This article is featured on CX Today.
Consumers are increasingly demanding more autonomy, faster service interactions, and more convenience. As such, self-service is coming increasingly to the fore.
Indeed, 88% of customers now expect every company to have a self-service strategy, and these strategies are improving all the time.
Consider all the recent conversational and generative AI innovations that continue to transform the CX landscape. These enable more intuitive self-service experiences.
Yet, this is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s dig deeper by exploring the top five reasons why every business should invest in self-service.
1. Improved Customer Experiences
Perhaps the most common reason companies in today’s landscape are investing in self-service solutions is that it helps them to deliver the truly convenient experiences their customers want.
Creating a full “omnichannel” contact centre today also means giving customers the option to choose whether they want to interact with an agent or solve issues using AI.
Conversational AI tools in the self-service landscape are becoming increasingly effective at understanding customer needs, completing common tasks, and delivering personalized support. These tools can even work across a range of channels, from voice and SMS to web chat and social media.
Such omnichannel solutions are critical to the modern contact centre. As Jason Roos, CEO of Cirrus, states:
“The telephone has become a secondary contact method to messaging applications like Facebook Messenger, SMS, Twitter DMs and WhatsApp, where consumers can quickly and easily ask a question in real-time.”
“As a result, businesses must pivot to focus on answering this demand from consumers and put messaging first. Voice comes into the equation once the discussion becomes too complex.”
Self-service solutions give customers that freedom to take control over their experience journey, accessing support whenever and wherever they need it, without waiting for a human response.
2. Enhanced Business Insights
As mentioned above, self-service solutions don’t just generate useful information for customers, they can also help to gather valuable data for businesses.
Intelligent voice assistants, chatbots, and other self-service tools can use conversational analysis techniques to collect valuable information through every stage of the customer journey.
Brands can use their analytical tools to pinpoint patterns in the customer journey. They can discover frictions and issues that may be increasing customer effort scores, or call handling times, and use AI tools to generate ideas of how to make the customer experience more efficient.
Self-service solutions built with artificial intelligence and automation can automatically request feedback from customers at the end of a call, or curate information from surveys.
Moreover, some tools can even detect and respond to sentiment in a customer’s voice, providing companies with useful information about which sales and service strategies increase or reduce churn.
3. Better Employee Engagement and Productivity
Discussions covering the benefits of self-service solutions in the contact centre often focus frequently on the impact these tools have on the customer experience. However, increasingly, self-service solutions are leading to improvements in the agent experience too. In today’s evolving contact centre, agents are facing increased pressure to deal with higher call volumes and more complex problems.
Self-service tools can reduce the strain on a contact centre’s workforce, by limiting the number of queries passed to a human agent. A self-service solution such as a chatbot or an intelligent voice assistant can automatically handle common processes that don’t require human input. For instance, customers can use these tools to check bank balances, or order statuses.
It may also help to create a smarter back-office process. As Jon Dawson, CRO of Cirrus, says:
“Everyone talks about savings and benefits inside the contact centre. Think about the benefits for the agent. They can capture information, collect it, understand it, and instantly process back-office admin tasks – that all streamlines the work for the person in the contact centre.”