Customer self-service can introduce massive efficiencies in your contact centre organisation, reducing agent workloads, and speeding up query resolution. 45% of companies offering self-service have managed to reduce telephonic queries significantly. Automated self-service also costs a lot lesser at around 25 cents per interaction vs $6-12 for a live agent.
Self-service Benefits Both the Customer and the Agent
It isn’t only the contact centre organisation that gains from self-service. It has a positive impact on the customer experience as well by:
- Shrinking resolution timelines for simple queries – Customers can find the information via FAQs or conversational bots. They can take common actions (like changing order details) through a self-service portal without having a full-fledged conversation
- Being more inclusive – Certain personality types may not be as comfortable with a live conversation as others, and would rather solve their queries in s self-sufficient manner. Also, customers without native English proficiency could hesitate before reaching out to a live agent
- Fostering a sense of empowerment – The customer conducts their own research, purchases/subscribes to the product and resolves their own queries with minimal intervention. This creates a sense of empowerment that will have them return to your company, enabling recurring revenues
- Being more convenient – You can embed self-service at strategic points of the CX – on your website, an order-tracking mobile app, an SMS system that is available offline, Google-searchable web pages, etc. This enhances the convenience factor for the customer.
In addition to this, your contact centre agents gain significantly:
- Reduced workloads
- Lower operational costs
- More data gathering opportunities at self-service portals
- Opportunity to specialise as opposed to answering generic queries
- Shorter call queues
- Automated upselling/cross-selling
For this reason, organisations are investing heavily in self-service contact centre technologies.
Top Self-Service Contact Centre Trends
Cisco’s 2020 report found that customers expect AI-based self-service options when interacting with a company. There are several ways to achieve this, from IVR systems that come with speech recognition to solve complex queries, to AI-powered virtual assistants or chatbots.
Right now, 48% of contact centres have invested in AI chatbots for self-service, and 70% of this group have unlocked a sizable reduction in call volumes as a result of this technology.
Apart from sophisticated technologies like AI, it is also worth investing in a properly-optimised FAQ site, detailed documentation, and task automation for basic operations like order cancelling, conversion of payment mode, switch addresses, etc., mapping these to any bottleneck that might exist on your average customer journey.
Pitfalls to Avoid When Implementing Contact Centre Self-Service
Do keep in mind that self-service has its own set of challenges. Automated conversations risk becoming rigid, unable to adapt to dynamic customer scenarios. These should be immediately identified, initiating the intervention of a live agent.
Also, self-service must be regularly updated as your products/services evolve. Outdated self-service will only lead to additional workloads for your contact centre agent.
As customer service becomes increasingly more digitalised, self-service is an essential stepping stone to contact centre optimisation. Keep in mind these above pitfalls to effectively action the most effective self-service technologies, benefitting both customers and your business.