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The Evolution of Self-Serve Customer Service - Blue Ocean Contact Centers - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

The Evolution of Self-Serve Customer Service

Ever have one of those days when you simply don’t want to talk to anyone? That day inevitably coincides with the renewed urgency of the task you’ve been procrastinating over: calling customer service to fix your computer/check your warranty/renew your membership/reset your password.

We know you hate calling tech support. We know you’d rather not “press one for yes.” We certainly get the irritation of being left on hold forever. And so it’s unsurprising that we’ve seen a growing popularity in self-serve customer service. Variations include Tier 0, IVR, automation, and artificial intelligence, and they all have one thing in common: you no longer have to interact with a real live human being. It’s not a new concept, but it has evolved over the years.

If you’re looking to outsource your call center, self-serve at some level will likely be part of your solution design. Tier 0 support has the potential to significantly reduce transactional call volume, while simultaneously engaging your customers on their own terms. However, automation in customer service also carries the risk of negatively impacting the customer experience. Finding a sweet spot is vital.

What Self-Serve Used to Look Like

Assuming you’ve already cut the cord with the few companies that never upgraded from the earliest forms of self-serve customer service (aka “IVR Hell”), we probably don’t have to remind you what Tier 0 support looked like “back in the day.” It’s that circular, primitive version of self-help where you get stuck in an automated loop of endless numeric options and voicemail boxes. Good luck finding what you need.

Companies that implemented the earliest versions of Tier 0 technology were likely excited by the possibilities. It was cutting edge. It relieved agent bandwidth. Their customers hold times were reduced. Most of all, it drove down call volume, resulting in lower call center costs.

But being lowering costs came with a different price: customer frustration and compromised customer loyalty.

What Tier 0 Support Looks Like Today

Today’s self-serve or Tier 0 customer service is heavily focused on customer satisfaction, and as a result, the technology has become increasingly elegant, better integrated, and – most importantly – more user-friendly.

Self-serve is an integral part of omni-channel customer service, seamlessly integrating with the customer experience across social media, live chat, email and phone. Every transaction is captured and stored so that when a customer does eventually interact with a live agent, the agent understands the customer journey and what steps they’ve already taken towards reaching resolution.

Building the right Tier 0 strategy requires a lot of collaboration with your frontline agents as well as a comprehensive understanding of your brand and its promises. It’s not a simple matter of bringing in programmers and saying, “automate this function.” Your customer care team members, including frontline agents, are critical resources in helping to decide how and what to automate. They’ll know which kind of processes and queries can be easily and effectively translated into self-serve customer service. And they’ll know how to communicate it all in a way that aligns with your company’s brand.

It’s also worth mentioning here that engaging a self-serve option or triggering Tier 0 is rarely the first step in the customer journey map. A great self-serve strategy is acutely aware of everywhere a customer may go first before picking up the phone. This includes both online customer support and crowd-sourced customer support. Think of your iPhone or iMac for a moment. Although Apple has a wealth of customer support channels, many people will turn to public forums before they go to Apple’s website, store or phoneline. Being aware of the reasons why people might turn to crowd-sourced customer support is essential in building a strong self-serve strategy.

How Self-Serve Fits into the Customer Experience

We’ve already mentioned the companies that went with the primitive self-serve customer service automation when it was shiny and new. They wanted cost-effectiveness and excitement, and many of them implemented it on every level. On the flip side, though, are companies that go kicking and screaming to Tier 0. Their core belief is that they want 100% agent interaction for every query. But this is equally detrimental to the customer experience.

Sure, your 87-year old grandmother probably wants nothing to do with self-serve. But according to IBM, 75% of Millennials want to solve their own issue. As an ever-growing portion of your customer demographics, supporting the specific preferences of this generation of consumers is vital. When they have a problem with their computer/car/password/membership, they will almost always go to Google first. From there, they will turn to social media, FAQs, public forums, and live chat before they pick up the phone. If you can pleasantly surprise them with a simple, elegant self-serve option via phone (or better yet text or chatbot) that solves relatively simple problems, then you’ve just gained a notch in their level of loyalty (which, as studies show, is fragile and difficult to gain in Millennials in the first place).

