Self-Help and Automation – Risks and Rewards

by Feb 24, 2020

Self-service and support automation are not simply a means to save money – each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce a customer relationship and sustain loyalty.  The burden of delivering a positive experience now lies with the tools and content we offer.

Self-Help and Automation

Web-based activities have become a significant factor in shaping customer experience and influencing the perceptions customers have about companies and their products.  The majority of on-line interactions are unassisted, where customers are encouraged to serve themselves.

As self-service and automated transactions supplement personal interactions, the ability to shape the customer experience depends on the on-line and automation tools and content provided. Poor content or an unnavigable site quickly undermines a business’s ability to deliver a positive experience. 

There is a profound difference between personal interactions and self-service transactions. The factors that influence the customer experience in personal interactions — an agent’s listening skills, empathy, knowledge, etc. — are replaced by an overriding factor: whether the customer can quickly find relevant information. In our effort to encourage customers to serve themselves, we have removed the human factor from the on-line experience. The burden for delivering a positive experience now lies with the tools and content we offer and their relevance in helping customers achieve their objectives.

SEE ALL ARTICLES RELATED TO SELF-HELP AND AUTOMATION

High Stakes

Self-help and automated services provide a means for companies to continue to engage with their customers in a low-cost manner. However, self-service is not simply a means to save money: Each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce the relationship and sustain customer loyalty. Though there’s a significant temptation to undertake web-based services as a low-cost alternative to customer engagement through interactive channels, it must not come at the expense of delivering an experience that strengthens relationships with customers.

Self-service and support automation are not simply a means to save money – each interaction is an opportunity to reinforce the relationship and sustain customer loyalty.

Companies have a lot at stake when they move interactions to the web.  Once on-line, their customers are just one Google search away from a variety of alternative sources of information and resources to help them satisfy their needs. Brand awareness and affinity can be undermined in an instant. Creating a positive customer experience has never been more important.  It’s also never been more challenging.

When customers actively seek assistance, technology vendors are presented with an opportunity to satisfy the customer’s needs.  This in turn creates an opportunity to positively influence the customer’s perception of the technology vendor helping to create satisfied and loyal customers.  The alternative is that when a customer that needs help but does not get it, can be left with an issue that inhibit their ability to use the vendor’s product.  This lack of service can potentially diminish customers’ perception of that vendor.

At Risk

Vendor web sites have become a secondary resource to general web searches when customers need help.  Historically customers have rated the quality and effectiveness of information found on non-vendor web sites very low, but this trend has shifted with more customers indicting that the information they find through general web searches to be relevant and effective in satisfying their needs.

Vendors risk losing the advantage they once had in retaining control of the on-line service experience.

When customers find information on other – non-vendor sites, it diminishes a company’s ability to leverage the service interaction to strengthen its relationship with customers.  Without a concerted effort to expand and improve the quality, relevance and findability of the right services content through the support web site vendors risk losing the advantage they once had in retaining control of the on-line service experience.

Featured: Featured: Digital Transformation Through Support Web Site Design

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Self-help tools and content provided through the web are fundamental to support’s successful digital transformation.  This Playbook outlines the five elements of well-designed support web sites.

Log-in to get your copy.

Login to Access the Full Report

If you don’t have an account, create a free* membership.

Login

*Membership level determines your access to ServiceXRG research and other member services. Paid memberships include access to research and playbooks. Free memberships include access to some reports and discounts to others. Please visit our membership page for a list of available membership programs.

Related Articles

Is Assisted Support Demand on the Rise – Shift Demand to Self-Help and Automation

If your support demand is on the rise and exceeds your current ability to handle it through assisted channels, let automation and self-help share the load. Whether you have well-established self-help capabilities and just need a tune up, or if you are about to launch a new initiative to introduce automation capabilities this article provides resources and insights to help.

read more

Chatbots for Technical Support – Are They Working (Survey)?

The ability to provide automated interaction with customers by chat has been available for years. The power and potential of today’s chatbots offers a wide array of customer service and technical support opportunities. For many companies the question is not if they should deploy chatbot automation for technical support, but rather, how to make chatbots successful. Do you use chatbots for technical support and are the successful?

read more

Digital Customer Experiences (dCX)

Many customer touchpoints with your company are conducted digitally through web self-service and automated tools. It is imperative to consider how customer experiences are impacted by services delivered through digital channels. This article introduces how to define and measure Digital Customer Experiences (dCX).

read more

Best Practices for Support Web Site Design

The primary objective of a support web site is to help customers find the information and resources they need quickly and intuitively. Well-designed support web sites encourage customers to invest their time to explore and discover the information they need. This article introduces the elements and practices for effective web support site design.

read more

CX Implications for the Digital Transformation of Support

Many customer touchpoints with your company are conducted digitally through web self-service and automated tools. It is imperative to consider how customer experiences are impacted by services delivered through digital channels. This article introduces how to define and measure Digital Customer Experiences (dCX).

read more

The Digital Transformation of Support

The digital transformation of support is defined by an increased use of digital technologies to improve and extend core support processes and enable new service capabilities. Digital transformation includes human-assisted, self-assisted and fully automated support transactions. This article defines and introduces key characteristics of the digital transformation of support.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This