BPA Featured Article

Is Self-Service Helping or Harming Your Operations?

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk, Content Management
January 31, 2017

If you work in the call center space – and particularly are in charge of management and success of customer operations then you already understand the dire need to have tools that help increase efficiency while improving satisfaction rates.

One tool that’s been praised for its ability to help make the call center experience more pleasing for customers and agents is self-service. Using speech recognition, web tools and other means –  self-service tools are put in place to do just as the name says – help customers find answers to their questions and needs on their own  - without the need for a live agent.

Sure this sounds like the perfect scenario – but what happens when a tool doesn’t have the answer, when a customer finds themselves repeating their questions over and over? Is there potential to do further harm by not having live agents ready and available for customers?

A recent Call Centre Helper article took a closer look at the necessary pieces of a self-service offering needed to ensure its helping and not harming operations.

When customers become frustrated and can’t find answers using the method they prefer and that was supposed to be easy to use – they will pick up the phone and call, and they will likely already be agitated setting the stage for a difficult call for agents.

You want to pick self-service options that actually work and that provide customers with an easy path to the answers they seek, if not then you may as well skip the money wasted and aggravation added for callers.

A big mistake, according to the article, is having too much information available and inadvertently causing frustration and confusion. There is some data that can be left out of the self service option to keep it simple for callers and just provide answers to their questions.

Most important of all, you’ll want to track the success rates of your self-service options. Are callers choosing the option more? Are the satisfied with how its working? Using call monitoring and analytics can provide valuable feedback about what’s working and what isn’t and where improvements can be made.

Keeping things simple, easy to use and to the point is really the key to getting self-service right. If your wish is to curb the number of callers needing live agents and you want to keep customers happy at the same time – you’ll need to get this right, or forget about doing self-service altogether. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle