Self-service contact centers are a recent innovation that allow customers to resolve their own problems without the help of a live agent. That sounds like the customer service solution of most company’s dreams, so why has self-service not gained the sort of popularity you might expect?
What is a Self-Service Contact Center?
When you incorporate self-service options into your inbound call center, customers can utilize an automated menu or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to find answers to their questions without having to speak to a live agent.
Essentially, a self-service contact center puts the customer in control. They can receive fast, accurate and consistent answers to their questions in their own time. This can streamline the contact center operation, particularly when contact center agents regularly have to repeat the same information.
The Benefits of Self-Service Technologies
The benefits for merchants and organizations are clear. They include:
- Reduced contact agent burden – Live agents are no longer required to answer an endless stream of repetitive and low-level questions.
- Reduced costs – Companies that have implemented a self-service system report a cost reduction of 10-50%.
- Increased efficiency – Effective self-service systems reduce the number of calls and emails a company receives, in some cases dealing with up to 90% of enquiries.
- Increased consistency and accuracy – Self-service standardizes the information customers receive, ensuring it’s both accurate and up to date.
- Improved customer service – Customers receive fast, accurate answers in their own time.
The customer can also benefit from self-service contact centers in the form of:
- Faster, more accurate responses – Customers can receive the responses they need without having to wait to speak to a live agent.
- More convenience – Calls can be made in the customer’s own time.
- Improved service – The reduced burden on live agents means calls that do require human assistance can be answered more quickly.
- Simplicity – 72% of customers prefer self-service to resolving their enquiry by email or over the phone.
The Popularity of Self-Service Contact Centers
Even with the very clear benefits for merchants, companies and customers, self-service contact centers are not proving to be an easy sell for some companies. While tech-savvy customers prefer to use the self-service option, less technically-sophisticated customers can find it difficult and usually prefer to speak to a live agent.
Even tech-savvy customers can require assistance when using self-service tools, especially when encountering technical glitches when using the system. For this reason, it’s essential all self-service tools provide an option to receive human assistance.
Ensuring Self-Service PCI DSS Compliance
When implementing a self-service option you must ensure you comply with the 12 requirements of PCI DSS. At PCI Pal, we can remove your compliance headache by capturing cardholder data within our Level 1 PCI-certified secure payment cloud. The details are then passed directly to your chosen payment service provider for an instant authorization response. This ensures sensitive card data never enters your contact center, effectively descoping your payment environment from PCI DSS.