The Demands and Benefits of Self Service
The internet and smartphones have enabled customers to take control. They now have more power to comparison shop, and to easily pick and choose with which suppliers they want to do business. And when they need information or a fix, they don’t want to wait. So they may ring the call center. But, then again, they may choose to go it alone to find what they need.
That may be by reading through available information on a supplier’s website. But it may also include seeking an answer from a community of others who use the same product or service. Or it may involve locating a do-it-yourself YouTube (News - Alert) video, like the one I recently found in my attempt to figure out how to replace a battery on my fire alarm. (It worked!)
Whatever the case, however, the move to self service is impacting what organizations need to make available in terms of customer resources. That includes the kind of information businesses need to have available on their websites. And it includes how call centers set schedules for their staff members.
As this blog notes, customer self-service resources can take the following forms:
• FAQs, which provide briefs answers to commonly asked questions.
• Interactive Voice Recognition, which can enable callers to perform specific tasks.
• Knowledge bases, which are typically part of a CRM, and provide useful information.
• Self-checkout, through which customers case browse, compare, and purchase items without assistance.
Such resources can allow customers to get the answers they need more quickly and with less friction. But the blog notes that businesses need to be sure to make them easy for customers to locate and use.
This is important both to increase customer satisfaction, and to meet internal goals. That’s because self-help resources also can lower the need for human support, which in turn lowers the contact center’s costs and could serve to increase agent engagement since workers as a result get to spend more time addressing more complex inquiries as opposed to simple, repetitive ones.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz