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Six Trends Moving the Needle in Customer Care: Self-Service

Consumers are digitally savvy, well informed, and more demanding than ever. Not investing in resources that digitally transform customer care will become a competitive disadvantage.

This series explores six technology trends for delivering smarter and more strategic customer care.

Trend #3: Self-Service Increases Customer Engagement

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems in the 1990s provided a cost-efficient way for companies to automate customer service and provide access to basic information. Today, as the number of digital channels expands, self-service interactions are increasing, as well as the move away from human face-to-face or voice-based interactions, according to Gartner.

Online search engines, smartphones, and social media have all contributed to consumers expecting a rapid and personalized response to resolve an issue in one interaction.

Self-service channels are increasingly becoming the customer’s first point of contact for customer service, including web and mobile experiences, customer communities, virtual agents, and automated chatbots. In fact, 67 percent of respondents of a global consumer survey said they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative.

Creating a vibrant self-service community opens the platform as a place to do business with your customers. For example, Ancestry.com wanted to improve the self-service capabilities of its public Q&A forum to other regions around the world. We partnered with them to design and architect 11 multi-lingual online communities for more than two million customers worldwide. The new self-service channel established a new benchmark for its customer service, engagement, and loyalty.

Beyond basic self-service support interactions – knowledge and cases – the real value of a customer community is expanding into other areas to grow your brand. When considering a customer’s journey, the most urgent needs must be met before the next phases of community adoption can occur. As customers come to the community to research product information and ask questions, the addition of data-collection technology allows them to discover and buy products directly within the community.

Learn more in our guide Top Technology Trends for Smarter, Strategic Customer Care and take a look back at previously posted trends.

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