How to Navigate a Self-Service World
By 2030, Gartner forecasts 1 billion self-service tickets will be automatically created by customer-owned bots. In other words virtual assistant bots, with a thorough knowledge of the wants and needs of their owners, will launch queries on our behalf.
Until that time comes, we have to create support tickets on our own. Today, 67% of people prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.
Wheels fosters a culture of responsiveness through high-touch communication. We routinely communicate with customers via in-person visits, phone calls and email messages. However, we do understand that some people prefer to communicate and get information in other means. So we aim to offer a multiltude of avenues for the ways people wish to seek and consume information. We’ve evolved our request management process to give clients access to statuses of inquires and estimates of completion dates via an online portal.
We continue to keep our ears to the ground to learn what communication methods our clients desire most and innovate to make that possible. However, with the ubiquity of self-service tools, we can all do more to help facilitate our own self-service.
How to serve yourself
Utilize request tracking tools: When help center resources aren’t detailed enough, an online request tracking tool is your next bet. It allows you to create a record of the inquiry and the form often prompts you to explain your request in detail.
Check statuses online: Organizations with effective customer service departments always have a person on hand to field questions that come over the phone or email. Yet in these days of self-service, you’re likely working off the same platform as the customer service agent so they have access to the same information as you. You’ll save yourself time by logging into the platform and viewing the status of your inquiry before calling to see if there’s been any progress.
Monitor trends and ask for education on common inquiries: If you or your team are routinely having questions or requests that fall under the same topic area or theme, then there may be an opportunity for education. Ask for documentation on the topic or a one-on-one meeting to cover all potential points of inquiry in the future.
How to help others serve you
Explain your issue thoroughly in inquiries: Forms—with required fields—are your friends. When you’re busy they may seem tedious, but they help route the request to the right person. Additionally, when you provide a detailed explanation with examples and screengrabs (if applicable) it allows the support person to work on a solution right away instead of asking for follow-up information.
Ask for estimated completion dates: It’s easier to focus on other tasks when you know an answer to your request is on its way. Most organizations have estimated completion dates that provide a timeframe for when you’ll receive a solution. If one isn’t provided, ask for one. They should be able to provide an average based on historical client data.
Follow up if you haven’t received a confirmation of the request: Whether you’re making a request via a self-service portal or through email directly to your assigned contact person, you should receive prompt confirmation of your request. This assures you that the communication loop made a successful rotation and now your request is in the execution phase. If you don’t receive a confirmation, it’s safe to assume the request wasn’t received. So, it’s best to follow up.
Participate in feedback surveys for any products you use: This is the company’s direct line to the customer. If you’re honest and thorough in your response, you’ll have participated in improving the product or service. Wheels conducts both client and driver satisfaction surveys and uses the feedback to launch new improvement initiatives each year.
What’s one way you’ve helped companies provide a better self-service experience? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.