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What You Don't Know About Self-Service Could Hurt You
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What You Don't Know About Self-Service Could Hurt You

July 18, 2014

  By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Here are some interesting findings from the folks over at Bain & Company, whose survey on the customer service delivery gap have offered a better view on what companies think they know versus the truth.

This survey revealed that 80 percent of companies think they are doing a pretty bang-up job serving their customers, whereas only eight percent of customers actually agree with that sentiment. Those numbers are pretty different from each other, so companies need to get “in the know” to better match their customers’ expectations.

According to Business2Community, one aspect of customer service that can help is self-service. What is customer self-service? This is a feature, or features, that allow customers to manage services themselves, without involving the service provider. This is done by way of the Web in the form of an FAQ page, apps, self-checkout, and yes, even IVR.

In terms of IVR, the customer can interact with an automated telephony system to perform specific tasks. IVR can transfer customer information to agents – from your website, voice portal, an online community or other self-service activity points. IVR can also act as a self-service and inbound routing function in tandem to pre-determine customer information needs and route a contact to the most qualified agent.

Why is this relevant?

The Real Self-Service Economy surveyed approximately 3,000 consumers, and 40 percent of the respondents said they prefer self-service to human contact for their future contact with companies; a whopping 70 percent expect a company website to include a self-service application. IVR is simply a tool in the self-service tool box that can help companies reach the expectations of their customers.

Studies tell us that more and more customers prefer self-service over contacting a support agent. Apart from benefiting customers, self service IVR benefits a business by avoiding the cost of agents spending minutes serving customers in person during the day, or manning the phones 24 hours a day to serve only a few calls overnight and on weekends.

Customers can use self-service menus to perform a variety of tasks. A properly scripted IVR menu leads customers to the answer they need, provides them with the opportunity to navigate to a live agent, and decreases the overall call volume that reaches your call center.

How is your business offering self-service options, and are these services matching the expectations of your customers?

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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