Interestingly, although the Millennial generation prefers less human interaction in their customer service, they do value personalized support. That’s where Tier 0 support – and strategic omni-channel service in general – has upped the ante. The proliferation of data that floods into the call center from every channel helps to build a very specific profile of each customer, which enables an agent to personalize their interaction and deliver a differentiated customer experience.

Leveraging Self-Serve Customer Support in Your Call Center

The beauty of an intelligent self-serve solution is that you can redirect your agent efforts to much more complex customer service situations. The auto club member who is experiencing an emergency wants human support not a chatbot. The network administrator who’s troubleshooting a critical issue that impacts enterprise stakeholders needs a partner in the process to make the right decisions and take the right actions quickly. The caller who’s genuinely befuddled by the fine print on their insurance contract wants less frustration and more clarity. These are scenarios where frontline agents are the star of the show. Putting your resources here – instead of the password resets, the membership activations, the billing transactions – benefits both your customer and your bottom line.

We’d love to provide more insight into how Tier 0/self-serve customer service fits into the big picture in your contact center. Let’s chat.

Source: https://blueocean.ca/evolution-self-serve-customer-service/

Publish Date: May 23, 2017 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Telecoms

 
1.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

2.) 
Cloudonix

Cloudonix’s smart voice calls enable frictionless experiences that drive better customer care and faster sales by merging voice and data into a complete service context. Cloudonix add Cloud capabilities to your existing on premise Call Center enabling your agents to work from anywhere in the world. Security, Privacy and more – rapidly deployed and cost effective without replacing your existing systems or retraining your team.

3.) 
Connectica Solutions, LLC

PBX On The Cloud
We provide complete Cloud-based PBX/Phone Systems, including predictive and progressive dialers, phone lines in more than 75 countries and low cost international rates.
We specialize in the US and Latin American market.
PH: +1 (346) 444-3555

4.) 
DiRAD Technologies

AI Powered Contact Center Provider, AI Chat & Voicebot, Enterprise Telephony
Take advantage of the latest customer service innovations with Contact Center, Virtual Assistant, and Interactive Voice solutions for accessible, 24×7 services across multiple channels.
PH: 8448442989

5.) 
Layer One Technologies

Layer One Technologies provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to businesses in the greater Charlotte area. Whatever your cabling needs, we have you covered.
PH: (980) 288-4800

6.) 
Megacall

VOIP services
Stay in contact quickly and easily with your international offices through Megacall.

Megacall will fulfill all your telecommunication requirements and on top of that go the extra mile and surprise you with new possibilities for your business, speed to action your requests and keeping within your budget.

📞 Virtual Switchboard
🔌 SIP trunk
🔢 Virtual number
📠 Call Center Solutions
PH: +34 952 667 511

7.) 
NetSapiens

SNAPsolution
Our SNAPsolution – UC and Collaboration tools – can be quickly deployed so you can realize your ROI just as quick. netsapiens offers a comprehensive suite of unified communications (UC) & Contact Center (CC) feature-sets to service providers. Custom-built to provide our partners with unprecedented levels of flexibility, customization, and ease of use.

netsapiens allows you to control your margins in order to improve your ROI. As a provider of a facilities-based solution, you are able to personally choose your origination, termination, hardware costs, etc. to fit your budget. We also allow you to strategically price your product for a maximum return on your investment by charging on a conc...
(read more)
PH: 7608463385

8.) 
Nuxiba Technologies

CenterWare
Build a strong business presence and improve customer relationships!

Offer custom-tailored solutions throughout your sales cycles and customer interactions and assess service levels and control corporate goal achievement through reports and statistics.

Obtain detailed reports based on relevant activity in your contact center, access our quality module to assess calls and performance, apply surveys, develop scripts, record conversations, and more!

Schedule a live demo or request a quote today!

9.) 
Televergence

Long Distance and Toll Free Specialists for Contact Centers
Televergence is a facilities based US Nationwide High volume/High Capacity Inbound and Outbound VoIP Carrier for Contact Centers. We specialize in termination (outbound) and origination (toll free and local DID) for the contact center. We have a technical staff that is up to date on the majority of platforms in use today, including asterisk and Vicci dial, as well as many of the currently in use software platforms.
Contact Centers generally see cost reduction and containment when using Televergence as their contact center telecom carrier. Televergence is the only active US VoIP carrier certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which enables our services to qualify for meeting corporations Supplier Diversity Needs.
PH: 213-943-2023
 



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