Every progressive brand aspires to have more self-service. Few implement self-service successfully. Self-service is a new tool to optimize a company’s workforce by removing transactions from the system. All industries are looking at self-service as a strategy of the future.
Hospitals, airlines, and hotels are installing kiosks to self check-in while grocery stores and taxi companies are implementing self-service check out with digital payment products. The list goes on and on. What differentiates a successful use of self-service as a building block of innovation from a failed implementation that adds more effort for the customer that leaves him/her angry and frustrated?
Successful self-service is self-sufficient
It enables customers to meet all their needs by themselves. If users can do only some of the steps of the whole process alone then self-service adds costs to the business, and complexity and effort to the experience. For example, if a customer can print his/her food voucher when there is a delay, but cannot rebook (i.e. still needs to call customer service) then all the brand has accomplished is to add steps for the customer to get the same value he/she could have done before with ONLY a phone call.
How Does Self Service Optimize Labor?
Another thing to be aware of is what type of labor is optimized and what labor is part of the self-service solution. The business case of self-service might not work if the solution requires incremental (and expensive) IT resources while removing existing (and cheaper) unskilled resources. As Matthew Dixon says in The Effortless Experience : “[t]he challenge is not in getting today’s customer to try self-service. The challenge lies in getting today’s customer to avoid channel switching from self-service to a live phone call… the self-service battle isn’t about getting customers to go, it’s about getting them to stay.” It is important to launch the solution that solves all the needs of the customer before launching a technology solution to avoid getting the wrong results.
Design for More
Design for 80% of the customer base, not the high touch 5% – 10%. The 5% base solution is more expensive and most probably will break the business case. Be ready for all the people who will question the design that will NOT cover 100% of the customers. Questions about the exceptions always come up: “What is the customer does not have a credit card? What if the customer does not speak English? What if …?” The answer to all of them is: “They will go to the full service option at that touch point. They will not self-serve.”
Be strong and keep the focus on the goals of self-service – to alleviate, not eliminate, the calls to the contact center; to allow the employees to offer a better service to those people who do not have a credit card and/or do not speak English. It is counterintuitive, but by not solving for them through self-service, we are building a better service for the exceptions as well.
Some people will not like the self-service design. You will get a lot of push back about de-humanizing the experience for customers. Anjali Lai from Forrester studied the emotions of brand interactions (see below) and was able to show that there is no significant difference in the perception of the customers when they self-serve (from interacting with a live person).
What is more human? To have a human tell a customer that he/she is not able to solve the problem, because the process is not designed well or that they will be put on a brief call to speak to another person? Or having self-service solutions that empower customers to create their own experiences in a personalized and independent way (without telling their names and confirmation numbers 2 or more times)?
Self-service is an integral part of the future. However, unless self-service is designed and executed in a strategic and empathetic manner it can drive more costs and complaints than savings and satisfaction. The basic value creation mandate is critical in this business strategy. Unless it creates real value for the customer, he/she will not embrace it.
So ask yourself, if you were the customer, would you gain anything from doing a task yourself vs. getting help from the company? As the company, do you gain anything by self-serving? Is it faster, easier or simpler?
If you cannot answer yes to any of those questions, do not invest in self-service technology.
Discover Customer Experience Solutions for Your Brand
Become a Member of The Petrova Experience and help build brands of the future.
CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It
Last week we talked about the identity crisis of CX professionals and we urged you to fix any small problem or seam on the customer journey in order to build internal brand equity and buy in.
Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments
Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.
Customer Experience Audit: Mobile Provider Eliminates Remote Workforce
How to balance the efficiency call center metric FCR (first call resolution) with wait and talk time? JetBlue promotes human interactions as a brand promise.
Customer Experience Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?
Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new…
WeWork Does CX Right with a Wow Moment
Used at the right time and place along the customer’s journey, the Wow Moment is an excellent retention technique. When a brand creates personal, relevant experience at exactly the right time, it can build a lifelong, loyal customer relationship.
CX Design Makes Form and Function Beautiful – and Cosmopolitan Magazine Notices
At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is…
Customer Experience Audit: Starbucks Bets On The Physical Experience
Starbucks is opting in for the physical experience in order to become a lifestyle brand while other brands are investing in omni-channel experience.
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all audit stories. Two years ago RJ Pittman and eBay made a big bet and made…
How to talk to your CFO about customer experience and revenue growth
Last month we introduced the topic of Customer Experience ROI and the complexity of building a good business case for it. The Customer Experience business case is strong, but not easy to prove. Today we will focus on two big wins of a successful customer experience investment – revenue and customer growth of your business.
