Why You Should Be Giving Your Customers Self-Service Options

by Admin August 3, 2017

As retailers and businesses of all types move increasingly into omnichannel marketing and customer service, the importance of giving customers self-service options has increased dramatically.

If you’ve ever had to wait on hold to reach a customer service agent by phone, or wait hours or even days for a response by email, you probably already know the frustration of not having better self-service options.

According to Forrester, 70% of customers prefer to use a company’s website to get answers to their questions rather than use phone or email. In fact, in 2014 Forrester found for the first time ever that self-service customer support outperformed phone agents in user preferences. Respondents reported using FAQ pages on a company’s website more than speaking with an agent over the phone.

The use of help and FAQ pages has increased significantly in recent years, and so has the use of online communities, virtual agents, and online chats. According to Gartner, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human.

However, consumer preferences and trends toward self-service are not limited to the online channel. In brick-and-mortar stores, consumers are increasingly interested in self-service options as well.

If you have ever had to stand in line, wait to check out, or track down a store associate to get a price or locate an item, you’ve probably experienced the pitfalls of not having self-service options in a retail store.

The 2015 global shopper study by our partners at Zebra Technologies found that well over half of consumers agree that providing self-help technologies in stores improves the shopping experience, with 67% citing price checkers, 58% citing self-checkouts, and 56% citing digital kiosks.

These technologies allow customers to find and access products, pricing, and information quickly, on their own terms. They also enable faster, more automated checkouts and even online ordering and shipping of out-of-stock items.

Bringing Self-Service Options to Your Customers

Given the latest trends and the potential benefits for you and your customers, you should be considering a self-service strategy and exploring ways to implement self-service options.

Whether you’re running a business in retail or you’re providing other products and services through an omnichannel model, providing a variety of self-service options will increasingly be the path to more sales, better customer satisfaction, and repeat business.

It’s also why retailers are looking to create a seamless shopper experience by integrating e-commerce and in-store experiences. Seventy-eight percent of retailers are planning to do this, and by combining digital e-commerce and self-service with in-store shopping, order pickups, and returns, they will create a unified experience that offers the best of the online and in-store worlds to their customers.

At ASI, we’re helping businesses increase self-service options and create a unified omnichannel customer experience through expert consulting, systems design, and the power of Zebra Technologies.

Our partners at Zebra are the world leaders in mobile computing, digital kiosks, barcode and RFID scanning, printing, and automated data collection. They help retailers and other businesses provide self-service options and create omnichannel experiences that enhance customer service and give businesses a competitive edge in meeting the preferences and expectations of today’s consumers.

From its innovative Personal Shopping Solution to digital kiosks, mobile price checkers, and point-of-sale technologies, Zebra Technologies equips our consulting team to design systems that deliver outstanding self-service in brick-and-mortar locations. We also partner with Zebra to develop the systems to power great online self-service with increased automation, tracking, and visibility into every aspect of your operations.

Contact us now for a free consultation and to learn more about our Zebra-powered self-service and Service 2 Go solutions for your customers.

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The Value Impact of User Self-Service for Your Users and You

by Admin October 8, 2015

“I’m so tired of hearing a recording answer the phone.  I just need to speak to a person!”

How many times have you heard people complain about this?  Yet, when it comes to obtaining computer support, more and more users are celebrating the fact that they don’t need to wait to talk to a person to get many of their problems solved.  They’re celebrating the fact that their company service desk has implemented user self-service capabilities.

How Does User Self-Service Work?

Have you identified your “frequent flyers” lately?  Not only those users who call for help more often than others, but also those questions that are asked more often than others?

You probably wouldn’t be surprised by the most frequently asked questions.  You hear them every day.  What might surprise you is the proportion they represent of the total community of questions asked.  The ASI Help Desk finds that some can represent 10-20-30-even 40% of the inquiries your help desk receives, dwarfing all other questions combined. 

So what’s wrong with this picture?

Simply put, as much as half of your budget may be getting spent on answering the same question over and over and over again.  It would be worth your while to put that question and its answer on a plaque and post that plaque over every desk in your company.  You could then probably cut your staff and other help desk resources in half.  Scary… but true!

Research by the ASI Services team finds that distribution of most frequently asked questions follows the Pareto Principle.  That is, 80% of inquiries involve 20% of the questions.  Put another way, if you could enable your users to obtain answers to the 20% of all questions that are asked most often, you could reduce the load on your help desk by as much as 80%.  Sound interesting?

Enabling User Self-Service

Users are more connected and better informed than ever before. Organizations are looking for business solutions that can strengthen their ability to connect with users on their own terms, using whatever device and whatever channel they prefer.  Industry research firm Forrester has found that 72% of customers prefer self-service over phone or email interactions, meaning that self-service is no longer just an option, it’s a competitive requirement.

Once you know the most frequently asked support questions, and have developed easy-to-follow answers for them, you can use a variety of communication tools to make those answers instantly available to your users, including:

Portal: a 24/7 user support center that is seamlessly integrated into your organization’s current website. This web-based help center gives your users easy and convenient access to an intuitive, searchable knowledge base which delivers quick answers to their most-commonly asked service and support questions. If your users still require personal support after using the knowledge base, they can submit a help ticket, track its progress at their convenience and receive an automatic notification email when an answer is available for them.

Mobile Self-Service: Allow your users to access answers to frequently asked questions using whatever device they prefer. The responsive design of Portal enables you to increase the reach of your knowledge management efforts and provide consistent and personalized experiences across desktop and mobile devices.

Real-time Chat: provide your users with instant and personalized online support with Chat. Empowers your organization with an immediate, seamless transition from a self-service to assisted channel at critical times during the support interaction. Comprehensive rules for escalation, deflection and prioritization ensure a timely response and that Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are met.

Knowledgebase: an intuitive user self-service solution that provides quick answers to common questions and support issues, plus essential downloads including forms, how-to videos, product manuals, knowledge base information updates and more. Easily add and update information and customize its order and placement to put the most-viewed information in a prominent place.

The Best Service Desks Include Self-Service

One reason many ASI clients have chosen to engage ASI to operate their service desk is because we do everything possible to make service delivery faster, and keep costs lower at the same time.  User self-service is just one strategy that enables us to do this. 

For more insight into how you can invite your users to help themselves, talk to your ASI representative today!

About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

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