A shift is underway in the contact center industry as customers derive both power and…
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The Rise of Self-Service in Customer Experience
- Danica Abcede
- 7 March 2017
When considering your customer experience strategy, don’t assume human interaction is the most important aspect. From checking in for flights to comparing insurance prices, consumers are going online to handle their own customer support needs more than ever. According to Forrester Research’s North American Consumer Technographics Customer Life Cycle Survey, self-service channel usage increased from 67 percent in 2012 to 76 percent in 2014, while phone usage remained the same at 73 percent.
“When it comes to service and support, customers don’t want conversation,” says Allen Kruse, CH Consulting Group senior partner. “They want answers and convenience, which translates into more – and better – self-service options.” Gartner has predicted that by 2020, customers will manage as much as 85 percent of their business relationships without human interaction.
However, that’s not to say that the human factor should be entirely ignored. “If customers need help after attempting to solve an issue themselves, they expect intuitive options,” Kruse says. That means, things like email, live chat and the phone are still important. “It’s going to fall to companies to figure out how to deliver self-service, or convenience, with a full-service, or quality, feel,” Kruse says. Here are three ways to do just that:
- Make the self-service channel inviting by keeping it simple. The most frequently asked questions or topics should be front and center and easy to follow.
- Along-side self-service options, provide interactive options like live chat or email. “Today customers want to have the opportunity for interaction only IF and WHEN they need it,” Kruse says. “If they can get questions answered without interaction, they will.”
- By posting consistent, fresh content on your website, you establish your company as a trusted resource. In turn, customers will visit your site for answers first and more often. What’s more, when you provide quality self-service options, customers will turn to social media to share their great experiences.
“Today’s customers expect to do business with you the way they want to do business with you,” Christa Heibel, CHCG CEO wrote in a recent blog. Self-service is just one of the spokes in the omni-channel strategy. To find out more about how omni-channel customer support can take your business to the next level, contact us today.