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We want to do it ourselves

Posted by Danielle MacInnis on 23 September 2015

We are in the era of self service. Think about it, Uber,  McDonald's create your taste menu, self service checkouts, heck even pizza vending machines!

The old school ways of doing things just doesn't seem to be working any more. Mobile is really changing everything. The digital environment is forcing businesses to rethink their self-service strategies. We don't want to wait. We want, what we want now. Businesses that have used the self technology model have really seen their businesses grow, some with no sales team, and  a super low cost of customer acquisition. Self-service technology can help organisations reduce costs, but also improve the customer experience and let workers focus on what's important.The maxim of automated, self-service technology goes something like this: Help others, help thyself. If we think how our banking and travel has changed with the mobile phone. The ability to access and control information raises customer satisfaction, whether it's conducting a banking transaction, checking cellular minutes, ordering an on-demand movie.

But the benefits of self-service extend beyond cost savings and improving the end-user experience. With the use of customer analytics, self-service products can actually deliver greater insight about customers than other channels. We can now use the technology  plumbing we have set up (digital footprint) to get a 360 view of our customers. Every day through customer engagements, blogs, tweets, "likes," and other social media, customers are generating massive amounts of relevant data about personal preferences. With this information we can further personalise the customer journey remembering preferences and recommending products and services right when we are looking for them.

Gartner estimates that, by the end of 2016, at least 80% of organizations that fail to plan their self-service implementations will incur higher customer service costs and will not achieve the savings and benefits expected.So is this self service way of doing business seems to be the golden child. Yes and no. It is not without its issues. How many of us hasn't been stuck in computerised telephone-based Interactive Voice Response (IVR) hell, hoping to talk with a live agent? A complicated website can leave us moving on to the next website in under 8 seconds! So it is not without it's issues. A customer that you think has intent to purchase may cause you to send an offer, while a customer who has the intention to churn may trigger a much more aggressive offer. Gartner predicts that, by 2017, one-third of all customer service interactions will still require the support of a human intermediary. So for small business what does this mean? Well get on-board my friends. Invest in your technology platform where it makes most sense for your customers. Map out their journey with you and see how you can assist them help themselves. It might just give you the competitive advantage you need. After all, sometimes we just want to do it ourself!

Danielle MacInnisAuthor:Danielle MacInnis
About: Dan is a customer centric marketer and the owner of MacInnis Marketing a company that creates sales and marketing systems to attract customers and employees to companies that they love.
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Tags:Customer Centric Marketing

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