Last week we kicked off our customer engagement center capabilities series and today we are diving into one of the core capabilities of our CEC: Self-Service. Customer service is what sets good companies apart from great companies. It takes 12 positive customer service experiences just to make up for one negative one, so it’s safe to say that customer service can make or break a consumer’s impression of a company. And as technology advances, consumers expect now more than ever to be able to interact with companies how they want and when they want. From social media to text messaging to digital assistants like Alexa, consumers want easy access to companies in ways that are convenient to them. In fact, 65% of consumers said that they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they are able to resolve a problem without talking to a customer service agent. Welcome, self-service.
Self-service allows the ‘let me do it’ consumer access to what they want on their terms and in ways that they like. Want to reschedule a doctor’s appointment? Just text them. Not sure what type of oil your car needs? Just tweet at the manufacturer for instant response. Sick of waiting on hold for your cable company? Live chat them and ask them to call you. The variety of self-service choices go beyond the typical phone call and give consumers convenient options that fit into their on-the-go lifestyle.
Consumers are not only looking for information and talking to companies through these multiple channels, but they are also moving across devices. Google found that 90% of multiple device owners switch between screens to complete tasks, using an average of three different combinations every day. To truly deliver world-class customer service, companies need to make sure that their channels communicate with each other and ensure that consumers know that no matter what channel or device they are speaking to a company on, the conversation is being continued and picking up exactly where it left off. For example, if I text to reschedule a doctor’s appointment and then request via text that someone calls me, my expectation is that they already know who I am, what I want, and are aware of my past communications. If they call me and I have to repeat my name, the date of my doctor’s appointment, and what I need then my experience shifts from easy and convenient to frustrating.
The consumer mindset has shifted, and in order to keep up companies need to be at their customer’s fingertips when they want – and self-service allows just that.