When We Say Self-Service, We Mean Self-Service

from the shove-off-now dept

If you hadn’t noticed, plenty of companies have been working hard at trying to lower their customer service costs by implementing self-service offerings. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While some people may resent the lack of a human touch, there are plenty of things that people would prefer to just do on their own. For example, lots of people greatly prefer just using an ATM rather than talking to a teller. It’s often faster and easier — and that’s what good self-service should be about. However, not all of the efforts at self-service are well designed, often making it a frustrating experience (think of the long phone trees that try to sort you into various buckets, when, at the end, you end up having to press 0 to get out to an operator anyway). There are plenty of companies these days trying to offer online self-service tools to help people find what they need without having to call or email in to a live support person. Sometimes these are basically just a list of FAQs, but they can be much more complex as well. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear how to use them, so people will call in to support — not necessarily to get their questions answered directly, but to get help with the support site. Apparently, many companies don’t seem set up to support the support sites. Perhaps that’s not surprising, but, in reality, the support site really is just another product. While the support site should be simple enough to be usable without any training, if there are problems and the support staff can help people use the self-service site, it should go a long way towards making sure future issues can be dealt with directly using the support site.

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Comments on “When We Say Self-Service, We Mean Self-Service”

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dorpus says:

Wal Mart Mentality

That’s what the trend has been in retail for the past decade too, having store clerks who usually don’t know a damn thing. On the other hand, we see these expensive full-service espresso bars like Starbucks being so bloody popular. Will we see self-service espresso bars, or will there be a counter-trend in full-service retail?

thecaptain says:

Its all about the bottom line

Support for a product isn’t seen as a product or even as good PR, its seen as a lost expense, that’s why more and more, customer service falls by the wayside. Corps don’t care, we’re dumb enough and plentiful enough that they make their money either way…no boycott of a few thousand ppl (if that much) will change that in a drastic enough fashion t make them change their ways. They do it because the CAN and DO get away with it.

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