There are several ways in which companies choose to offer customer service. While many of these options including live chat and mobile support involve companies directly interacting with consumers to solve problems, self service does not involve this type of relationship. For several reasons, many companies are beginning to discover the great value of self service options for consumers.
In the methods besides self service, customer service departments must navigate a variety of obstacles including a large number of questions asked by consumers and the increasing demand to provide faster service in an increasing number of communication channels. These challenges must be juggled with the pressure of tight budgets and difficulty in maintaining a staff of skilled individuals.
For these reasons, self service appeals to many companies because self service websites provide a way for companies to bypass these obstacles while still providing outstanding customer service.
There are several statistics that demonstrate just how many companies are beginning to find self service to be an attractive method of solving consumer problems. The graph below demonstrates just one of the statistics about the growth of self service, which in this case was collected by Nuance Enterprise.
While some companies think that self sevice is attractive because little effort if consumers solve their own problems, consumers are becoming significantly independent and greatly prefer these options. With so many consumers preferring self service options, many experts have begun to view self service as a trend of the future. Considering how many consumers prefer self service options, these types of options have become an essential part of the seamless service experience. Another series of data depicted in the graph below suggests just compelling many consumers have found the options that are offered by self service options.
Even though some companies might want to pursue self service obstacles, there are several obstacles in the way. Investing in self-service support can be a very challenging decision for companies with limited resources to afford such a change. Self service, however, allows companies to provide consumers with a seamless experience that is much faster and results in higher quality service than many other methods.
This article will review some of the benefits that customer service departments can realize through the use of self service sites.
Benefit # 1 - Improved Customer Experiences
To improve a consumer’s experience, a company must first understand what consumers enjoy in a purchasing experience. The graph below illustrates four of the most important things that consumers prefer when interacting with a company.
First, consumers almost always want fast and easily understood answer to problems that are provided on the consumer’s chosen communication channel. By offering an easily accessible choice for self service on a company’s website, consumers are able to instantly solve their own problems without the inconvenience of having to directly contact customer service. Self service options also allow consumers to obtain answers to their question at any time of day, which means that consumers are not required to wait until the company’s support center is open to obtain assistance.
Second, consumers prefer a seamless experience, which is possible with self service because a customer faces less obstacles than if they were required to directly call the company to resolve the issue.
Third, because customers are able to resolve the problem whenever they would like through service, there is virtually no waiting time associated with the self service process.
Fourth, because consumers are not required to navigate the tracks of other types of customer service to resolve their issue, consumers often feel that resolving an issue through self service is much more personal in nature.
It is important to note that there are many other particularities preferred by consumers. This article has reviewed only some of the primary traits.
Benefit #2 - Increased Efficiency for Customer Service Departments
If companies create the proper self service documents, self service websites can substantially reduce the amount of emails and phone calls that the company receives.
It is important to define exactly what types of company operations are included in the concept of self service. Perhaps the most common type of self service option are online support centers, but as the graph below demonstrates there are many other options as well. No matter if a company uses a manual, frequently asked question document, or instructional videos, this documentation only requires the company to create the material once whereas with other types of customer services models a company is required to solve the problem each time that the issues arises.
To determine what documentation method is best for a company, it is a wise idea for a company to begin analyzing data about established patterns.
Benefits # 3 - Self Service Creates Consistency
Customer service departments are tasked with handling a variety of issues from a large number of consumers across a variety of communication channels. Unfortunately, providing responses to consumers that are inconsistent can result in a company facing several different types of adverse consequences including consumers who are not content with the service offered by the company.
Self service systems avoid these obstacles by providing a consistent response by the company to an issue experienced by the consumer.
Benefit # 4 - Increased Revenues
Without a self service ability, consumers who experience with a product either must attempt to directly contact the company and learn the answer to their question or in many cases consumers will simply give up and seek the assistance of a competitor. Companies who decide to offer self service options, however, let consumers obtain the answers for how to use products in a quicker and much easier manner. While some companies might not be certain if self service options will help in such a manner, it is important for companies to know that there is a 31% increase in eCommerce revenue for companies who make it easier for consumers to purchase products.
Benefit #5 - More Insight on What Consumers Want
A large number of companies place analytic elements in self service features that let the company analyze where a consumer is in the purchase process. McKinsey reports that 85 percent of businesses that use analytics in this way experience a significant increase in value.
Details from analytics can prove very beneficial to consumers in two particular ways. First, a company can determine any obstacles that arise during a consumer’s purchase process and take the proper steps to correct these difficulties for consumers in the future. Second, these analytic tools can help companies determine whether there is a potential market for a product.
One of the most important pieces of data that companies need to understand is how consumers respond to technical difficulties. The graph below illustrates the independent nature of many consumers when faced with technical problems. Whether using self service options or obtaining information from a company’s website, many customers are independent when resolving issues.
It is important to remember that not all consumers act in this matter although many do. Companies are still recommended to obtain their own data from consumers before analyzing facts about how people respond when faced with difficulties while using a product or tool manufactured by the company.
As the graph below shows, another important piece of data is what consumers want from interaction with self support methods. Ultimately, customers want a model that will allow them to access the company tools, which will serve as a springboard of ideas and problem resolutions for the consumers.
If a company can continue to grow with its consumers, then there is the potential that this seamless cycle could continue with the company.
Benefit # 6 - Increased Efficiency Among Agents
Research has revealed that 87% of employees find that self service technology is the most efficient way for an employee to provide services. Self-service lets companies avoid having to consistently answer the same types of questions from consumers. As a result, the company’s agents become much more productive. As the graph below shows, in many cases companies who use self service methods create a seamless and systematic pattern that makes customer service agent able to better handle obstacles faced by users.
By letting consumers handle the majority of their problems, companies both provide many customers with their preferred path for resolving issues and free up time within company operations so that energy can be focused on other important issues.
Benefit # 7 - More Personalization
Self services provides companies with the opportunity to provide personalized services that impress consumers. By creating a more unique and distinct experience for consumers, companies can avoid many obstacles that might detract from a seamless environment. Additionally, consumers who use a personalized self service site will often feel like a unique and valued consumer whose unique tastes are recognized.
Better for Consumers, More Time for Employees
Like many other elements that companies use to implement a seamless environment, self service sites appear at first to be focused on only providing a better experience for consumers. Self service sites also provide employees with a greater amount of time to pursue other areas besides answering the same questions multiple times. The graph below reviews some of the primary benefits that are created by self service websites. Some of these services include benefits for companies including growth and less obstacles in business management. Some other advantages greatly benefit consumers including transparency for how companies operate and an increased amount of information for users of the company website.
Self service benefits both consumers and companies. By maximizing the quality of the experience that the company’s consumers and taking steps towards creating a seamless purchasing experience, self service sites let companies grow in terms of sales and develop a larger customer base.