Sometimes we’re glad for a self-service option. It speeds up various tasks and gives us independence. But other times, the convenience comes at the cost of some extremely important customer interactions. Some companies are in danger of going too far with customer self-service. Dead ends in the process leave customers frustrated because they have to start all over, repeat account information or wait on hold. Following are the top three reasons why self-service may be reaching a breaking point with your customers.
1. Customers are growing weary
Do you ever feel like you are being pushed into self-service when you know that a quick and simple conversation with a real person is all the situation requires? The mundane process of walking through voice or website menu system has become a loathsome chore for many. It’s a cliché. Ironically, we all do it regardless because we are conditioned to believe that getting through to a real person will be even more cumbersome and difficult. Is there any relief in sight?
2. Some issues are too complex
Customers with more complex needs want to interact directly with reps because they feel it’s a more efficient mode of communication for them. Whether it’s more efficient for you is beside the point. Remember, the customer is the one with the task to complete. Don’t impede their progress by making them fill out long forms online with unclear questions that require explanation…with no one there to explain it.
3. Not all channels are suited for self-service…so quit trying
Consumers increasingly wish to communicate with companies using newer technologies and value having access to multiple channels, such as click to call, SMS, web chat or mobile apps. They select these channels because they think it will result in faster, more convenient service. When companies try to inject self-service into these channels, it’s like placing a roadblock in the middle of the highway. The pathway to quick and simple service is now cut off and you’ve sent a clear message that you don’t want to talk to, or help your customers.
Bridging the Gap between Self-Service and Live Service
Even with well-deployed self-service applications boasting high call-completion rates, great customer service consists not only of technology, but of processes and great interactions with people as well. Don’t give the impression that speaking with a real person is a last-resort option. Don’t eliminate one-on-one interactions and squander opportunities to show customers you care. Don’t impede customer progress. Help them get stuff done with your business. Sometimes this means talking. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t let operational efficiency cloud your customer experience judgement.