Published: September 23, 2014 | Comments
Self-service has emerged as one of the most dominant channels for customer service.
According to research by Forrester, 72% of customers prefer self-service to service over the phone or email.
But customers are not the only ones who benefit from self-service. Another study by Forrester found that the average cost per contact of web self-service was $0.10 or less, compared with an average of $5.00 per contact for web chat and $6.00 for a call center representative. However, the benefits of self-service do not end with its low cost. Offering self-service is also a great way to reduce churn.
Gartner Analysts are looking to the future: “In a few years, customers will expect an organization to lead them (as required) from self-service on the web by detecting that they need help, then guide them into an assisted chat session and/or co-browsing session (if necessary), then transfer them into a telephone conversation.”
Here are three ways self-service fights customer churn.
Improved Sense of Confidence with Your Product
Customer service representatives may be able to solve your customer’s issues, but the customer still had to seek outside help to resolve the problem. Having to seek outside aid may even reduce your customer’s sense of confidence.
Self-service aims to overcome this problem by putting control back in the hands of the customer. Customers who can help themselves to use your software become more familiar with the software and ultimately develop a deeper relationship with your product. Self-service helps to fight churn by strengthening the relationship between customer and product.
Individualized Approach to Service
Self-service options built into your product allow the customer to access the specific help menu for whatever he was working on. This eliminates the need to wade through long directories to find the necessary information. An excellent way to provide contextual support is with a contextual guidance platform, such as WalkMe. Help prompts in your application can also resolve the customer’s issue without any searching; it can even pre-empt a problem and stop it from happening. This kind of self-service responds to the customer’s unique needs, instead of just providing a general help interface. It demonstrates to customers that they are valued enough to warrant individual attention and shows them that your business cares about them. This is an important factor in fighting churn.
Immediate & Efficient Service
Speed is an important factor in customer service and no channel performs better than self-service. Just a simple click can take you to the information you need right away, without having to sit on hold or wait for an email response. This also saves the customer from lengthy explanations to representatives detailing whatever issues he may be facing. Instead, self-service lets the customer tackle his problems at his own pace. If your self-service system is set up the right way, the customer will be able to get back to work quickly and with minimum hassle. This is the kind of ease of use that makes your business stand out from its competitors and prevents customer churn.
PNC Bank designed its Virtual Wallet mobile money management account for Generation Y consumers who want to manage their spending and saving in real time. Account holders actually get charged for interacting with an employee. Each staff-assisted transaction costs $3. This ensures quick self-service, and lowers Call Center Costs.
Self-service is a great channel both for the customer and for your business. Not only does self-service reduce costs, it also fights churn by strengthening the relationship between customer and product, offering an individualized approach and providing unparalleled efficiency. Effective self-service fights churn because it ultimately makes for a better customer experience.