Five Reasons Why Self-service Can Improve the Customer Experience

Self-service platforms. We have all used them, whether it was drawing money from an ATM or booking an appointment at the doctors through an online platform. They have increasingly become a part of our lives by supporting us in our daily work – often without us even thinking about it. 

We now encounter self-services in the private and public sector, where companies and institutions offer us the technology to improve and support our experience of products and services. But why is that the case? How do self-service platforms benefit us?

I’ll give you five reasons why a self-service platform can benefit your users, as well as your business. But before doing so, let me quickly establish what self-service platforms are. 

Self-service platforms are interfaces allowing us to produce a service independent of direct customer service involvement. 

With that clarified, it’s time for the five reasons why to choose self-service platforms. 

1. Ownership and control

The nature of self-services ultimately supports the change of the user’s role from a passive consumer to an active prosumer. Many users want to be a part of the creation and shaping of the products and services that they buy. They expect a stronger sense of ownership and control.  

Consider a regular banking app which most of us know and use. While we previously had to meet up personally at the bank or make a phone call to customer support, we can now handle our economy by logging in with our credentials. Here, we can create a personal budget, transfer money, or pay bills. The banking app is a perfect example of a self-service platform that allows for more control and transparency. 

2. A personalized experience

Self-services enable you to create a personalized user experience. With more than 81% of users asking for brands to get to know them (Accenture, 2017), personalization has become an important aspect of delivering a good product or service. It helps you increase user engagement and loyalty. 

When users log in to a self-service platform, the system identifies them through their personal credentials. This allows you to greet them by name on a welcome page and show them information and functionality based on their situation. The user experience will be tailored to their needs and behavior, which will make the self-service both useful and relevant for them.

3. What I want, where I want it, when I want it

In addition to offering a better user experience, self-services also accommodate practicalities. With self-service platforms users are able to get their jobs done across time and space. They don't have to call customer service within specific opening hours or spend money and time on transportation in order to reach the company's nearest office. 

The flexibility of “where I want it, when I want it” is becoming a criterion for many users when choosing to use a service or product. They have become used to accessing digital services or products on their own terms, which makes sense considering the existing services and products available on today’s market.

4. Handling sensitive matters 

Self-services offer users greater control and flexibility, but also the possibility to handle sensitive matters privately. For example, booking an appointment at the doctors or paying a bill in the bank can be a private affair that the user wants to involve as few people as possible in.

Maybe that’s why 57% of customers would rather contact companies through digital media rather than having a voice-based interaction with customer service (Ameyo, 2016).

5. Saving costs internally

The adoption of self-services can benefit you by improving the user experience of your product or service. But self-services also help you improve your internal processes and save costs. By allowing users to deliver services themselves, your customer service agents save time on administrative tasks and on the direct dialogue that is otherwise necessary to deliver a product or service to users.

Let’s take a claim process in a typical insurance company as an example. Without a self-service platform, customer service needs to manually collect information about an insurance claim by contacting the user through phone or email, process the collected information, and then follow up with the user. By introducing an online self-service platform, users are able to collect the information themselves and send it directly to the insurance company. This allows customer service to focus on the verification of the information and nothing else. 

Self-services save customer service agents time, but also allow for a more consistent customer experience.    

A quick sum up

So let me sum up. Self-service platforms offer you a competitive advantage because the technology allows for a more effective, seamless, and personal user experience. With a self-service solution, users get more control and privacy, as well as more flexibility in regards to when and where they want to get their jobs done. Meanwhile, you can increase effectiveness internally, save costs, and improve your brand. 

At Adapt, we are specialized in creating self-service solutions for end-users to make the most of your digital product. Contact us for more information on how we can help you.

Contact

Yasmin Semlali

Senior UX Designer

Boston

Adapt Digital Customer eXperience Inc. Fort Point, 51 Melcher St. Boston MA 02210, USA

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