Does your company utilize self-service applications? No? That's a shame, cause 70% of your customers expect you to enable them to help themselves out.
Self-service applications have been a part of the modern world for quite a long time. We have all used them, but we probably only thought about it the first couple of times we saw them. Consider an ATM where you withdraw money, a gas station or perhaps a ticket booth for the parking lot. Applications to help ourselves have become so common that we see them as a standard. Most of us probably don’t realize it, but we are very used to servicing ourselves, in fact, more than 70% of all customers expect companies to offer self-service as an alternative to other services.
How can it be and how can businesses benefit from these service applications? Here are 7 reasons why your business and it’s users can profit from implementing self-service to your service selection.
Fast support - less waiting
It is known, but probably not acknowledged, consumers are impatient. We have become used to interacting and receiving answers instantly due to firstly the internet and even further by carrying a smartphone in our pocket. We are so used to instant responses that 75% of consumers experience it as the most important attribute of customer experience. This means that we have to get faster at delivering our service to our customers – otherwise they will look for assistance somewhere else.
Your audience is looking for swift service and few things are more trivial than waiting in a queue. This is likely the main reason for self-service solutions being so popular in grocery stores where waiting in line has always been a part of the deal. Available self-scan systems have resulted in less queue, less waiting and more customer-happiness. Happier customers, due to swift service, means they are more likely to return to the store rather than a store without self-service.
Empower your customers - give them control
Here’s a misunderstood concept: many businesses think that letting customers service themselves decreases the business’ service level offered to them. And logically it could make sense. After all, we are making, for instance, a machine with certain software do the hard work instead of an employee. But this not the case – not by a long shot.
What it does instead is that it makes the user engage in the service on their terms and it even adds value for them. They become an active part of the process. Empowering the user like this means that businesses have a unique ability to give their customers more control of the service they receive, their decision making and ultimately their experience. Most users want to be an active part of creating and forging the products and services they are interested in.
Simple and easy to use
As mentioned earlier: your customers are incredibly experienced self-service users. They have a self-service device in their pocket that they bring along with them all day every day. So businesses do not have to be afraid that their audience is not capable of using a self-service solution on-site, quite the contrary. Especially the latest generations such as Generation Z and forth who were born directly into the digital age are safely navigating in self-service solutions.
The key to further improve usability for the users is to make the applications simple and easy to use and by making the solutions deal with specific issues needing solving.
Increase your reputation and how users experience your company
We live in a world that is always developing and always moving. People are used to this and they are always looking at new technologies and better ways to accomplish the tasks at hand. By utilizing technology businesses can position themselves as both innovative and forward-thinking. Furthermore, it gives the impression that the business is willing to do something extra to supply diversified good service.
Given that the self-service solution is successful it is certain to improve the way your customers experience your service level and your business. Ways to ensure a successful solution is by ensuring that it is solving the entire problem that the user might have, no key elements can be left out. This is done by making intuitive, good looking and inviting hardware. We want the user to get attracted by the solution. Furthermore, we need user-friendly and easy to use software. The software is where the real magic happens as it is here the user can produce useful service for himself/herself with the right tools to do so.
When the user’s opinion towards you increase the likelihood of getting recommendations will increase as well.
“40% of consumers want self-serivce over human contact…”
Customers expect it
Your customers are biased by the standardisation of self-service and they expect that you have it as part of your business. In fact, 40% of consumers would rather have self-service than human contact. Only 37% of consumers see a person to talk to as the most important attribute of customer experience. 28% of consumers see multiple contact points as the most important attribute and 23% expect easy to use tools for servicing themselves as the key element. These numbers are almost scary, cause it truly justifies the need for self-service in our businesses.
Consider this: your customers might not want any interaction during their daily shopping routine. They want to get in there, get it over with and then they can return to their home and get on with other things important to them. They might even be listening to a podcast or an audiobook and chatting with an employee might disrupt what they planned on doing. It can sound rude, but it is a fact, and the customer is always right, right?
Boost your company's productivity
By implementing self-service applications in your business you are not only increasing the service level and customer experience. There are internal benefits as well. As the applications service, the audience your employees’ hands are freed to deal with other matters and to provide even better service themselves. This results in increased productivity which in turn will increase the service level even further.
Investing in self-service does come at a price. There will be an initial cost to development and implementation, but it is only here and now the expense can seem unjustified. But on the long run, it will return itself tenfold or even a hundredfold. Applying self-service to your service arsenal means that your employees have less administrative tasks such as writing in what the customer tells them. Fewer internal mistakes will be made during servicing human to human. Think about the amount of time that is saved due to employees not having to switch between location A and B during the day.
Self-service is here and has been for a while, and the customer expects it to stay for good. These 7 reasons can shed a light on what self-service could do for your business. You can actively take the competitive edge as your service gets more efficient and increase user experience and happiness.