// Power to the People: Online Self-Service Evolves

Date: 06/01/2013

Contributors: Joe McKendrick


This is a report covering the results of a survey conducted by destinationCRM, the leading site for contact center executives and professionals. The survey, conducted in partnership with IntelliResponse, included input from 520 call center executives, managers or supervisors.

The following summarizes key survey results that explore issues around managing customer contact center environments: 
  • Close to half of CRM managers and professionals responding to the survey say they have web or mobile-based self-service capabilities. The self-service channel is growing, with three-fifths of respondents expecting to increase its use over the coming year.
  • Respondents have had web self-service capabilities for a number of years now, and six out of 10 are also moving into mobile. Despite this fact, most of these capabilities are limited to customer portals with FAQs or the use of site search in a customer service environment. About half of these systems share the same technology and data with their customer service center. Up-and-coming features expected to be added over the next three years include interactive videos, social media channels for customer forums, and interactive, realtime chat options. There is an overarching movement towards the notion of providing “answers” to natural language questions and doing so across a variety of online channels.
  • About half of respondents, with web or mobile self-service capabilities, report measurable reductions in phone inquiries,as well as less email traffic. A majority of respondents have also seen increased sales through their customer self-service channel.
  • When moving to web or mobile self-service, most organizations are concerned with the rising complexity of their websites, as well as the need to integrate these systems and the associated data with existing customer service channels. Notably as well, most do not foresee their live-agent customer care centers going away anytime soon. If anything, more than 40% expect their live contact centers to keep expanding
  • While most companies capture some customer self-service interaction data, most are not yet applying the data to improving their customers’ experiences. Forward-thinking organizations work to deliver answers to self-service inquiries, not static FAQs or lists of search results These same organizations deliver a well-organized process of right-channeling customer interactions, using online self-service as the first point of contact.