From Self-Service To Self-Customization

from the set-up-your-own-damn-options dept

In the early days of the telephone, of course, you needed a human operator to complete your call. Eventually, people realized that this slowed down the phone system, and moved the dials to the phones themselves, routing around the use of so many human operators, but allowing the phone system to grow explosively. Over the years, the concept of “self-service” has grown dramatically, to the point at which you now can check out your own groceries and troubleshoot your own technical problems via the web. As with the telephone, however, the ability to handle self-service can open up many more possibilities, and that’s the point of this article suggesting that the stage after “self-service” is self-customization. In other words, the ability to handle service yourself, also gives you the ability to play around with many more options to customize a product or service to your exact specification with much more ease than in the past. While many companies currently just look at how self-service can cut down their support costs, they may want to start considering how it can also expand their product line dramatically. Of course, most users don’t want to be overwhelmed with choices, but it is possible to build self-service systems that have a simple front-end, with the ability to dig deeper for those who need it.

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