Customer Experience News & Trends

Is self-service really worth it?

If you think you’re going to cut costs and revolutionize the customer experience with more self-service options, you might want to pump the brakes on your expectations.

On average, just 17% of customer calls are handled entirely through self-service when it’s offered, a recent VoltDelta study found. Meanwhile, almost 45% of companies offer full self-service options for customers to use.

There is some disparity in the industries offering self-service. For instance, 83% of financial services offer customers help without human interaction, while just 8% of manufacturers do. And about half of the companies in the insurance, technology-media-telecommunications (TMT), outsourcing and public sectors offer full self-service options.

With so few customers relying on self-service to get the solutions they need, is it worth offering so much of it to customers?

Yes, according to experts.

But you have to do more than just offer self-service. You have to do it right.

4 keys to make it work

If you offer any kind of self-service — online or on the phone — make sure it is:

  • Easy to access. If customers have to jump through hoops just to get to the automated service page or phone service, they’ll go straight to a rep or another company.
  • Updated. Customers will never learn to rely on self-service options if they get different or more recent information from a service or sales rep, or — worse yet — a competitor.
  • Open for personal help. One click or voice prompt should get customers to a person who can help if the self-service system isn’t what they expected.
  • An addition, not a replacement. Very few companies can, or ever have, replaced the human touch with an automated service. Self-service should be treated as an addendum to the everyday great personal service you offer.

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