Companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Apple have set a precedent; they have created a world where exceptional customer service and a world-class customer experience doesn’t go unnoticed. In this incredibly competitive environment, it’s something all companies must take note of if they are to thrive.
Companies across every industry are now putting more emphasis and pumping more money into their customer service teams.
There’s one aspect of customer service, however, that many businesses are overlooking - on demand self-service. This method could completely transform the way your company thinks about customer service, and it’s something many consumers now expect from a business.
In fact, a consumer survey from Nuance Enterprise found that 75 per cent of consumers found self-service to be a convenient way to address their customer service issues, and 67 per cent said they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative.
A further study from Coleman Parkes for Amdocs, states that self-service is only a customer service option if its done right. Some 40 per cent of respondents in the survey said they would only contact a call center after they have looked for answers to their questions via self-service.
It’s clear that customers still hold quality customer service agents in good stead, but at the same time, customers now expect this to be partnered with self-service support.
Self-service can help organizations to significantly reduce the number of calls to their customer service representatives, allowing agents to work on more complex tasks and therefore deliver increased value to the consumer.
So, what is self-service?
Self-service is essentially a type of digital support, which allows customers to use technology and your company’s website or social channel, to access information and learn about solutions without the need of assistance from a live customer service representative.
It offers customers 24/7 immediate access to information that could potentially solve any problems they are facing, without the need to directly talk to an agent. The success, however, is completely dependent on the quality of information provided to the customer.
Self-service can be delivered to the consumer in a variety of different ways, including website blogs, FAQs and artificial intelligence (AI) such as online chatbots or over the phone by interactive voice response technology.
Here are just a few of the numerous benefits that come from self-service support:
Increased efficiency - Self-service is the perfect example of a customer service filter. It means those who are talking to a live agent have probably gone through the basic troubleshooting steps already, and now need help with a more difficult issue. This means agents can work faster and more effectively. Self-service AI, such as chatbots, can even direct customers to the appropriate agent for faster problem-solution alignment.
Freeing up live agents - Self-service can remove a huge weight from customer service representatives. There are plenty of issues that customers can solve themselves through self-service information, and this frees live agents up from smaller, more trivial tasks and allows them to focus on solving more complex high value issues.
Reduced costs - The implementation of a successful self-service program means your business will be able to save costs. One of the biggest costs to any company is the price of customer service. As a result of self-service, your business will be able to leverage technology to realize cost savings.
Don’t get us wrong, self-service doesn’t mean you can completely remove customer support agents from your business. In fact, outsourcing your customer support to a contact center will give your company access to highly trained agents and top class technology such as real-time data. All of this will greatly improve your customer service.
In fact, an outsourced contact center, such as Advantage Communications, can take your self-service program even further, with the implementation of high quality AI technology such as chatbots or live phone chat.
Contact Advantage Communications to learn more about improving your customer service. We’d be interested to learn about your business challenges and to talk you through our next generation call centre solutions.