A new age has dawned for customer self-service. Sustained multi-channel advances, coupled with the mass proliferation of mobile devices mean organizations can no longer get by with restricted service channels and availability. It is time to get serious about self-service.
Take a look around any public space and count the number of people actively using a mobile device. Smartphones and tablets allow everyone at work or at play to be permanently connected. That very fact is driving consumer demand for 24/7 self-service options like never before.
And the industry is responding. A 2012 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report, conducted by Merchants which surveyed 637 respondents in 72 countries, shows that over 91% of organizations have now implemented some form of self-service and the number of organizations that don't offer self-service at all has halved. The challenge ahead is to integrate self-service into overall channel strategies; to meet customer expectations without creating isolated communications channels for customers to get trapped in. Itis clear from both past and current benchmarking results that self-service can significantly add to, or detract from, customer satisfaction. It is therefore critical for organizations to implement self-service based on a focused, purposeful and achievable cross-channel service strategy.