Scenario

Council Email Triage is a manual and time intensive task. The catch-all inbox that receives inbound communication is there to handle Development Applications, Pet Registrations, General Enquiries and of course, it also has to handle a fair amount of spam. This has to be manually sorted through, so that it can be allocated to the right department or person for proper processing.

This of course introduces delays in responding to queries from the public, and occasional manual errors where mail gets misdirected, slowing the process further. It’s also not a task to relish – sorting through hundreds of emails is a time consuming activity that isn’t particularly interesting. We were tasked with demonstrating that this process could be streamlined using automation and analytics capabilities.

Solution

We approached the Council Email Triage challenge using two technical tools from our Automation Initiation toolkit.

The first was to leverage UiPath’s ability to interface with the email client and a machine learning model. This way we could read and redirect emails as they arrived. This way the process could operate in near real time, ensuring the fastest possible response time.

The second was to build a machine learning model that could understand the emails it was being fed, and determine what type of communication it was. By feeding a body of mails to train it, it was possible to classify mails with confidence into an appropriate category.

The video below shows the robot in action, processing a batch of emails.

Outcome

The created robot could successfully sort through a large volume of emails in a very short space of time, categorising them and moving them to an appropriate folder for further processing. This would be able to free up many hours of employee time each week to focus on providing customer service.

Of course, this is just a tentative first step. Some of the options to extend this solution include:

  • Auto responding to simple queries
  • Processing messages straight into a CRM or Document management system
  • Directing valid invoices into the Accounting System or ERP

The ability to automate within customer service is significant; and this allows for the service agent to spend more time with customers and less on administration, giving a better outcome for everyone involved.

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