Human interactions in a self service economy are important

Human interaction in a self-service environment

Technology enabled customers can help themselves in a self-service environment. Self-service is not something new: it has been a question for marketing researchers since a few decades, where self-service studies were mostly aimed at retail stores. Thinking about self-service right will result in a digital platform were customers take care of their own businesses.

When it comes to customer experience design, a customer self-service environment seems like a great touchpoint: have customers do things themselves.

Giving the customer tools to access his information a lot easier will result in cheaper costs per touch points and eventually higher profits. Sounds like a great deal, right? The real question you should think about is: how can I still deliver a great customer experience in my self service environment? The answer: human interactions.

The definition of self service

Self service means empowering customers to complete their ordermanage account information and solve problems without human interaction.

Self service and customer satisfaction

An infographic made by Zendesk, where a few self-service studies are included, reveals that 75% of customers think self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues. Also, 67% said they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. But, when talking about self-service, the goal and focus should always be service. However,

Adding a human touch to your self-service environment can definitely give your customers a WOW-experience and leave them surprised about your company.

How to add human interactions to a self-service environment?

Do you want to add a more human touch to your self service environment, starting today? Here are a few tips to start with.

  1. Start measuring. If you don’t already, start doing it right now! No, I mean right now. By using analytics software (for example the well-known Google Analytics), you are able to get a deep understanding of customer behavior in your self service environment. Track clicks to see what your customers are interested in (and what path they use to get to the page they are looking for) and enable mouse tracking to see what seems difficult for them.
  2. Offer easy to use contact methods. Don’t hide your phone number eight clicks deep on your customer service page. Sometimes, as a customer, you just want to talk to a human being. If you don’t give easy access to other forms of communication. Always offer your customer a way ‘out’ of your self service environment, you are actually promoting customers not to use it.
  3. Empower customer service agents. Give your service agents the same tools as your customer and maybe even a little bit more. If you offer a live chat functionality, make sure your agents can co-browse with your customer. Also, give them more insight in your customer status and empower them to solve customer issues immediately. Solving customer issues
  4. Keep it simple. Customers have more things to do during the day. Most likely, your customer doesn’t want to use your self service tools at all, so keep it simple. Make sure you have a great UX-design, so your customer can get the job done as fast as possible.
  5. Do not force customers. Forcing customers to use your self-service environment will not result in any good things happening. There are situations where it is better to help customers with personal attention. These include: during the on boarding phase of a customer, when your customer is a people person, when emotions are at play and when revenue is on the line.

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