Self-service, as the name suggests, is the practice of serving oneself. It allows the end users to use technology to access information and perform routine tasks without requiring the assistance of a live customer service representative.
With the exploding number of mobile and web users around the world, consumers have more instant access to information than ever before. That is the reason why many experts have reported self-service tools as the priority for companies in 2018.
Ask this question to yourself: on having a query regarding a product, what would you prefer?
- Login the company app/website for any video tutorial, or
- Get an answer through the live chat option, or
- Call, text or send an e-mail to a customer representative and wait for them to respond
Most of us will prefer self-service option 1or 2 and will consider option 3 as the last resort as it involves a lot of time and effort, comparatively.
These stats provided by Research Company Gartner further proves why self-service will be even more important in the coming years-
- Improving the self-service experience of consumers is among the top 3 priorities for companies that aim to improve customer experience and service
- 90% of the customers now prefer a brand that can offer self-service customer support portal.
- By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.
- By 2020, self-service tools will be tailored to help customers solve problems by themselves. Solutions such as live chat, social media support, and online communities will provide a more consistent and personalized customer experience.
- 60% of consumers view a brand with a mobile-responsive self-service option more favorably than one that doesn’t.
A self-service tool is the best way to boost your relationship with the customers as it provides a fast and immediate answer to customer issues. Other benefits that a self-service portal has in store for a business owner-
- Fewer resources to manage: A business does not require staff to manage tasks like answering calls and keying in data as self-service scheduling do the work of finding an available appointment time, selecting a provider and keying in their own contact information.
- Building up the brand equity and goodwill: Customers love a company that values their time and makes tedious tasks easier. Providing a smoother purchase and post-purchase experience leaves an impression for a lifetime on the customer, constructing a firm goodwill of your business.
- Educating your customers: Assisting a customer is not limited to solving their problems then and there, but providing them with knowledge and tools that they will require to solve their problems themselves in future. An educated customer acts as a promoting asset for the company.
- Reducing cost: As mentioned earlier, self-service portals lead to a reduction in staff which reduces the cost. A chat with a live agent can cost is $6-12 per interaction while an automated interaction through the self-service portal can cost as little as 25cents.
- Enhancing web traffic: A well-functioning knowledge base that has been fully optimized for search can be an extremely useful way to bring in more traffic and mark your brand as an authoritative expert in its own field. It again increases the visibility and credibility of your brand and can boost customer outreach.
Some Invincible benefits for your customers:
- 24 * 7 availability: With technology, services are eternally available. Your customers get the luxury to choose an appointment, get guidance and fulfill transactions as per their convenience.
- Mobile friendly: The best self-service portals are mobile friendly and include live chat options and have search functionality. The mobile feature has provided mobility to the customers too. Customers can continue with their transactions while standing in a grocery line, traveling in trains, in short anytime! Anywhere!
- Personalization: Your customer will see that you are not treating them as one of the crowd, but as a valued customer whose preferences are unique. Such experiences matter a lot in developing the loyalty of a customer towards your brand and evolve an emotional bonding.
Customers not only want access to immediate assistance, they also want instant access to tools that can help them perform research and fix problems themselves. Therefore, if you have not yet implemented self-service tools on your company website or not using the service of any platform that provides such services, then it’s time to get started.