In this age of multiple contact channels I know that I can call, e-mail, visit a web site, etc. for virtually every organisation around. However, as companies try and promote self-service options to reduce costs, sometimes they can get it very wrong. In particular web sites can be badly designed and difficult to navigate resulting in a frustrated customer either going elsewhere or calling your company by phone. Chances are that if they end up calling because the website does not help, they won’t visit the website again and the value of self service options are diminished.
The converse is also true. Make self-service easy and customers will come back again and again. A simple analogy to use is the supermarket – why do you go to a particular retail outlet compared with its competitors? Probably because they make it easier for you – clearer pricing, easier to move around, good service etc.
Now look at your self service options and honestly ask yourself, how easy do we make it for customers?