Self-service and the Customer Experience
Customer satisfaction and good service experience are, currently, the key to the success of any company. Even so, it is not an easy task, because customers are increasingly demanding in relation to the quality of care, the immediacy of responses and the availability of companies.
Introducing the concept of self-service. In addition to achieving faster service and lower agent occupancy, the truth is that customers increasingly prefer self-service solutions, where they can resolve their issues by themselves.
What is Self-Service in the Customer Experience?
According to a study by the American company Vanilla, 79% of consumers want to find functional self-service solutions on the brand’s website. Self-service is when customers, looking for quick answers from the brand, resolve their doubts and find what they need without the need for the intervention of a company worker.
Basic examples of self-service that have existed in the market for some years now are ATMs, where customers can check their movements, withdraw money, or make transfers and payments without having to resort to a bank worker. Another example is gas stations where you can get gas and pay at the gas pump.
What are the advantages of self service in Customer Service?
The main advantage of self-service is related to the customer, since the objective is to ensure that they have a valuable experience and resolve their needs quickly, easily, and autonomously, without waiting for an email response, a phone call or having to travel to a store or place of care. In addition to speed, self-service allows customer service to be 24/7, because you do not need an agent on duty, and customers increasingly want answers outside of business hours and on weekends.
The advantages are not only for the clients, but also for the company itself and the agents they are serving. The decrease in contacts by customers, on the one hand, means that the number of queries they must answer is reduced, whether they are calls, emails, or chat conversations. In this way, conversations are not left behind and there are no endless queues.
In addition to this, there are times when the self-service customer service does not manage to solve 100% of the consumer’s questions, but when the contact reaches the agent, many times it is already filtered by topic or matter, so the agent manages to resolve faster and easier way to solve the problem, once again increasing satisfaction.
How to improve self-service in your company
One way to help customers resolve their doubts and which has already been implemented for some time in several companies is the FAQs area on the website. FAQs are frequent questions and answers that customers usually ask, such as, for example, operating hours, return policies, the purchase process on the web, solutions to product failures… It is important that the company update this page of FAQs, adding current issues that may arise, common among customers.
However, what is really helping in the self-service of companies in recent times is the use of Artificial Intelligence to automate interactions with customers. An example of this automation is chatbots. The chatbots are configured and trained to recognize keywords that the client enters and be able to provide answers and solutions that the client needs, redirecting to the correct page, giving the information they need, or forwarding the query to the appropriate and specific agent. And chatbots are constantly learning, because the more interactions you have through this channel, the more evolved and accurate it will be.
The Natural Language IVR is another resource that works best within Artificial Intelligence in self-service. An automatic telephone line, which instead of creating queues for the agent to answer, will identify the intention through keywords and provide the answers to simple and routine questions from customers, freeing up more complex issues for agents.
The customer service area is changing, and it is important that companies keep up with these changes. Studies by Gartner and Zendesk indicate that 81% of consumers today prefer to try self-service solutions first before using a live channel, and they estimate that by 2022, 85% of interactions will start with self-service.