Self Service if done right could be very effective both from a customer experience perspective as well as cost savings perspective. Certain tasks like directory look-up, balance inquiry and prescription refills are better done using an IVR and people tend to prefer that mode of communication. However making a very complex IVR menu tree could be detrimental to any customer experience. Adding speech to self service could also make navigation easy.
Self service can also be enhanced to include other channels like text messaging. Sending a PNR and receiving details of your travel itinerary is a useful example of self service via SMS. Web self service is one of the simplest forms of self service where one can peruse your website and get all the information required. How well the information is organized on a website determines its effectiveness.
An important thing to note is that all self service options need to be integrated into the overall customer contact center system. For example when an agent receives a phone call, the screen pop should inform the agent about the IVR traversal path that preceded the call. You have to treat all customer interaction consistently regardless of mode or channel used.
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