What's Wrong With Customer Self-Service?

The question is this: Is customer self-service succeeding for customers and the contact center?

The potential cost and loyalty benefits of customer self-service are huge. In the contact center, for instance, a typical transaction completed in an IVR system costs about 50 cents, versus five or six dollars for a typical call handled by a live agent. And when centers’ self-service strategies are successful, they can result in higher morale and retention among agents, who aren’t bombarded with dull, routine transactions. In some cases, centers can even decrease the number of agents needed on staff, thus cutting labor costs. On the customer side, satisfaction and loyalty can be positively affected when customers are able to complete transactions quickly (without waiting in an agent queue), when it’s convenient for them (with extended business hours) and privately.

Contact centers are aiming to drive more customers to self-service channels. What is surprising, however, is that so many centers, with so much to gain through effective self-service, are leaving themselves so exposed to failure when it comes to ensuring that systems are working efficiently and effectively and that customers are leaving those systems with a smile.

This whitepaper will explore what’s wrong with customer self-service — why it’s not meeting customer and contact center needs and demands — and where improvement should begin.

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