Making self-service work well
Self-service in the contact centre should make life easier for both customers and staff. It can save costs by reducing the workload and gives customers more choice. Here’s how to make it work for you.
Self-service contact centre
Keep customers firmly at the centre of your decision-making.
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8 tips for great self-service
- Do your research. Are your customers likely to want self-service? For example, do they use online options already? Are they mobile phone users? Even if you want them to be self-servers, they’ll come straight back on the phone to you if it doesn’t work for them. Always match the services you offer to the profile of your customer base.
- Even if your customers use self-service, you need to make it very easy for them to get live assistance quickly if they have a problem. Also, the contact centre advisor needs to be able to see the whole of a customer’s journey to the point where they’ve made contact, so they don’t have to go through everything again. So, the contact centre needs a next generation platform, which integrates systems to provide a single customer view.
- When considering which tasks to provide self-service options for, choose straightforward transactions like paying a bill or being able to submit information, like a meter reading.
- Don’t use self-service options when a chat with a live advisor would be more appropriate. For example, if a customer is likely to need to ask a question – even on web chat – AI is currently limited. You might have experienced this already yourself! Bots can’t empathise or understand nuances such as irony like a human can. A live advisor provides a much more personalised service and can defuse potentially tricky situations.
- Once you’ve worked out what to offer via self-service consider which channel would be best for it. For example, your customers might like using web chat on your website, or they may prefer a mobile app or a text. Again, do the research and fit the channel to the customer and their enquiry/issue.
- You can channel shift a customer on an inbound call queue by playing messages on your IVR. For example, you can invite them to use your website to deal with their issue by providing the link – but don’t hit them with complicated IVR menus. They want to get to the solution fast so give them meaningful messages with sensible options.
- You could channel shift customers using an intelligent system, which recognises when a customer is calling from a mobile phone. This can automatically send a text to their mobile number (using their CLI), advising them of the queue time and containing a link to your website. It might also use their record to personalise the contact, for example, with appointment reminder information, payments, etc. Again though, ensure it’s appropriate.
- Our next generation performance management system will help you to know when to channel shift; it makes all areas of contact centre operations visible and everything you need is in once place. Business decisions can be made based on rich, historical and real-time data.
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