Self-service is a growing trend driven by both consumer behavior and cost savings. So, what are the effects? The relationship between customer service and customer support will strengthen. We will also see the rise of new, highly specialized contact centers with expertise to handle demanding cases.
Consumers and business customers alike want to solve daily problems and accomplish tasks by themselves – without contacting the business in question. Companies should continue to evaluate where self-service can increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs. This can be achieved with automation and good self-service tools.
Customers are handling simple interactions more and more independently using digital channels with either zero or minimal human contact. For example, when was the last time you checked in to a flight face to face with an agent? There are many instances were providing self-service alternatives results in a better customer experience.
Though building self-service capabilities requires up-front investment, it does have the upside of saving time and resources. These resources can then be directed toward handling the most complex customer
Redirecting resources enables businesses to give the customers with more complex problems the attention they need, when they need it. The customer service team no longer needs to spend their time solving repetitive cases. Instead, they can focus on solving the more complex problems and focus more intensely on sales as well.
Self-service will not make contact centers redundant. According to a PWC study, people value efficiency and convenience but not technical features such as automation or easy mobile experience. Whether self-service or with an agent, people just want things to work.
As self-service frees customer service to handle more complex cases, the line between customer service and customer support can also fade. Customer service agents can build a deeper understanding of the products and services and even double as support.
An extension to this trend is the rise of extremely specialized call centers with the ability to handle sales, customer service and customer support in a narrow field such as electric car charging stations.