The Cost of Ignoring the Future of Self-Service Customer Support

MS Gold Partner

Everyone knows that customer service is an important part of every business. Furthermore, good or great customer service is a requirement to grow a business. In today’s digital world, the definition of what constitutes great customer service is changing.

What Do Customers Want?

In the past, customers wanted a friendly voice at the end of a telephone line. They also wanted a quick resolution to their question or problem. But, things are changing.

Today, customers are most interested in helping themselves. In fact, the Harvard Business Review published an article stating that 81 percent of all customers try to help themselves before reaching out to a representative. The majority of your customers have switched to self-service whether you make it easy for them or not.

Microsoft has published a report on the state of multichannel customer service. What they found is that 92 percent of customers in the U.S. expect that a company will provide self-service customer support online. Evidently, self-service is no longer an option; for the 92 percent, it’s an expectation. As a result, the definition of great customer service is changing. Your company will never reach your customers’ new expectations without self-service.

What Is the Cost of Doing Nothing?

If you don’t currently have a self-service channel for your customer support, it’s time to think about what that’s costing you. It’s reported that businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to poor customer service. Here’s how that happens:

You’re Losing Customers. One survey showed that 49 percent of respondents switched between brands due to poor customer service. As a result, you’ll need to find new customers — and getting those customers onboard costs six to seven times more than keeping existing customers.

You’re Not Reducing Support Costs. Self-service support doesn’t cost as much as other approaches. When you have a self-service portal, your customer service department can focus on handling only the more complex issues. As a result, your support costs go down, while customer satisfaction goes up.

You’re Not Optimizing Customer Support Resources. When customers themselves can handle simple issues, your sales and customer service representatives can concentrate on managing issues that are more complex. Not only that, but they can expand the scope of the tasks they can complete, which would have an impact on your business that goes beyond just providing good service.

You’re Not Raising the Perception of Your Brand. Without a self-service option, your brand looks like it’s behind the times. Furthermore, even the best call center isn’t enough for your customers to think you have great service because you’re not meeting their expectations.

Is Adding Self-Service Difficult?

The best part of implementing a self-service project is that you probably already have the data you need to justify the initiative. Create a list of the top 10 reasons why customers contact your call center. When you review that list, you’ll be able to identify the issues that would be easiest to move to a self-service platform. Starting with the easiest things to move will help to increase customer adoption.

Once your self-service system is in place, you’ll experience your call center and customer service costs declining, which will give your company a solid opportunity to increase profits.

To learn more about how your organization could benefit from a self-service offering, please download our white paper: Driving a Better Customer Experience Through Self-Service.



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Vikas Mukhi
Enterprise Architect
Vikas Mukhi is an Enterprise Architect at Navantis, a Datavail company with 15+ years of successful leadership and experience in business processes, complex applications and secure enterprise-class solutions necessary for 24/7 business operations. His responsibilities include Solution strategy and implementation for business operations and has been recognized as a customer-trusted advisor throughout the project life cycle.

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