Is Self-Service an Alternative to Live Call Center Agent support?


Investing in self-service options is crucial for every company today in order to reap the benefits of better customer satisfaction and increased revenue.  It is a platform where customers resolve their own problems, which means they don’t need to contact the customer service team of the company, thereby reducing ticket volumes. It is a cost-effective and reliable solution which is aimed at enabling a smooth buying experience and answering all the customer questions as quickly as possible.

Today’s customers want to help themselves as they have become more tech-savvy and do not have patience for customer support. They prefer to buy products and handle issues without the need of any human intervention. Hence, self-service technologies benefits both customers and companies -Companies gain by providing a cost-effective alternative to live agent support and customers can solve problems in their own time. In fact, according to Forrester Research, 72% of customers prefer self-service to resolve their support issues over picking up the phone or sending an email.

Nowadays, contact centers have evolved and are capable of providing omni-channel customer service, thus promoting self-service via phone, web or through a mobile application. This enables organizations to get maximum number of complete transactions via self-service while producing positive experiences, thereby reducing call handling pressure on the call center agents.

Unfortunately, not all of us blindly rely on the self-service option and always need to interact with a live support before making any purchasing decision. According to a study, when making online purchases, 43% of US adults will typically interact with a company representative.

Also, technically unsophisticated customers often find it difficult to exercise the self-service option that is highly technical and are forced to pick-up the phone in the end. Even today, some customers prefer live service more than twice as much as self-service.

Even a technically-sound customer may require some assistance for using the self-service tool, or might encounter technical glitch while using it, which again create a need to connect with an agent to get things sorted out.

Due to these reasons, it becomes important for self-service tools to be designed to provide an option of “click-to-call” to receive human assistance or an “out” option to completely discard the process and after which the customer can opt to buy or take service support through some other channel.

As millennials are influencing innovation in customer engagement technology, without giving a second thought I can say that self-service is the only solution for companies to increase customer expectations. Already, 70% of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints. Still, this doesn’t preclude the need for a personal contact or human support: If self-service fails, live support as a safeguard is an absolutely necessity to resolve any hurdle.