Improving adoption for Customer Self-Service for greater Return on Investment (ROI).
Many organisations have implemented customer self-service solutions, but few have achieved benefits realisation. This article provides some perspective on why this is the case, and what can be done to improve that elusive ROI.
Customer Experience: Recent studies show over 80% of customers prefer to use a company’s website for support and over 56% prefer to use self-service over human interaction (Your Customers Don’t Want To Call You For Support, Forrester 2015); yet over 55% of customers found self-service portals difficult to use. Given the acceptance of web-based solutions for customer interactions, it is surprising we have yet to grasp the importance of Customer Experience (CX). Today’s customers value an interactive and engaging experience when they contact a service provider. This experience needs to be on any platform, anywhere, anytime, easy to use and culturally aware. If a customer has to wrestle with the website or self-service portal, they will quickly revert to learned behaviour and pick up the phone. Organisations that force customers to use a badly designed portal will create frustration for the customer and a reduced Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Actionable Service Requests: One of the great benefits of a digital interaction is the ability to process information in an efficient and effective way. Many of our processes and workflows can be fully or partially automated, with intelligent routing, constant communications and seamlessly integrated. The customer is kept constantly informed by a channel of their choice. This reduces the repeat calls to the contact centre, improves the customer experience and helps manage customer expectations. Whilst many applications can manage platform specific automation, a good self-service platform should be able to manage multi-platform workflows and play a role of the Automated Service Integrator for digital workflows.
Omnichannel: Omnichannel Self-Service not only connects the customer to the services relevant to their profile, it also enables interactions across multiple channels and supports data sharing across these channels. In a 2013 survey by Accenture (Accenture 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey), 89% of customers reported being frustrated by having to repeat their issues to multiple representatives using varying channels. If you have to enter your account information via IVR, then this information should be shared when you finally get to talk to someone. Alternatively, sending a link via SMS, could be a useful as a channel for collecting customer feedback. Customer Journey mapping is a valuable technique used to map the interactions a customer has for a given process or workflow and identifies ways customer experience can be improved.
Leveraging existing investments: Many organisations have implemented complex billing systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and eCommerce applications. These should not be replicated by a customer self-service platform; they should be leveraged where appropriate, ensuring there is a single source of truth for key customer and business data. A good customer self-service platform can extend the life of legacy assets and provide an intuitive and enriching interface for customer information.
User Acceptance: If the customer self-service platform does not have good user experience (UX), then user acceptance will be low externally and internally. User experience includes the interactions of the customers as well as the support staff (users), and focuses on the usability of the platform and includes forms, reports and navigation.
At the 2011 Gartner Customer 360 Summit and again in a recent article in February 2018, Gartner suggested that by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their enterprise relationship without interacting with a human. If this is the case, then the strategies we adopt to support customer self-service and our digital interactions will be crucial if we are to turn this prediction into a reality.
DB Results is a leader in providing Business Solutions on Digital Platforms and has created a customer self-service portal on a cloud based Digital Platform. If you are interested in understanding more about improving your adoption of customer self-service, the ROI of self-service or our award winning customer self-service Digital Platform based on OutSystems Low Code, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.