Contact Center Trends

Three Ways to Transform Your Call Center Self-Service Strategy

By Shauna Geraghty

0 min read

The notion of self-service is very much a part of today’s consumer landscape—from the advent of mobile banking to the surge of e-commerce retail to the ubiquity of grocery store self-checkout lanes. That’s because today’s consumers are looking for streamlined, expedited customer service experiences.

In fact, according to a survey commissioned by Nuance Enterprise, 75% of customers think that self-service is a convenient way to address issues. What’s more, 67% of consumers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.

So how can you transform your call center self-service strategy in an effort to keep pace with changing consumer expectations? Let’s take a look:

1. Invest in self-service technologies

There are a number of ways to automate the customer experience, from Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System to online discussion forums to informational ebooks. But one of the primary self-service tools that companies utilize is a FAQ section on their website. Specifically, 89% of respondents in a Software Advice survey stated that they have implemented a FAQ section, ranking it the most utilized self-service channel. Customers can leverage a FAQ to answer questions ranging from how to get up and running with a company’s flagship offering to the details of their SLA. In addition to leveraging a FAQ section, companies can also employ auto-attendants and pre-recorded IVR messages among other technologies. Such features allow customers to rely on the use of voice prompts and menu options during phone calls to navigate to the right department or the right information. The array of self-service technologies is vast; evaluate your target audience and the channels they frequent to determine where to get started.

2. Train your agents

In order to embrace a self-service call center model, you have to sufficiently train your call center agents to interact with callers who have leveraged or will leverage a self-service modality. As such, make sure your agents are up to speed with this new environment. Train your agents on how to use call center software and CRM systems effectively so that they can understand where a customer is in the purchasing/experience life cycle prior to the interaction. For instance, when a prospective customer phones your call center after already soliciting information about your product from your online customer forum, he or she most likely does not want to talk to your agent about specs and product descriptions. Rather, the individual wants to be connected to the sales department to move forward in the journey. To effectively embrace a self-service strategy, you have to ensure that your call center software is integrated with your CRM, routes callers to the correct agent and shows the agent relevant information about the caller before they answer the phone. You should also ensure that your agents are proficient with said software and know how to adjust their approach to interacting with the caller based on the data presented. Finally, you should make sure that your agents provide their callers with self-service resources that they can use to dive a bit deeper into a concept or product. This will ensure that your savvy customers have access to all the knowledge they crave and that your agents are prepared to meet their needs.

3. Pay attention to metrics

To get a sense of what self-service technologies are most useful to your customers, pay attention to your call center metrics. For example, each month take a look at how many customers utilized your self-service platforms—like your auto-attendant, IVR System or knowledge base. Doing so will give you clear indication as to the self-service preferences of your consumer base. According to the aforementioned Software Advice survey, respondents are deploying FAQs and knowledge-based self-service channels ahead of online discussion forums. However, if your metrics reveal that your attention should actually be placed on online discussion forums, then re-prioritize your focus. Your customer metrics serve as a windowpane look into your customer preferences.


Shauna Geraghty

As the first U.S. employee, Shauna helped to scale Talkdesk to over 1,000 employees in 7 offices globally. During her tenure, she has built Talkdesk's Marketing, Talent and HR functions from the ground up. Shauna has a doctorate in clinical psychology and has applied foundational knowledge from the field of psychology to help propel Talkdesk along its hyper-growth trajectory.