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Do You Know Why Your Customers Abandon Self-Service

…and how to engage your customers using AI and multiexperience

During the pandemic, consumers across the globe sought out digital channels to engage businesses and get help. As “contactless” becomes the new way of interacting with businesses, contact center leaders are clamoring for ways in which they can boost proactive customer service and self-service automation.

As stoic philosophers had pointed out ages ago, the obstacle is the way for contact center and customer experience leaders as well. By understanding why your customers abandon self-service, you can find a way to serve your customers  in their preferred self-service channels. Explore which of the blockers listed below are more pertinent to your customer operation. We have listed relevant case studies from our own experience along the way to inspire you to follow in the footsteps of Jacada’s customer heroes, our valued clients.

According to Gartner, the phone is still the most popular channel for customer service interactions. So, any effort to boost self-service should assure easy access to live support. Let’s dig in and find ways to bring “service” back to “self-service.”

7 Reasons Why Customers Abandon Self-Service Today

#1 Request Was Too Complex For Self-Service

request was too complex for self-service

Shufersal Case Study

Regardless of demographic or geographic region, customers tend to queue up at the contact center hotline when they are dealing with complex requests. That said, it’s worthwhile to examine whether your customers perceive certain requests to be too complex and ignore self-service as a viable option to their own disadvantage.

Check out how online grocery chain leader Shufersal guides callers to effortless and authentic complaints management across web, phone, messaging, and offline channels – a great case study that shows how to boost customer trust and grow your business while automating sensitive interactions.

 

#2 Couldn’t Find Information In Self-Service

Couldn't Find Information in Self-Service

Your customers have very limited time and patience before they abandon self-service.  If information is available but not easily accessible, we recommend considering a virtual agent on your contact us page. The virtual agent can offer guided menus as well as engage the customer in natural language to understand the customer’s need and direct them to the help they need. In many cases, it’s easier to recommend the right course of action once you understand the nature of the issue your customer might be dealing with.

Fortune 50 Manufacturer Case Study

If presenting a virtual assistant on your contact-us page seems like a daunting initiative, consider offering a virtual assistant on targeted pages within your website or mobile app to reduce customer effort related to unnecessary channel switching.

Here is an example of a client who used a combination of guided self-service workflows and virtual assistants to self-serve 95% of all requests related to a major call driver.

#3 Self-Service Channel Had Limited Functionality

Self Service Channel Had Limited Functionality

Are your customers abandoning your voice self-service by zeroing out of your IVR? Every channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Take the voice channel, for example. Since its easier to talk through several questions with an experienced customer service representative on the phone, customers prefer the voice channel when they have complex requests. However, the voice medium as such is quite limited in facilitating rich experiences that are often required to reduce customer effort and deliver on first contact resolution.

A customer who is calling in to report an issue will most likely find limited voice self-service options and may need to spend a long time talking to a representative to share details of the issue they are dealing with. Likewise, the representative also struggles with the limitations of the voice channel as they cannot understand the customer’s physical context (e.g., using customer’s geolocation, pictures, and videos from the customer), persuasively walk them through relevant options (e.g., presenting product comparisons, directing customers to interactive guides, etc.) and quickly receive consent to proceed with next steps (e.g., securing digital signatures).

Global Financial Services Leader Case Study

We recommend using a simple questionnaire that CEB, now part of Gartner, had developed to identify opportunities to optimize your channel strategy by scoring the fit between the customer requests you handle and the channels you handle those requests in. The tool enables you to use customer effort and cost to serve as primary drivers in your own efforts to maximize both customer effort scores and self-service rates.

Here is an example of one of Jacada’s customer heroes delivering effortless self-service for use cases previously considered too complex for the voice self-service

#4 Instructed to Call an Agent

instructed to call an agent

Many customer experience leaders have promoted the use of their toll-free customer service numbers to show that they are available to support their customers. In the last several years, many of these leaders have invested significantly in building and improving their digital channels so that they may “channel” that brand promise of customer intimacy more effectively and efficiently.

