Self service has some enormous benefits for organizations when it is possible. A Global Benchmarking report by Dimension Data shows that operator assisted phone transactions have dropped from 90% of all calls to 50% of all calls over the past decade.
The same report indicates that self-service transactions now account for at least 30% of all calls. The potential is enormous. However, if your organization doesn’t currently make use of self-service information technology infrastructure, or you feel that your current Asian network operations could be expanded to allow more self-service, how do you go about it?
To understand if self service can help your organization, you first need to look at the customer experience. If you don’t do this for marketing purposes already, research your customer base. Know the demographics you are dealing with, and try to ensure that aspects of your service that your customers value are retained when your information technology consultants implement the move to self-service.
In addition to demographics, before creating new Asian network infrastructure for self-service, do some analysis on your enquiry types, call statistics, and handling times. Try to build a picture of the end-to-end customer experience for your callers. Find out what customers value about your service, as well as what they think could be improved (hopefully through self-service).
You will want to retain these service features and make them consistent across the company. The key to self-service success is to integrate your offering across different channels, creating a consistent self-service ‘product’ of sorts.
A pilot program is the next step towards having your information technology consulting firm integrate self-service into your IT infrastructure. Test the sound and the functionality of the changes. Try to garner some customer feedback – you can implement the self-service answering system for a certain percentage of callers, with a (short) introductory message letting them know that their feedback at the end will be appreciated.
You should also consider whether your current phone service offering is compatible with information technology infrastructure like speech recognition and voice biometrics. In many cases, customers perceive that call times are shorter than they actually are, and they also allow huge menu structures to be condensed into a very small amount of time for the caller.
Savings are estimated to be in the range of 85% for companies that move from full human contact to speech recognition Asian communications solutions. According to the Dimension Data report, approximately 50% of companies plan to implement speech recognition in the future, while only 16% currently use it. 34% plan to install text-to-speech systems, while 31% will be using voice verification or authentication systems.
Some key guidelines for implementing self-service through speech recognition include involving marketing in your activities to create a consistent brand image, as well as outsourcing language experts to ensure your message is clear. Use the same wording and phrasing across the entire organization, and do extensive usability testing in conjunction with your Asian network infrastructure firm or IT consultancy.