.
Automating What Happens After the Customer Input
We often think first about the most visible elements of self-service automation, like building forms or collecting e-signatures. But with the FICX no-Code CX Automation Platform, customers can automate all of the internal steps in a process path, eliminating manual tasks like emailing documents for review and approval and often cutting days or even weeks from time to resolution. For example, a customer wishing to receive a new home insurance policy might provide the necessary information in a self-service experience instead of a pdf format. Simple automation rules could automatically trigger the various routing and approval steps. For example, using the customer’s state, the experience could route the application to individuals licensed for that locale. Instead of waiting for emails to be written and sent, the system could automatically manage all of the steps and record every action taken in the company’s SAP or similar system.
At FICX, we work with many clients to not only improve the customer-facing elements of an experience but also to streamline what happens after the experience, automating steps while at the same time ensuring that all of a company’s existing platforms and tools remain at the center of the workflow. In this way, FICX adapts to your existing infrastructure. This is fundamentally different from systems that demand the usage of pre-fab experiences and process flows that fail to consider unique customer characteristics.
Learn More About FICX
FICX is reimagining the way leading brands digitally transform their customer experience. As a pioneer and a leader in no-code CX app development and automation, FICX empowers modern enterprises to rapidly digitize and automate CX journeys and deploy them anywhere they engage customers. Modern enterprises cut costs, convert more sales, and keep their customers happy by removing friction from sales and service interactions. Transform customer relationships with FICX. For more information, visit ficx.com.