Sitel Executive Interview
Isabella Mongalo, Director of Digital Care Strategy, Sitel
How Brands Can Improve Self-Service CX in 2020
customer experience (CX), or the ability for a consumer to find helpful
information to solve product or service issues on their own, is a relevant and
appealing model to businesses and their customers. It allows consumers to get
the fastest service possible, and brands to reduce live interactions and cost
while still improving CX.
In fact, according to Zendesk, 91% of
consumers would use an online knowledgebase if it were available and
tailored to their needs. Gartner data echoes this insight as
70% of consumers now use self-service for customer service. However, only
9% of consumers fully resolve their issues through self-service. This
disconnect between how consumers use self-service and the ability for
self-service to resolve their issues can actually make the customer experience
more frustrating, which is critical for brands to understand in order to
improve upon this CX model. In an era where CX is one of the last major
differentiators in the marketplace, having an impactful self-service model can
make or break customer retention.
So why is positive self-service CX so hard to
achieve when it’s a priority to the consumer? Let’s discuss how brands that
struggle to provide positive CX with self-service models can improve their
strategies for the future.
Utilize self-service for the right problems
One of the first realizations that brands
looking to improve self-service CX must make is that not every problem can be
solved without involving a human being. By implementing self-service for
problems that are much more easily solved with the help of a customer service
representative (i.e., a person) it sets the customer up for frustration from
the start. At the same time, requiring a customer speak to a person when they
could easily solve an issue themselves with a little bit of extra information
similarly creates frustration.
For example, in the retail industry, tracking
an order should no longer require picking up the phone and reading out your
order number to a person. The customer expectation is that they should be able
to go to the website and find the information themselves. However, in the
financial industry, if a consumer has a fraudulent charge on their account,
they are often more comfortable speaking with or chatting with a real human
being to ensure their problem is fully resolved.
While self-service and human support are two
of the options most commonly used in customer service, there is a middle ground
that brands should also consider: guided support through conversational AI.
This form of support, which doesn’t involve a human being, can be the best
solution for some brands and problems where self-service content or human
support are not the best or most efficient solutions.
Implement Data-Driven Strategies
To correctly identify which issues are best
solved through self-service versus guided support (conversational AI) versus
human interactions, brands should look at the analytics and insights behind
their customer journey to outline the most common problems their customers
face. From there, brands can identify which of those problems are best solved
through human customer service interaction, guided support or self-service.
Utilizing existing data to identify the most
common customer service issues and resolutions is a cost-effective way for
brands to strategically determine which information should be made available
for self-service and which is better discussed with a customer service
Augment existing communication channels
Driving customers away from how they would
typically interact with a brand can be a recipe for CX failure. Instead of
introducing new ways for customers to look for information on their own, focus
on creating a cohesive strategy which aligns with customers’ expectations of
existing communication channels. For example, if a consumer typically looks to
a brand’s website for customer service resolution, creating a conversational
AI-powered chatbot popup to help consumers with the most commonly asked
questions can significantly cut down on the need for consumers to speak with a
real person and make their problem resolution time much faster. This kind of guided support offers brands the
opportunity to increase the use of self-service content and tools in a way that
feels conversational and seamless for the user by offering up in the info in a
way that’s more natural and digestible, through a conversation.
While many brands have focused on implementing
CX that creates the easiest path to purchase, some have fallen behind in
creating successful self-service. To retain customers in the crowded marketplace
this year and beyond, brands must reflect on how they can improve their
self-service experience and consider how a middle ground option using
conversational AI could be the answer.