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Increasing customer self-service to cut costs

Businesses need to evolve to address rising customer expectations and to cut costs.

When Eventbrite enabled customer self-serve, the business reduced enquiries by over 50% and saved £millions per year, whilst increasing customer satisfaction.

With stores and locations closed during lockdowns, many businesses (including our clients) have seen record growth in customer enquiries, and are hiring customer service staff in record numbers just to keep pace.

In such an environment, technology often feels like a simple answer: implement Live Chat, a Chatbot, a voice assistant. Plug and play.

Reality is a bit more complex.

Businesses need to juggle handling complex queries with managing customer expectations.

How are their customer service staff with the right information? What do their customers expect? What are the low-hanging fruit?

All this and businesses still need to be mindful of delivering value for customers and ROI for the business.

It’s a complex challenge but there are a few simple places to start.

What are your customers’ most frequent and painful problems?

Start with the customer. We do this by looking at the data, and talking to customer service staff on the frontlines. We take the journeys customers go through ourselves, and ideally, talk to customers directly. Hearing their stories directly helps you understand their pains and unpack their problems. This leads to the low-hanging fruit, which will drive the bulk of inquiries.

Find the low hanging fruit

Get hold of your enquiry data, categorise it, and prioritise it. You want to look for queries with high volumes and simple solutions. Then, refine your priorities with what you’ve understood are the customers biggest pain points.

Get in the flow

To stand a chance of success, any solution should be positioned naturally in the customer’s journey. That might be in-app, on your website, or even product packaging. Thinking about when the problem most occurs and what the customer is likely to be doing helps here.

Define the data you need before you build anything

It’s critical to have a clear plan for the data you want to collect throughout the customer’s self-service journey. This should be planned up front, so you can measure the impact of what you’ve implemented.

Hand over to customer service elegantly

There’s nothing more frustrating to customers than trying to self-serve, failing, and having to start from the beginning with a customer service representative. Arm them with the information they need to deliver a great experience.

Test and learn

Getting the experience right requires iteration and a true test and learn mentality. Customer service is unpredictable, and as you solve one problem for users, others arise. The mantra to keep in mind is to remember customers’ expectations are always increasing, and truly customer-centric organisations must fight to keep up.

First Bus Live Chat app functionality - Future Platforms Live Chat functionality on the First Bus app

Do you need help increasing self-service for your customers?

We’ve helped companies like First Bus integrate Live Chat into their app to tackle the challenge of self-service. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to us about a self-service challenge in your industry.

Remy Brooks

Remy Brooks

Remy is Future Platforms' Head of Strategy and leads our strategy team, bringing a wealth of experience from a decade of working across a diverse range of industries. Outside of work, Remy is a keen footballer, Arsenal season ticket holder, and played at county level a long, long time ago.

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