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What is Better Than Self-Service?

So tell me, what is better than self-service? Absolutely nothing if it’s done right. It’s convenient, self-fulfilling, immediate, and not to mention, cost effective! Customers are looking for fast, real-time, easy and robust options to handle their own transactions when it works for them. As we continue to evolve into a world of mobile devices, the opportunity to allow our customers to take control of the service experience grows every day.

That doesn’t mean all we need to do is provide a platform for them to make payments, or update addresses and financial information. Our customers are looking for so much more. They want a personalized platform that’s intuitive and allows them the ability to get to their task quickly and painlessly. Gone are the days of IVR containment with no help in sight. Many IVRs and mobile platforms provide endless options that are often times not even relevant to the customer. So how do we help them get the service they need, without the help or assistance of an agent?

Make it Simple

Make it so easy that it becomes hard not to use. If you allow your customers to find the information they need, process the simple transactions and do so in a very easy way, your adoption rate will increase immediately. There is nothing worse than a frustrating IVR or web menu. Your customers will remember their experience and if it’s a frustrating one they will look for the “press 0” option before they even give your self-service platform a chance.

Make it Personalized

Use your data to provide an experience equal to that of speaking with your agents. We often have information at our fingertips to make our customers feel like more than just a number. Welcome them by name when they enter your IVR, customer portal or mobile app. Be proactive by pushing options that are relevant to the customer before they even need to ask for it…”your payment is due today, would you like to make that payment now?”, “it looks like we shipped your package yesterday, would you like the tracking number?”. Anticipating their needs can help your customer feel valued.

Make it Omni-channel

If we want our customers to be able to help themselves we need to allow them to do so not only when they want, but also how they want to do it. All of our service platforms should provide a consistent set of self-service options so the customer can easily navigate their accounts and transactions without having to learn how to do it all over again.

Finally, if we want them to help themselves, we should teach them how. Short FAQ’s and videos showing your customers how simple it is to find their answers on their own is a necessity. The more fluent they are with the navigation of our platforms and our self-service options, the more likely they are to not only handle their basic transactions, but they also become more likely to search for their own answers during future interactions with your organization.

Simple, personalized, Omni-channel self-service options/platforms…a formula designed to improve customer satisfaction and reduce operating expenses at the same time. Something just feels good about handling your own transaction, finding your own answer and doing so whenever you want and however you want. If we build it, they will use it…

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