​Customer self-service – has it gone too far?

25th Jul, 2016
Read time: 2 minutes

Everyone wants loyal customers. They buy more, they pay more for your services, they are your advocates and they have fewer complaints. When you think of loyalty, what emotions immediately come to mind?

71% of contact centres see driving operational efficiency and cost savings as their number one priority for 2016.

You need solutions which help you to meet your productivity and cost savings targets. Often the most popular response is to move customers to self-service. They do the work, they achieve their goals, the organisation is more productive and everything is good – or is it?

Forrester advises that as companies strive to break ahead of the pack and gain a competitive edge through the quality of the CX they provide there will be a battleground shift to new areas like emotional experiences. (Predictions 2015: The Race From Good To Great Customer Experience Heats Up)

The hidden cost
When self–service becomes the only way customers can transact with your organisation, previous opportunities for sales may have slipped through the net and now you are missing revenue targets. Any additional customer needs may then fall into the hands of your competitors.

Refocus on cross-sell and up-sell
There are two sets of tactical tools as you work to reconnect with your customers and re-engage with them in a more personalised experience.

  • The most professional processes and technical delivery
  • A secure and consistent emotional experience

When processes and technologies fail, any investment you make on your emotional connection is likely to be lost. For example, if your loyalty card does not register the points/provide the rewards, its purpose is undermined. We recommend that you first check your processes and technology.

Ask yourself:

  • Where historically did you gain the greatest cross-sell and up-sell opportunities?
  • How have you moved these processes to self-service?
  • Are all those self-service processes still fit-for-purpose?
  • Given that other routine tasks have been eliminated, evaluate where you would have agent capacity to handle revenue generating tasks in person, no matter the channel. Only switch to self-service during peak times
  • On all appropriate responses, give your agents an identity to create personal connections especially on social media
  • Use technology to monitor self-service actions and provide status updates e.g. ‘thank you for your order’, ‘thank you for updating your details’ etc.
  • Harness your data and create a 360° view to intervene at process bottlenecks or critical times in your customer’s journey.

Customers expect your processes to be flawlessly executed, they will remain loyal and repurchase when value is clearly demonstrated. Organisations that provide unforgettable effective experiences are on a journey to secure their success, now and in the future.

Increasing customer expectations and ease of switching providers mean that growing closer to customers is essential to grow loyalty and increase retention. Use these pragmatic steps to ensure that the relationships you foster have a steady foundation of efficient and consistent process outcomes.

Read our infographic to learn more about the changing expectations of customers.

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