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Industry Research Research Insight: Self-Service Support

Moving your customers to self-service is the goal of virtually every support operation. By allowing customers to solve their own issues, organizations can realize multiple benefits including increased satisfaction, lower costs and reduced call volumes. But what kind of results are companies today actually seeing?

In an effort to find out, conducted a survey in September 2010 on the topic of self-service support, with nearly 50 service executives participating.  An overwhelmingly majority (85.7%) of respondents offer their customers self-service, but only half (51%) of respondents are able to confidently measure their customer’s adoption of self-service.

When asked if they currently survey their customer regarding their self-service experience, only 28.5% of respondents indicated they were.

According to Pete McGarahan, president of McGarahan & Associates, this lack of awareness of customer satisfaction levels with self-service leaves us asking three questions regarding the current state of self-service:

  1. How do we know that are customers are using our self-service solution?
  2. How do we confidently know that customers are getting their questions answered or issues resolved?
  3. How do we know what their experience was like and what we can do to improve it?

The industry currently struggles to define customer adoption and what it means in terms of getting customers to consistently utilize self-service for resolving their issues or handling their inquiries. There is also the challenge of measuring adoption and discerning when a customer visits the site to find an answer or solution to their issue, whether they leave with their issue resolved and their overall self-service experience. These are all important measurements that would give companies insights into what is working and what needs to be improved. In addition, this data could help discern how to incent customers to increase usage, how to improve resolution rates on first visit and enrich the customer experience.

In terms of percentage of volume, 77.4% of respondents report that self-service is 30% of their overall reported monthly volume of incidents, requests and inquiries. A large majority (40.8%) of those respondents reported 10% or less of the self-service channel contributing to their monthly demand for services by their customers. 

To get your full copy of the research brief on Self-Service Support, click here.
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