The principle is ridiculously simple: the smarter your customers are about your business and products, the more satisfied they are, the less you need to spend on handholding them, and the more you sell.
Yet most companies underinvest in intelligent self-service, maybe because all the money goes to servicing them inefficiently with hoards of people and analog infrastructure. This is especially paradoxical in a world where digital is easily accessible, and where customers are digital literates and self-service addicts – in other words they can do much more on their own given the right information, and that is what they expect.
Self-service is about 2 key principles: IMMEDIACY and RELEVANCE.
- Answer the questions customers have with the best available information, every time.
- Then make intelligent suggestions based on their profile, questions, needs and behavior.
Self-service intelligence and relevance might require a bit of investment, but nothing in comparison with the hoards of people required to compensate for the lack of intelligent self-service.
- Intelligent self-service drives call deflection: the cheapest service call is the one you don’t get, and when customers engage your company on their own, that is what happens.
- Intelligent self-service drives immediacy: relevance addresses customer needs and issues quickly, and time-to-resolution kills customer relationships.
- Intelligent self-service drives customer satisfaction and conversions: when customers get what they want, they stay engaged with your products and services, and buy more.
This is a low hanging fruit for almost every business, and a simple initiative the C-Suite should care about.
Thriving businesses invest in relevance… others think this is an expensive undertaking…