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The DIY era of CX: Solving with self-help and agent assist

The last time you needed customer service, did you immediately contact the company by phone, email, or chat, or did you first dig around online a bit to see if you could find the solution yourself?

Now consider the service channels your company offers. Have you seen a recent uptick in the use of self-help options? Perhaps many of your customers are receiving fast resolutions themselves, without ever interacting with a live representative. But for those who hit a roadblock, someone should always be there to quickly step in and help complete the task.

The rise of self-help

The use of unassisted self-help solutions continues to rise, according to the 2021 CX Leaders Trends & Insights Consumer Edition report, created and published by Execs in the Know. Although voice care remains strong, 15% of participants surveyed between June 14 and July 13, 2021 shared that they had used one or more self-help channels—including notifications, chatbots, digital FAQs, and mobile apps—in the previous 12 months.

Of those, 65% of participants shared that they were trying to fix an issue or find information about a product or service, while an additional 13% said they used self-help to make a purchase or schedule a service.

These numbers are expected to continue to grow as ease of use, increased functionality, and personalization drive further usage—but the survey also uncovered a few frustrations about self-service.

Quick and convenient, until it’s not

When participants were asked what companies could do differently with self-help and unassisted tools to make them better, easier, and more enjoyable to use, they weren’t shy about sharing such feedback as:

  • “Allow escalation when necessary and better anticipate needs.”
  • “Give people faster and easier access to a live person if they’re unable to find the answer.”
  • “Program more scenarios or allow an option to revert to sending a message to an actual person.”
  • “Expand the knowledge base and use customer-submitted questions to guide the expansion.”
  • “Offer them as an option, but not the only option.”

Clearly, self-help isn’t yet perfect for many companies’ customer service options. Until significant improvements are made, it’s essential to give people a greater ability to seamlessly shift to live help if and when they need it.

Arming the agents on standby

The modern era of CX delivery is digitally led. Today’s customer service representatives are wirelessly connected to their computers, performing each interaction via VOIP. They can simultaneously view multiple screens displaying product or service information alongside a full customer profile, and they can respond to urgent notifications via a single click. And when they’re integrated with the systems handling your self-help customers, they’re ready to jump in and offer assistance whenever needed.

Empowering your agents with AI, automation, or analytics allows them to resolve customer inquiries more quickly and efficiently than ever before. As customer service technology has evolved, the employee experience has improved, leading to higher ESAT, and in turn, higher CSAT results as well.

Achieving interaction satisfaction

If the predictions are accurate, people will keep trying self-help options, taking themselves as far as they can to resolve their own customer service needs. But when they find themselves in need of a live assistant, they’ll fully expect someone to be immediately available and qualified to complete the task. With the right self-help solutions and technology in place, you can ensure interaction satisfaction for both your employees and your customers.

Interested in additional CX trends and insights? Read the full report here. Ready to power up agent productivity with a simplified and unified technology solution? Check out HGS Agent X.

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