Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume VI, Issue 3

Date: March 1, 2005 - Is Your Self Service Effective?

Historically, customer service was delivered over the phone or in person. Customers didn't have many choices, and switching to competitors was cumbersome. Today, these methods are but two of the many possible touchpoints of entry for any given interaction. With all the options the Internet brings, competition is literally a click away.

The biggest barriers to self service effectiveness (according to a study done by Kanisa & CRM Magazine):

What's important here? Only14% don't know about the site and the 86% that do, find it unsatisfactory. What does this mean? They will kick it up to a phone call. The impact, of course, is that if you don't satisfy your online customers, you end up paying twice.

In a Usability Science Corporation study, it was found that: 57% of customers prefer to help themselves, yet 50% of them fail to do so. For those who fail, 67% of them attempt phone or e-mail contact. Again, if you don't satisfy your online customers, you end up paying twice.

In a recent Usability Study by Sterling Audits, the question asked was, "Based on the transactions the system says it supports, were you able to get them done?" Only 42.7% said they could do it without hassles or retries. What does this mean? That means the majority of voice response units are designed in such a way that most callers experience errors or just don't know what to do.

However, when customers can and do help themselves, the savings can range from $10 to $45. By continuously adding customer driven content to your site, the percentage of customer who can help themselves online also increases.

Speech recognition applications, as an example, are transactional rather than conversational. That's not to say they aren't effective. I enjoy the convenience and speed of transferring money, checking balances, etc. between my corporate accounts. However, when I have a question or need to resolve a problem, I want to speak with a human and be treated as a person, not a transaction to be processed.

Often customers want interaction, not automation, and they need be given this option. The qualities found in human interaction can eliminate much of the frustration leading to unnecessary and expensive escalations.

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: The more high tech the world becomes, the more people crave high touch service. - John Naisbett, Megatrends.


2005 Human Technologies Global, Inc. All rights reserved

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