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The Future of CX: Seamless Shift from Self-Service to Human Customer Support

Recent research shows an undeniable shift towards self-service in customer interactions. 

The trend isn’t surprising. Digital natives — being accustomed to instant solutions — find it convenient to solve problems without waiting on a human agent. With effective self-service, they can quickly access solutions and enjoy an effortless service experience.

However, if self-service falls short or there’s a clunky transition to assisted channels, the customer experience suffers. Given that 88% of customer journeys begin with self-service and often involve multiple touchpoints, it’s essential to ensure fluidity between these channels.

Why Self-Service is Gaining Popularity

Let’s unpack why self-service has gained such traction.

95% of companies have reported a dramatic increase in consumers requesting self-service options.
77% of consumers prefer brands that offer self-service solutions.
81% of customers express a desire for even more self-service options. 

The reasons are twofold. It benefits both customers and businesses:

How does self-service affect customer satisfaction?How does self-service affect businesses?

Convenience: Can access services on their schedule.

Empowerment: Gives more control over the experience.

24/7 Availability: Often available around the clock.

Consumer Expectations: Modern customers often expect self-service options.

Operational Efficiency: Reduces costs and speeds up service.

Scalability: Handles increased customer volume without adding staff.

Data Collection: Helps understand customer behavior.

Resource Allocation: Frees up employees for more complex tasks.
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Self-Service Hurdles

Yet, as with all innovations, there are challenges that come with self-service.

According to a Forrester study, businesses waste nearly $22 million annually on unnecessary CX costs because customers struggle to self-serve.

A Gartner research indicating that 62% of customer service channel transitions are “high-effort” is a harsh reminder of these challenges.

Such statistics pose an interesting paradox: while companies are harnessing the power of self-service to reduce costs and improve CX, the transition from this service to human-assisted channels might be causing more harm than good.

The pursuit of speed, cost-effectiveness, and minimal human involvement has overshadowed a more thoughtful approach that puts people and customers at the center.

The push to digitally transform business processes has often been driven by a narrow focus on hard data, which can sometimes overlook the very people that technology was meant to benefit.

Improving Self-Service Channel Transitions: Key Strategies

Building on insights from Gartner’s research, here are key strategies to ensure that the power of self-service and the necessity of human-assisted channels integrate seamlessly:

  • Limiting over-automation: Self-service should be an option but not the only option. While automation can enhance efficiency, it should complement, not replace, the human touch.
  • More guidance, not more choices: Offer clear guidance for customers during channel transitions. Rather than overwhelming them with choices, guide them through the process, ensuring they know support is readily available if needed.
  • Improve the IVR system: Many businesses have integrated a multitude of options into their IVR menus, thinking that offering more choices would cater to a broader range of customer needs. What that actually results in are complex menus that are difficult to navigate and take ages until the desired option is reached. 
  • Transfer self-service questions to reps: Often, when customers change channels, the details they’ve shared or self-service steps they’ve taken often get lost, forcing them to provide the information again.

    Not only does this affects customer satisfaction, but also, by avoiding the need for customers to repeat information, seamless transitions can save up to 4 minutes of valuable rep time per customer journey, according to Eric Keller, Senior Director in Gartner’s Customer Service Research Practice. 

6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

These strategies will do exactly that and more.

At FrontLogix, we strive to create a superior customer experience by fusing technology and human support. Our ultimate goal is to maintain brand loyalty among your customers by striking a balance between automation and the human touch.