Customer Experience Audit: New York Times Beats Google
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all audits. The newspaper industry is one of the most disrupted in the past decade. Newspapers…
Liliana Petrova Talks Patient Experience on Helthcare Podcast
Today we share with you a recent healthcare podcast we recorded with Stacey Richter. I was very excited to have the opportunity with her to discuss similarities between the healthcare…
Do You Know Why The Iconic Brand Toys ‘R’ Us Closed Doors Despite All Our Memories? #RetailBlues
The year is 2016. You are the CEO of Toys ‘R’ Us. Your brand still controls 13.6% of the toy market although the company is highly leveraged, a strategy of…
Customer Experience Tips and Best Practices In 2017?
In Post 2 of Liliana Petrova’s series on customer experience tips, lessons learned, and best practices for the new year on JetBlue, she explores the importance of “keeping the human…
How @T4 makes real customer experience impact on travelers experience
Today we share our impressions from visiting our welcoming host Chad at JFK Terminal 4 in NYC. We also celebrate Chad as an effective Customer Experience professional/practitioner. His work is…
Why Customers Are Not Responding to Your Customer Experience Survey
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
Healthcare Culture Change Whitepaper: Impact of Patient ‘I Wants’ in Healthcare
Rachel Dreyfus joins The Petrova Experience with a guest blog about healthcare customer experience. Background A culture of positive patient experience is increasingly important in Healthcare, affecting patient outcomes and…
Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Customer Experience Audit: Uber Bets On Self-Driving Cars With Big Volvo Purchase
The question that remains unanswered is who will be part of the future of transportation. Uber is going for the vertical integration – the whole pie. The future industry of urban transportation will be made of players in three different categories: cars, self-driving software, and ride-sharing network. In contrast, Lyft approaches the future through partnerships.
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event or a conference to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year I attended…
3 Ways to Get Started Creating Better Employee Experience
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP The relationship between employee experience and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult to create great experiences for…
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Customer Experience Audit: Domino’s Making the Right CX Choices
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audit. See all CX audit stories. Domino’s Pizza made two CX bold moves . They changed a nearly half-century…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Customer Experience View of your Call Center Technology
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
How to Prepare for AI: Dispatches from CR Summit, Charleston
On the eve of the #CRSummit in Charleston, customer experience leaders from various industries held the first AI Committee meeting. AI is a challenging topic to cover because it has…
The One CX Goal You Need to Set for 2019
For 2019, I urge you to make only one CX goal – bring about business success with your customer experience work. Don’t just do work in the general sense. Rather, set a CX goal that has a real impact on your customers and their experiences with your brand.
How To Define Your Purpose And Have Unique Culture
If you Google the word “purpose” you get the definition “the reason for which something exists.” This is a challenge if you think about it in the context of an…
United CEO does not care about #customers happiness. Really?
Lately, I have been thinking about United Airlines. In the beginning I was thinking about them, because I was asked if it is possible to build a customer-centric culture in…
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Culture Starts at the Top
Without a leader who believes that today’s business success is about acquiring and retaining customers, you cannot even begin the process of building a culture. Leaders who are passionate about the customer are also passionate about creating culture and employee engagement.
Would You Pitch In To Save Toys “R” Us For Your Children To Experience? #ToysRUsGoFundMe
Last week we laid out the big moves that the leadership of Toys ‘R’ Us failed to take to evolve with customer needs. This week, billionaire Isaac Larian set up a GoFundMe…
Customer Experience Audit: Cadillac Scores Millennial Customers with Future-Forward Thinking
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all the audit stories. The automotive industry is right next to the airline industry in terms…
Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers: To Grow Your Client Base, Add Your Personal Touch
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. We can learn a lot about…
How a Personal Interaction builds Customer Loyalty
A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).
Customer Experience Design – Make the Customer Know Who You Are
Now that we have helped you become experts in the design of space and function and the design of feelings, it is time to turn our attention to aesthetics, and to connect customer experience…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. In the below recording Liliana explains how JetBlue addresses the pain points…
The Importance of Wellness In The Workplace: Guest Post
Today, The Petrova Experience brings you a guest article by Natlie DeVito of Commonwealth Joe. Commonwealth Joe is an innovative company, new to the New York City market, that offers…
Our Holiday Wishes for Great CX
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
What is the survey question that will prioritize your #CX roadmap?
As customer experience professionals, we need to factor in this disconnect when we design surveys. And when we react to survey results. Customers have an image of who they want to be. However, their behaviors do not always reflect that image.
Customer Experience Audit: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster
In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands…
Culture Is King – The Power Of Employee Engagement
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
CX Bold Moves: JetBlue Paperless And Deviceless Boarding
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of CX Bold Moves. See all the CX Bold Moves stories. This year JetBlue entered the ranks of the innovators who…
Why BtoB Businesses Need to Think Like BtoC in the Next Decade
According to Gartner at least 80% of BtoB buyers now expect the same buying experience as BtoC customers in 2019. Gone are the days when BtoB organizations did not need…
Why you need a defined culture to do CX right?
When designed and built correctly, customer experience expresses an organization’s brand. Your brand and marketing promises serve as a guiding light to your experience team. Similarly, organizational culture serves as a goalpost for the service side of customer experience.