You’ve likely heard of, if not tried Siri, Cortana, the Lowes robot (OSHbots) or Amazon’s Echo. These virtual assistants are only becoming more popular and more relied on. Whether it is reporting the traffic or identifying the proper stain for new cabinets, the basic purpose behind each is to help consumers to help themselves. Attempting alternate methods of customer service before contacting a live agent is nothing new. We “Google it,” look up a tutorial on YouTube or crowd source our query through Twitter or Quora. We believe that we can do simple tasks faster and possibly better ourselves than with the assistance of a customer service representative.
Aberdeen’s February 2014 report on self-service, Optimizing the Self-Service Experience: Help Customer Help Themselves, demonstrates that consumers both want to use self-service to solve simple issues and are happy with the results when they do. Companies on board with self-service stand to benefit, they enjoy 85% year-over-year increase in customer retention rates compared to companies without self-service. This means higher customer loyalty with less operating costs. Self-service implementation even has a positive effect on contact center KPIs. New research from help desk reviews and comparisons website Software Advice shows that first-level resolution, call abandonment rates, and speed to answer had the most considerable improvements .
Demand hasn’t exactly kept up with implementation though. According to Aberdeen less than half of companies currently have a self-service portal. However they do recognize the need for self-service with over 75% planning to adopt in the future.
Advances in self-service technology have helped match consumer preferences to reality. A few of Aspect’s newest technologies support self-service on social, SMS, and improve the experience on smartphones. For more details take a look at Aspect InQueue Self-Service, and Aspect Text Self-Service.