5 Steps Toward a Successful Self-Service Strategy

Customers demand simplicity

Consumers are happy to embrace innovation, but their priorities are dependability, consistency and simplicity. Research shows that companies that eliminate inefficiencies along the customer journey increase revenues by as much as 10–15%, while simultaneously lowering the cost to serve by up to 20%. Meanwhile, moving from providing a high effort customer experience to a low effort one cuts costs by 37%, while high-effort experiences drive disloyalty for 96% of customers. Any business seeking to create a successful self-service strategy should ensure the technology is straightforward and intuitive. Above all, it must be obvious to the customer that it’s designed to make their life easier.

Determine when customers want self-service

Context is key. While self-service may be ideal for simple service interactions — password changes, online returns, rental car reservations — customers often fail to appreciate the DIY approach in other fields, such as supermarkets and healthcare. For some, even pumping their own gas is too much effort. Figuring out when self-service is appropriate and how it should be best executed is more important than quickly implementing a self-service option in order to reduce staff workload. Here are the five steps enterprises need to follow in order to create a successful self-service strategy.

Step 1: Set clear goals

When it comes to creating an effective AI-based self-service system, determine which customer experiences or use cases would benefit most from self-service, while keeping in mind organizational resources. A self-service strategy should consider convenience and speed, since today’s customers require real-time responses, personalization which builds trust and loyalty, efficiency in order to reduce the administrative burden on the company, and automation that delivers effortless interactions.

Step 2: Define and enhance customer journeys

The quality of the customer journey defines their relationship with the organization. Understanding current customer-facing processes helps enterprises highlight customer needs and pain points, allowing it to remove any obstacles and make its self-service strategy efficient and intuitive.

Step 3: Choose the right engagement channels

Today’s contact centers are made up of complex combinations of humans and virtual assistants — using both natural and artificial intelligence, operating over multiple channels and using a wide range of tools to solve customers’ issues. When designing a self-service strategy, it’s vital to ensure that each channel is matched with the right approach or technology. On the most basic level, human agents may need to handle more complex interactions, while AI-based self-service platforms can focus on the most common scenarios and issues.

Step 4: Place self-service at the core of a Customer Engagement Hub

Any winning self-service strategy must be customer-centric. Once the customer journey is understood and the appropriate channels chosen, organizations must push their technological boundaries to develop solutions that will truly benefit their customers. An effective Customer Engagement Hub will likely include enterprise architecture and technology from multiple vendors.

Step 5: Evaluate self-service engagement

Once implemented, closed loop feedback using data-driven analytics should be incorporated into evaluating and refining the self-service strategy. Clear metrics and KPIs should be used to determine whether the organization is achieving defined goals and whether the strategy is meeting the needs of the customers.

Summary

Self-service shouldn’t be primarily about cost savings, but about delivering the best possible customer experience — and that means seeing things from their perspective. To build a successful self-service strategy, enterprises should set clear goals for themselves, understand and enhance customers’ journeys, choose the proper engagement channels, make self-service a central part of its infrastructure, and use the right metrics to evaluate success. Above all, the aim has to be ensuring that self-service is entirely effortless for the customer.

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TechSee

TechSee

TechSee revolutionizes the customer support domain by providing the first cognitive visual support solution powered by augmented reality and AI. www.techsee.me