When I think about self-service I picture an angry mob, walking around with placards yelling:
“What do we want?! More self-service! When do we want it?! NOW!”
Okey, okey, I might be over exaggerating now, but we see a rapidly increasing demand for self-service, and it’s growing all the time. And users have gone from wanting self-service to demanding it. Regardless of if you are catering to an end-user, a Reseller or a Service Provider, self-service is a must.
According to a survey made by American Express, only 16% of customers wanted to speak with a customer service rep when it comes to resolving simple issues. For complex issues, the number was a bit higher, 48%. But still, far from everyone wants to pick up their phone and talk to someone when facing a problem.
And statistics just like that are popping up all over the internet. According to the Harvard Business Standard Review, a staggering 81% of customers attempt to solve matters by themselves before contacting a customer service rep. And Microsoft recently came out with a survey that showed that globally, 90% customers expect brands to have a self-service portal. And a survey from Aspect Software showed that a third of the people who were asked would rather clean a toilet, than contacting customer service!
The numbers speak for themselves…
The user has changed
So why is it that people prefer to use self-service today? Well, this can surely be traced back to many reasons. One of the reasons could be bad customer experience in the past. I mean, who doesn’t hate sitting in a phone-queue for 45 minutes, listening to generic jazz, to then be poorly treated by a stressed support agent who claims that the fault is “by design”. That would leave anyone running for the hills.
But I think it has more to do with how we are today. Generally, users today are more tech-savvy, and they are more invested in their own customer experience. At the same time, we are less patient. We want things now!
Users expect more, and better
Users look to customer service as a way of valuing a brand. Bad customer service equals low loyalty. And trust me, self-service is a big part of customer service. When asking users, many say they wanted more self-service options. But more importantly, they want it better. They want it to be fast and obvious.
Some might say “So, isn’t it a bit unfair to say that giving better service is to put it back in the hands of the users?”.
To answer that correctly, you need to look at the needs of the users. The demand is not for more human help, it’s for a quicker way to solve issues and to be able to solve them anytime you need it. By creating a kick-ass self-service portal, you empower your customers. And by letting users solve simpler issues or redundant tasks by themselves, you also free up important time for your support agents, creating shorter queues and giving them more time to handle bigger and more complex issues. Also, companies with great self-service options usually have a more content support staff. So, it’s a win-win situation.
As I stated before, the numbers speak for themselves. So don’t let self-service be something you overlook.
At Dstny, we put a lot of effort into our self-service offering, regardless of if this applies to a Service Provider, a Partner or an end-user. We are constantly working to improve portals and services, so that we can empower our customers, every step of the way.