Self-service is most definitely "in". From supermarket checkout to airline
check-in kiosks, self service is proving to be a very large benefit to business, and more importantly their customers.
These days the question is not whether we should, but more "when will we".
Self service programs range from employee benefits and job hiring applications, to portals such as PeopleSoft and SAP, to airline self-service check-in kiosks
to the grocery store down the street.
What is the impact of Self-Service?
- Self-service can provide higher service levels for your customers.
- More people getting served ideally quicker and better. The experience for the customer needs to be efficient,
save time and be pleasant.
- Faster transactions.
- Self-service can better utilize your real employees for more in-depth customer relations and service.
Some Examples of self service
- According to IHL Consulting Group's study, "Self-Service Kiosks in North America," the North American market will spend more than $155 billion at
self-service kiosks in 2003....
- What is a reasonable guess for total photokiosk deployments by Kodak by end of 2003?
One reasonable guess is close to 50,000 (up from 35,000 number). Figure 50% outside of U.S. with fastest rising market being China.
- INTERACTIVE BANKING: Banks once hoped that the Internet would reduce traffic in higher-cost channels such as the branch and call center, but they now realize that may not happen exactly as planned. Instead, bankers are using the Web increasingly to reach more desirable customers -- affluent, educated and loyal -- and also as a tool to retain existing customers, with services such as online bill payment. In addition, savvy banks see that combining the Internet with in-person channels is often the optimum way to deal with complex financial tasks such as mortgages and financial planning
- Giant Eagle has been traveling for some time the road on which California grocers are about to embark. "Food retailers are challenged daily to demonstrate a consistent level of quality, value, and service to our customers.all while competition is increasing in multiple channels and there is growing attention on pricing strategy," Shapira says. "But what will truly differentiate Giant Eagle from the competition is our constant focus on innovation to enhance and redefine the shopping experience, innovation targeted at the customer in the forms of more inviting and convenient store formats, unique value-added products and services, and technology that ultimately reduces the costs of goods and provides competitive value."
- Web self-service:
With 67 million American consumers on the Internet each day we now represent the many. With few exceptions it is possible for companies to give customers the tools that were historically only available to call center agents and internal customer support people.
- Clearly, meeting these challenges depends on technology. Retailers today need to augment comprehensive back-office functions and a powerful communications network with real-time business intelligence on consumer behavior and changing attitudes. They need to seamlessly integrate storefront, Internet, catalog, kiosk and other distribution channels. In short, they need to deliver products on the customer.s terms while minimizing costs.
- Retail customers under 35 are more likely than older people to opt for e-mail, web-based self-service or instant messaging for contacting customer service instead of resorting to telephone calls or store visits, a study by Harris Interactive says.