self-serviceIn today’s on the go 24/7 mobile world, enterprising companies need to establish convenient self-service tools to be there when customers decide the time is right for them to engage. Self-service can satisfy customers’ needs without the use of a live agent, building stronger, more positive customer engagements at a lower cost.

In the early days of Integrated Voice Response (IVR) systems, customers had a distinct distrust of entering personal information and a frustration of not being understood by speaking to what they considered a robot.  Today, consumers have evolved and the Internet and mobile explosion has brought everyone into a whole new mobilized world, where they are comfortable on the Web and, well, speaking with robots – from anywhere.

So, what’s the best way to engage with your customers to answer questions, as well as deliver reminders and alerts that they want in the least obtrusive and time-conscious way?

Your customers aren’t one-size fits all, and your customer interactions shouldn’t be either. Depending on the type and size of your business, and the types of interactions you have with your customers, you will find some customers are more self-service oriented, while others prefer a human interaction.  Here are a few best practice examples:

  • Faster Access to Service and Resources – A city implemented an inbound IVR solution to help manage and prioritize ever-growing constituent call volumes and improve access to its resources.  The result: They were able to render services faster, providing more focus and time for their constituents.
  • Automated Payments – An outbound IVR solution was implemented by a utility provider to alert and allow customers to make immediate payments or set up payment plans.  The result: Customers were able to avoid troublesome utility service disconnects.
  • Proactive Notifications – An outbound SMS notification program was implemented for a wireless carrier to remind pre-paid customers of their replenishment date to avoid a service interruption and minimize potential churn.  The result: Customers felt they were receiving personalized attention and replenishments doubled.

As the consumer technology gap closes and more and more consumers of all ages feel comfortable self-managing through a variety of channels, combined with the convenience of when and where they want to handle it provided by mobility.  Giving customers the freedom to use self-service for their interactions with your brand, respond when convenient for them, in the channel they are most comfortable with, and in a highly personalized manner will deliver a satisfying customer experience, which translates into loyal, long-term customer relationships.

To learn more about today’s cutting-edge self-service solutions, register for our round table discussion with Destination CRM, Wednesday, January 29 on Self-Service Meets Multichannel Support.