March 15, 2018 | By

Stop Hiding from Your Customers: Changing Self-Service for the Better

When it comes to customer support, self-service is stealing the show. So much so that the Harvard Business Review reports that 81% of consumers try to self-serve before calling a contact center. Yet, many companies still make it extremely difficult to solve problems on their own and yet don’t have the resources to take care of every customer request in a timely manner. Something’s got to give.

Traditionally, self-service has been used for customer deflection – keeping customers with simple (and sometimes silly) questions out of the call center.  Companies did this by employing the dreaded Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems that we are all familiar with.  These systems were designed specifically for customer deflection and not at all with customer experience (CX) in mind.   They lack intelligence, are task-oriented, do not interact in a conversational way and more often than not, lead customers down a frustrating path.

As CX is moving to the top of the priority list for nearly all companies, keeping customers at bay with an IVR will no longer suffice.  According to TSIA, customers prefer self-service to phone and email– and this gap is only continuing to grow. So how can your organization rise above antiquated IVRs to the self-service customers really want?  A.I. in customer support is a trend that is here to stay and here’s why.

Today’s A.I. is intelligent, conversational and intent-oriented, rather than task-oriented. A modern chatbot is smart enough to understand the question the customer has and either answer that question or route them to the best resource to get that question answered.  These bots are self-learning, meaning they get smarter and more effective with every interaction and are smart enough to know when they aren’t smart enough to handle the query and seamlessly escalate it to a human agent with the full context of the conversation.

Today’s A.I. solutions have completely changed the face of self-service. A.I.-powered Chatbots are helping companies of all sizes provide frictionless, scalable, and effective support without putting additional burdens on the call center.  They empower customers to self-serve while simultaneously providing the personalized and delightful experience today’s customers want.

We recently did a webinar with TSIA on this exact topic and Research VP at TSIA, John Ragsdale, summed this up perfectly saying: “I sometimes hear companies worrying that “deflection” strategies send a message that they don’t want to talk to customers. According to my data, this isn’t a valid concern—customers would prefer to help themselves if they can. Therefore, investing in self-service is a win-win strategy for both the support organization and customer.”

Ready to get started? Watch the on-demand webinar with TSIA to learn how organizations should best approach self-service for maximum success.

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