Customer engagement can be delicate at the best of times, so why risk throwing a whole bunch of new Self-Service tools into the mix? The answer is easy because everyone wins when you get it right.
Over the years, companies and their customers have been burned by self service. When it goes bad, it can backfire spectacularly:
- At some time or other, most of us have lost hours of our lives trapped in joyless IVR systems, vowing to never dial those numbers again.
- Maybe we tried out that cartoon virtual assistant that winked at us seductively from a website — only to find they gave us generic answers to every question?
- And perhaps we were once asked by a robot to state clearly what we wanted, before being hopelessly misunderstood, repeatedly?
Sadly, those badlands still exist today if you're unfortunate enough to stumble onto them.
But the good news is that sub-standard Self-Service is on the way out. Next-gen Self-Service is here.
Arriving in the nick of time
A wealth of powerful, intelligent and intuitive Self-Service new tools have become available to contact centres ... and not a moment too soon.
Today, many contact centres are buckling under the ever-increasing weight of customer expectation. Drop the ball and customers will sound off loudly on social media.
Hiring, training and retaining more agents is expensive at a time when budgets are under pressure. And many customer enquiries, security checks and agent tasks are so mind-numbingly dull that everyone feels belittled by the process.
So, if agents end up feeling like robots, then why not let the robots take over - at least for the simplest of tasks? That way, many human employees could switch over to selling, sorting tricky enquiries and really applying the polish to the customer experience.
Well, that's exactly what's happening at many smart organisations today.
Numbers speak for themselves
Eckoh has just published its essential guide to Self-Service, which proves how Self-Service tools are now doing the serious heavy lifting in a scalable way for contact centres at a handful of forward-thinking organisations.
The guide cites some stand-out examples:
- A travel operator has used Self-Service to handle 25 million calls and 59 million minutes of traffic
- The same company managed two million text enquiries with a two-way SMS service
- A telecoms firm reduce agent time by one minute per call, thanks to automated security checks
- A shopping channel found a way for 70% of callers to make a secure purchase using its IVR alone
- Another company used self service to take 86,000 payments with a value of over £7 million.
A thumbs-up from customers
In the bad old days, customers would often see Self-Service as a way of companies cutting back on quality at their expense. But they embrace next-gen Self-Service because it genuinely saves them valuable time, puts them in control and fits with their lifestyles by being available 24/7.
When companies get Self-Service right, it's like pushing at an open door.
A Nuance survey found that 67% of people would rather use Self-Service than speak to someone. And for some, the feeling runs ultra-deep: Researchers working for Aspect found that nearly a third of consumers would rather clean a toilet than talk to customer service.
So why not give them an instant, stress-free alternative? The answers are within easy reach.
Five rules for getting it right
Successful Self-Service can lead to increased sales, greater customer satisfaction and less frustration, not to mention significant savings for organisations.
Download your free copy of the essential guide to Self-Service from Eckoh, which profiles top tools available today. You'll also discover five principles to follow and tap into expert advice on deploying quickly, easily and affordably via the cloud.You won't need to keep customers waiting.
Get in touch if you'd like to know more about Self-Service Customer Engagement.
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