High up on the list in every article about digital self-service is how much money it will save you as a business. Some say it will cut costs on hiring staff for low-level tasks, by streamlining and automating services. Others focus on around-the-clock hours for sales, or even reducing ticket inquiries altogether and improving customer retention and therefore profits. Bottom line? For many companies, it appears to be well and truly all about the dollars and cents.
But what if I told you that the financial incentives for intelligent self-service should not in fact be the primary reasons on your list of reasons to opt in?
A study by Demandbase has recently looked into how AI can improve the customer experience. 60% believe that AI gives better insights into accounts, 56% believe it offers more detailed analysis of campaigns, and 53% say AI can help with identifying prospective customers.
The sheer amount of data that can be taken in through self-service is one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. With the help of intelligent analytics, this data can be turned into actionable insights. The success rate is impressive, with results proving between “2-6x the improvement in marketing funnel conversion rate.”
Scaling your Brand Presence
Your brand is not just the colors and font on your company logo. It’s about how you interact with your customers and the image of your business to the outside world.
Whether visitors are browsing your website, downloading your mobile app, or getting in touch with customer service-one strong brand presence is essential. Intelligent-self-service can give one unified voice to your support channels, as well as helping you maintain the important elements of your branding, whatever those values might be. If your company is known for transparency, self-service can track the questions coming in, identify trends and pre-empt more inquiries by providing the answers on your website. If the tone of your business is light-hearted and whimsical, your support bots can mirror this style while going beyond tone to increase efficiency and efficacy.
The more customers engage with online channels and social media to reach out to retailers and businesses, the better a company’s ‘always on’ service has to be. If you’re not there when a customer is calling, they will quickly move on. Digital self-service is effortlessly scalable to meet your business needs, whether that’s at 1pm on your website, or at 3am on Facebook.
Maintain Optimum Quality Support
Sure, digital self-service can reduce the load on human staff. It’s true that it allows your employees to focus on more intricate tasks and feel greater job satisfaction in what they do, and it streamlines and automates repetitive or simple processes. But it’s so much more than that, too.
The support given to customers is guaranteed, not just in terms of round-the-clock service, but also the quality of the interactions themselves. With the help of a centralized knowledge base, answers are immediate and accurate across all channels. Wherever your customer reaches out from, support can answer queries from delivery and product information to opening hours and prices, and if the customer can log in, support has their order history and account information on hand and can take personalized and specialized answers even further. Customer service capabilities are boosted exponentially, and in situations wherein the query warrants human contact, the conversation is simply escalated accordingly.
Intelligent Self-Service: A Requirement in the Digital Age
Having an eye on the financial prize will always be necessary to make a success of your business, and if you’re looking for monetary reasons to adopt a self-service solution, you’ll find plenty. But equally high up on my list of business essentials is a strong and scalable brand presence, actionable analytics for success, and unparalleled customer service quality. Intelligent self-service is not a luxury intended to boost your profits, it’s a must-have to stay relevant in 2017 and beyond.