There are just times when you want to do things yourself. We all know it. There are just times when you go into an establishment and you don’t want to talk to anybody. You know what you want and you just want to get it and get out.
Fortunately, many companies, understanding this need, have set up methods to accommodate this, and I get that. However, when did many of these companies decide to make self-serve their chief method of providing “service” and why?
Recently, I went to purchase a product and went to a company’s website to do some browsing. After determining what I wanted, I still had a few questions so I decided to call since I thought it would be easier than sending a query via email or chat box or whatever. Anyway, I called and was given one of those press one, two, three, or forty-nine menus. It had layer after layer of “if you need X press 2, if you need Y, press 3” options and none of them seemed to fit my need. It was like being in some kind of hell where there was no getting out of an endless loop. The upshot of the whole experience was that I found another company and bought from them.
This got me to thinking, if you have the self-serve option, which many customers prefer, are you doing it for the customer or are you doing it for your business? I mean, are you responding to a segment of your customer base that want this or are you just saving some cash and cloaking that real intention in crafty mumbo-jumbo?
If many of your customers want a self-serve option, fine, but also give your full-serve customers a path that’s not like climbing Everest. All of your customers deserve to be helped; I mean that’s why you’re in business to start with, to help people, so help them, all of them! Saving a penny only to lose customers, as the company in my personal example did, is foolhardy.
Your service should be easy and enjoyable, and if your self-serve option isn’t, figure out a way to make it so. Make your service about serving your customers and what they need and want, not about serving you and what you need and want. Go take a walk in your customers’ shoes and see what it is like to use your self-serve website or your self-serve phone line. If it’s a pain to you, believe me, it’s a pain to your customers.