Self Service Digital Channels Lack the Human Touch
Illustration by Eric Jackson

Customers increasingly turn first to self-service to answer questions or solve problems. When they do, they value quick, easy access to relevant and accurate content so that they can find the information they need and get on with their lives.

Yet providing customers with a low-effort self-service experience that meets their needs has been a challenge for many organizations. In a recent survey conducted by Strategic Contact and Pipeline, contact centers cited insufficient self-service as one of the top 3 challenges that they faced (behind high attrition and the lack of cross-departmental collaboration).

For contact centers, self-service has been viewed largely as a call-deflection tactic—a cost-effective approach for handling basic inquiries and transactions. But once in place, it seems that not enough has been done to ensure that the quality and performance of self-service channels have been keeping pace with phone interactions.

Digital self service channels are suffering from a lack of quality managementIn fact, digital channels across the board are currently suffering from a lack of quality management methodologies that have been in place on the telephony side for the past 20 years, says Andrew McNair, head of Solutions & Global Benchmarking at Dimension Data. According to findings from the “2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report,” 75.9% of contact centers said that they reviewed telephone processes annually or more frequently, but only 46.1% said that they perform process reviews of self-service less than annually. Another 19.3% said they never review their processes, and 16.8% will only do so by exception and when an issue has been reported.

Why the hands-off view of digital channels? Most digital channels are being developed within silos, which obstruct the flow of information, focus, decision-making and accountability.

“The theme of this year’s report is that digital is missing a human touch,” McNair says. “That’s where we see things falling short. The technology is there and the information and business intelligence is becoming more widely available, but what is missing is the operational and business ownership to ensure that the desired customer experience is delivered, as well as the return on investment for those channels.”

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