Customers – and contact centres – get poor return from self-service strategies
Global customer self-service and multichannel contact centre research results
Both contact centres and customers are getting an overall lackluster performance from self-service strategies, according to a new survey.
The finding comes in the latest annual research report Self-Service and the Multichannel Contact Center released by the US-based International Customer Management Institute (ICMI).
The global survey of contact centres examines the industry’s customer self-service and multichannel best practices and what challenges they face.
A troubling 43.6%, almost half of respondents to the survey, admitted they do not measure customer feedback on their centres’ self-service channels.
“It has been an eye-opening study,” said Layne Holley, ICMI’s director of community services. “When you consider the investment that companies have made or plan to make in self-service strategies against how they execute these strategies, we see that there’s much room for improvement when it comes to ROI and customer satisfaction.”
Over three quarters of respondents (79.5%) to the survey indicated that their customer care operations provide customers self-service opportunities.
Taking into account the respondent data on the success of self-service in reducing operating costs and increasing customer satisfaction, the report says it can confidently infer that at least some of the trouble in meeting service level goals can be attributed to the failure of self-service strategies to truly address and meet customer needs.
The main drivers respondents cited for implementing a self-service strategy for customers were operating cost reductions (83.4%) and meeting customer demand for service options (74.3%).
Over half (64%) of respondents don’t know if or when a customer has tried to self-serve but then opted for a live representative.
Among the tools contact centres use to support Web self-service channels, in particular, leaders emerged: issue tracking (53%), knowledge management (44.6%) and service management tools (42.3%).
Many survey participants appear to be following some good practices in agent recruitment and hiring for the multichannel environment, with more than half (64.4%) of respondents using the Web (online career sites, company website, etc.) more for recruitment and screening applicants early for the skills needed for multiple contact channels.
A complete review of the survey’s results is available at: http://www.icmi.com/Resources/Research/Self-Service-Report