How to implement self-service to supercharge your UX

Bethan Collins

Bethan Collins | Solutions Lead

Bethan Collins is a Solutions Lead with several years of Continuous Improvement experience across financial services and utilities. Bethan is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Prince2 Practitioner. Bethan’s achievements during her career at Target demonstrate her passion for improving business processes and exploring innovative customer-focused change, across multiple industries.

In our previous blog we looked at the benefits self-service can bring to organisations, and the enticing opportunities that implementing such a feature presents. As well as completing repetitive and simple processes, it also provides enhanced availability, scale and the ability to level out peaks and troughs in demand.

However, whilst self-service can deliver significant benefits to all types of organisations, it’s vital that it’s used appropriately. If used incorrectly, self-service could actually damage your brand, causing user disengagement and dissatisfaction. Therefore, successful design and implementation is just as important as having the tool readily available.

But what are the main considerations in helping to take it from concept to reality? Here’s our guide on how to successfully implement self-service and revolutionise your customer service provision.

1. Utilisation and functionality

Before pen is put to paper, goals need to be set for the adoption of the self-service facility. Not only do these need to be in line with business goals (low wait times, high satisfaction levels etc), they also need to outline how the service will create added value for users. The service needs to become indispensable – something users can’t live without. Remember, without user adoption the service will fail and no ROI will be achieved.

2. Testing

Developing a self-service tool is not a one-off and can’t be thought of as that way. It requires constant evolution and improvement. To achieve this, enable and encourage user feedback, using a user segment to test out the beta functionality before it goes live. This helps save time by fixing bugs before exposing the tool to higher case volumes, whilst also seeing how the transition affects operations. Ensure continuous monitoring and evaluation of satisfaction levels, whilst also keeping up with changing preferences, demands and requirements.

3. Think pre-emptively

UX is about staying one step ahead of the customer, and self-service is no different. Using predictive modelling to inform the user’s next action can help to inform an intuitive design, whilst insight from both customer profiles and behaviours should be leveraged to create the most engaging journeys. This will help create more efficient and engaging user journeys, benefitting everyone.

4. Keep integration at the heart of the product

Customers operate across multiple channels, so your self-service tool should also. Be sure to use sophisticated APIs to create a single customer view – one that provides visibility for the user and the organisation. This enables a seamless transition from self-service portal to human support (if required), alongside any other digital services which are integrated alongside. Siloed tools don’t work and they create duplication of effort, cost and inefficiencies, so building a tool that can seamlessly slot into the technology stack will help drive ROI and operability.

5. Content

Tools can quickly become outdated just through language, so it’s important to keep content up to date to provide a slick experience. Keep it concise, relevant and accurate, so users are sure of what’s being asked of them – leave nothing down to interpretation. Where possible, look to personalise content, thereby only delivering the most relevant content that closely matches customers’ needs, so as not to cause disengagement or confusion.

6. Keep it personal

We’ve talked about the importance of profile and behavioural data to personalise the user journey, but this is not just for one-off interactions. Self-service platforms need to evolve with users and their needs throughout the lifecycle, helping them to control their experience. Without this personalisation, they will likely encounter a fragmented experience and revert back to contact centres. Therefore, harness as much data as possible to create a self-serving tool which works intuitively to solve problems.

Customers not only want self-service, they now expect it. So, implementing an intuitive, supportive tool is a necessity. By empowering customers to undertake low input tasks, that don’t need the support of an agent, your contact centre will be freed up for other, higher value tasks that require human support. However, providing a sub-satisfactory tool will undo all good intentions, so be sure to keep our pointers in mind to help ensure a successful outcome.