Five reasons why self-service can improve the customer experience
We have all used them. Self-service platforms. Whether it be by drawing money from an ATM or by booking an appointment at the doctors through an online platform. They have increasingly become a bigger part of our lives by supporting us in our daily work – often without us even thinking about it.
We now encounter self-services in the private and public sector, where companies and institutions offer us the technology to improve and support our experience of products and services. But why is that the case? How do self-service platforms benefit us?
I’ll give you five reasons why a self-service platform can benefit your users as well as your business. But before doing so, let me quickly establish what self-service platforms are.
Self-service platforms are interfaces allowing us to produce a service independent of direct customer service involvement.
With that made clear, it’s time for the five reasons why to choose self-service platforms.
1. Ownership and control
The nature of self-services ultimately supports the change of the user’s role from a passive consumer to an active prosumer. Many users want to be a part of the creation and shaping of the products and services that they buy. They expect a stronger sense of ownership and control.
Consider a regular banking app which most of us know and use. While we previously had to meet up personally in the bank or make a phone call to customer support, we can now handle our economy by logging in with our credentials. Here, we can create a personal budget, transfer money, or pay bills. The banking app is a perfect example of a self-service platform that allows for more control and transparency.
2. A personalised experience
Self-services enable you to create a personalised user experience. With more than 81% of users asking for brands to get to know them (Accenture, 2017), personalisation has become an important aspect of delivering a good product or service. It helps you increase user engagement and loyalty.
When users log in to a self-service platform, the system identifies them through their personal credentials. This allows you to greet them by name on a welcome page and show them information and functionality based on their situation. The user experience will be tailored to their needs and behaviour, which will make the self-service both useful and relevant for them.
3. What I want, where I want it, when I want it
Besides offering users a better user experience, self-services also accomodate practicalities. With self-service platforms users are able to get their jobs done across time and space. They don’t have to call customer service within specific opening hours nor use money and time on transportation in order to reach the companies’ nearest office.
The flexibility of “where I want it, when I want it” is becoming a criterion for many users when choosing to use a service or product. They have become used to accessing digital services or products on their own terms. Which makes sense considering the existing services and products available on today’s market.
4. Handling sensitive matters
Self-services offer users greater control and flexibility, but also the possibility to handle sensitive matters privately. E.g. booking an appointment at the doctors or paying a bill in the bank can be a private affair that the user wants to involve as few people as possible in.
Maybe that’s why 57% of customers would rather contact companies through digital media rather than having a voice-based interaction with customer service (Ameyo, 2016).
5. Saving costs internally
The adoption of self-services can benefit you by improving the user experience of your product or service. But self-services also help you improve your internal processes and save costs. By allowing users to deliver services by themselves your customer service saves time on administrative tasks and on the direct dialogue that is otherwise necessary to deliver a product or service to users.
Let’s take a claim process in a typical insurance company as an example. Without a self-service platform, customer service needs to manually collect information about an insurance claim by contacting the user through phone or email, process the collected information, and then follow up with the user. By introducing an online self-service platform, users are able to collect the information themselves and send it directly to the insurance company. This allows customer service to focus on the verification of the information and nothing else.
Self-services save customer service time, but also allow for a more consistent customer experience.
A quick sum up
So let me sum up. Self-service platforms offer you a competitive advantage, because the technology allows for a more effective, seamless, and personal user experience. With a self-service solution users get more control and privacy as well as more flexibility in regards to when and where they want to get their jobs done. Meanwhile you can increase effectiveness internally, save costs, and improve your brand.
At Adapt, we are specialized in creating self-service solutions for end-users to make the most of your digital product. Contact us for more information on how we can help you.
Senior UX Designer