Digital self-service, a market in rapid development

Recent studies speak of a clear preference of customers for carrying out certain procedures independently, especially in situations that involve the resolution of problems and the presence of urgent needs. And the reasons are many, but one stands out among the others in an obvious way.

In this article, which takes its cue from a piece by Paolo Quaglia (Intesys), it is possible to understand both what digital self-service consists of but also what are the reasons, based on data, that make it so requested, in addition to trends for the future.

What is digital self-service

fWe talk about digital self-service in relation to those activities that allow a customer/user to solve problems or respond to specific needs both independently and through digital channels (chatbots and FAQs for example).

If digital self-service has been a rapidly growing trend for some years now, the pandemic seems to have consecrated its use, reinventing the relationship between company and customer in fact (and by necessity). The goal is twofold: to increase customer satisfaction and at the same time reduce costs for companies.

But the underlying need is essentially to fix problems or provide feedbacks quickly. And the proof comes directly from the percentages of consumers’ responses on which is the most important feature they are most likely to appreciate in a company they interface with:

  • for 75% the speed in the response;
  • for 55% the consistency between the channels used;
  • for 52% the competence of the staff.

Therefore, if, by implementing digital self-service activities, the customer obtains speed in feedback, on the other hand the company improves its image towards people and at the same time optimizes the costs related to customer service.

Expanding technologies

The expansion of digital self-service services is only in its initial phase: it is estimated that by 2022, 85% of customer-business interactions will begin in self-service mode, relegating “traditional” forms of contact to an anachronistic role.

There is a fact that certifies this trend: 40% of consumers prefer to act independently to solve their problems rather than establish human contact. Consequently, companies are called upon to develop their technologies on the basis of these changes in progress, to allow the customer to act independently in all phases of the sales process.

To intercept all types of needs, digital self-service experiences can be implemented through different channels:

  • AI-driven chatbot, to support operators in carrying out certain activities, automating and speeding up response times;
  • mobile-first and omnichannel, given the preference for mobile by users, who in any case use at least three different communication channels in contacting customer service (a behaviour implemented by 66% of people, according to research by Microsoft);
  • digital and mobile banking, which allow customers to carry out practically all types of banking transactions at any time;
  • knowledge base, with the offer of articles, video tutorials, documents and references capable of providing the answers to independently resolve doubts and problems;
  • self-check-in and self-check-out, thanks also to the development of contactless payments, for areas such as retail, air flights, hotels and offices.

To return to the research carried out by Microsoft, it is interesting to note that 96% of respondents said that customer service plays a significant role in the choice and loyalty to a brand. Furthermore, as many as 72% of respondents expect the person, they come into contact with already knows who they are, what they have purchased and has information on their previous actions (relating to relations with the company).

The risk is not to be underestimated: 56% of global respondents have in fact stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor experience with customer service.

In addition, 90% of global respondents said they expect brands and organizations to offer an online portal for self-service and this is something to consider as 52% start their interactions online. And over half have a more favourable view of brands responding to customers via social media.

The solutions

Three extremely significant aspects emerged from Microsoft’s research.

Customer service is a key factor in customer loyalty. Customer expectations are on the rise and it is critical for organizations to keep up as the results show that there is a direct correlation between offering superior customer service and brand loyalty.

② Self-service is growing rapidly, but competent customer service is extremely important. Most customers start their online service commitment and rely on customer service when they are unable to solve problems on their own, relying on real-time support to arrive at an effective solution. A strictly interconnected experience between self-service and assistance is able to engage customers in a more effective way, creating long-term loyalty.

Customers of all ages are driving the digital experience. Respondents are engaged across multiple channels, which in turn embrace emerging technologies.

Creating a personalized and coordinated experience for customers is essential to remain competitive on the market. The risk is to launch multiple tools disconnected from each other that complicate the management and effectiveness of the activities. For this reason, it is advisable to adopt a strategic and unified approach for all self-service strategies:

  • personalized digital services;
  • data and documents usable at any time and from any place;
  • fast and direct assistance and support.

 

Intercomp provides hardware supports capable of supporting self-service operations, allowing users to perform various types of operations independently and digitally, in multiple operational contexts.

Intercomp S.p.A.

Our success has its roots in the technical experience that we have acquired over the years and it is this experience that allows us to offer avant-garde Hardware solutions, both standard and made to measure, that are completely in line with customer requirements.

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