CX Trends Forecast Disrupter No. 4: Strategic Self-Service

HGS recently released a white paper on this year’s 10 customer experience disrupters—those that are sure to alter the CX landscape this year. Over the next few months, we’ll dedicate a blog to each of these CX game changers. Here we dissect Disrupter No. 4, Strategic Self-Service, highlighting strategies designed to reduce the burden on the customer for an improved and more frictionless CX to ultimately drive a higher CSAT and NPS score for your business.

CX Trends Forecast Disrupter No. 4 Strategic Self-Service

Today’s mobile revolution has consumers placing high demands on customer service departments to evolve their support models. The self-service trend is growing significantly. There are many different forms of self service, from FAQs on a website to how to videos, peer-to-peer communities, idea portals, top tip guides, and more. In 2016, self-service will mature to encompass strategy and insights. Self-service must become the foundation for future interactions (the starting point for how we design customer journeys) with agent assistance integrated in seamlessly when it adds value to the consumer’s interaction. To keep up, businesses need to focus on outcomes, like measuring the effectiveness of FAQs in terms of resolving customer issues and applying interaction analytics to top contact driver analysis. In 2016, it’s time to rethink self-service, from the right strategic perspective.

For a leading consumer electronics manufacturer that wanted to improve their customer experience in a number of areas including website abandonment rate and average handle time (AHT), HGS leveraged DigiWEB to resolve 97% of customer enquiries online without the need for human intervention, helping the consumer to get the right answer fast.

The goal is to resolve issues quickly without having to go through the hassle of picking up a phone to speak to an agent. However, it’s not enough to just have these self-service channels available to customers. The 2020 Customer Experience will take a “strategic self-service” approach. For example, organizations will know and understand what the current issue resolution rate is on the help center. Brands will leverage interaction analytics to understand the top contact drivers and top searched for questions by customer location. Lastly, self-service will become much more than a simply FAQ page, instead they will become dynamic help centers that present the best channel for resolution to customers based on the questions being asked.

Self-service is becoming the foundation for future interactions (the starting point for how we design customer journeys) with agent assistance integrated in seamlessly when it adds value to the consumer’s interaction. In fact, today, 90% of consumers check a company’s website and 57% try self-service options before calling with questions, according to Corporate Executive Board research. With self-service front and center as a key optimizer of customer experience (CX), HGS Solutions & Capabilities expert team members Lauren Kindzierski and PK Kalra described the expectation of today’s “rewired consumer” and how to use web self-service to optimize CX.

Getting Started
The technology involvement needed to implement design of a new web self-service program can be broken up into two components, according to PK. “One is the web design and one is integration,” he says. “If the systems are legacy systems, like a black screen system, it requires a bit of involvement but not to the tune of months. It takes some weeks, and with CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, in a matter of days your technology teams can help integrate with the web design. Designing, testing, and deployment requires only about two to four weeks with just one to two weeks of integration required.”

Navigating the Channels
Companies can ease into self-service, by not launching all channels at once. “With analytics, you will be able to find out the most important channels and the important channels you already have,” PK says. “For example, if you already have voice support and a website, these are low-hanging fruit to start with. How could you add channels your users are asking for? If your customers want to chat with you through a mobile device, you can add that. If the right channel at the right time has to be deployed, the trial-and-error method is avoided.”

Many of today’s companies are integrating social media into their self-service strategies. BPOs bring this expertise. Case in point: HGS provides this with integrated social messaging into our Smart Channel Selector. And there are cost benefits of doing so, according to Lauren, as social media can be live-agent assisted or automated. “You can have a bot that engages in back-and-forth dialogue with consumers to get their issue resolved,” she said. “For example, a customer types ‘My tablet won’t turn on’ in the Smart Channel Selector. Then the customer can go into social messaging through Facebook or Twitter or WhatsApp and engage in dialogue with the bot to resolve the issue.”

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