Certainly, digital channels have proven to deliver frictionless experiences that drive customer loyalty, and they also cost cents compared to the $5 average cost of a phone call with a customer service representative.

Leading Us Insurer Case Study

We recommend using a simple questionnaire that CEB, now part of Gartner, had developed to identify opportunities to optimize your channel strategy by scoring the fit between the customer requests you handle and the channels you handle those requests in. The tool enables you to use customer effort and cost to serve as primary drivers in your own efforts to maximize both customer effort scores and self-service rates.

Here is an example of one of Jacada’s customer heroes delivering effortless self-service for use cases previously considered too complex for the voice self-service

#5 Wasn’t Confident In Information Found Through Self-Service

confidential information in customer service

To get the most out of this assessment, we recommend that you take a small group of your peers and engage in a 5-Whys exercise for each of these blockers. Let us try to apply that here.

Why would a customer not feel confident about the information they found through your self-service channels? We have seen that the lack of confidence, in many cases, is directly attributed to the lack of personalization in digital self-service.

You may have various knowledge articles, frequently asked questions and videos addressing a topic that your customers are interested in. However, if the content does not address your customer’s specific question, they are likely to reach out to live support. Your customer service representatives would then dig into your back-end systems and provide an explanation that addresses your customer’s needs. Why not automate what is manually being done by your representatives using a bit of process and knowledge automation?

Ecommerce Customer Service Case Study

Offer transactional self-service capabilities that personalize the experience based on your customer’s specific situation. Simply put, ensure that your self-service channels integrate to your back-end systems to deliver answers and next best actions that are pertinent to the customer’s needs.

One of the global leaders in shipping and logistics, also a Jacada customer hero, delivers personalized explanations to customers wondering where their orders and packages are using an intelligent virtual agent.

#6 Wanted to Negotiate a Different Outcome With an Agent

customer negotiation

customer service agent
When we believe there is room for negotiation, it is quite human to rely on other humans to work out a better solution. No wonder customers call, multiple times in some cases, to discuss the same scenario with different customer service representatives and / or their supervisors to maximize their chances of arriving at an optimal solution. There are even entire businesses that negotiate better billing and payment arrangements on behalf of your customers. As services and technologies such as Google Duplex and Open AI’s GPT-3 mature over the next few years, we should fully expect intelligent agents that attempt to negotiate better deals for customers.

Customer service representatives who are on the receiving end of these negotiation requests are required to follow stringent processes and comply with industry regulations while exercising whatever limited discretion they are entitled to. Typically, customers are not aware of these constraints and get so frustrated when a call center

How should you go about delivering effortless customer experiences when the very nature of these requests is so effort-intensive and anxiety-inducing for both your customers and your customer service representatives?

Puget Sound Energy Case Study

Start with transparency. Educate your customers on how the process works and how you keep your brand promise. Direct them to self-service tools that guide them through the lengthy and sometimes arduous process, of filing a claim to apply for benefits, or submitting a request for a payment arrangement. Help your customers understand that starting with self-service and following the process are the best first steps they could take to effortlessly arrive at a preferred solution.

Here is an example of our customer hero who is using digital self-service to help customers sort out payment arrangements for their utility bills. The case study exemplifies how you can be at your customer’s side and help them with delicate situations while complying with industry regulations in an effective and efficient manner.

#7. Only Looking for Customer Service Phone Number

customer looking for customer support number

UPS Case Study

And then you have those customers who check out your website only to find your phone number and call you. We touched on the importance of driving digital adoption and the need to coach and even incent customers to use digital self-service. Are your customers so set in their ways that they charge forward to call you regardless of your digital adoption maneuvers? Invest in proactive customer service to engage your customers and deliver the help they need before they sense the trigger to contact you for assistance.

Check out how a UPS Service Provider proactively manages exceptions in the shipment delivery and tracking journey. Rather than waiting for a phone call regarding a missed delivery, scheduling additional attempts to deliver a package, or coordinating signatures and re-routes, this Jacada customer hero leads the way with proactive customer service that reduces customer effort and boosts self-service rates even before a customer recognizes the need for customer service.

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