At Softthinks, developers of Smart Key, we’ve observed firsthand how the growing trend of consumer self-service has transformed the way companies do customer support. In the past few years alone, the trend has evolved from an innovative approach to consumer support to having practically become the norm. Market experts have come to recognize its practice as a true win-win for businesses and end users alike. On the company side, self-service is clearly a more agile and cost-effective solution to offer customers the support they need. On the consumer end, it’s been made loud and clear in study after study that this is in fact what most people want: an uncomplicated way to help themselves. If consumer self-service is the movement, Let me do it! could certainly be the rallying cry.
If you’re a numbers person, these may do the trick.*
- 75% of survey respondents said self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues.
- 67% of respondents said they preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative.
*From Zendesk’s report Searching for Self-Service (sources: gartner.com, pewresearch.org, oracle.com, nuance.com, coleman-parkes.co.uk).
So if the benefits of consumer self-service are so evident, why hasn’t the push been embraced by all business types? And if it hasn’t been embraced by everybody, who are the ones missing out? According to our Gartner’s 2015 survey, the answer is evidently IT organizations.
As consumer self-service becomes more prevalent, it remains a missed opportunity in the IT business-to-professional market for several reasons. First, IT organizations have the historical tendency of treating the IT problem itself as opposed to putting the problems of the end user first. This is an unfortunate misstep that Smart Key aims to rectify through its user-focused approach. Secondly, IT issues in the past have been complicated to resolve for laymen. However, as individuals become more and more tech savvy, and as tech solutions become more and more user-friendly, this should no longer prevent us from putting the solution directly in the user’s hand.
The truth is that end users, particularly business professionals, are eager to have the same kinds of experiences regarding their IT needs as they receive in their daily lives from top retailers and service providers. They want to be shown how to do it themselves, and be provided simple tools with which they can accomplish just that. As a client management tool vendor, let’s assume you’ve done your part in recognizing this trend, and have already several self-service solutions in your arsenal — which may or may not include a OS repair solution.
Even assuming you’re already on board, why don’t we take a closer look at how complimenting your IT self-service offerings with a computer repair solution could help you to both boost revenue and produce happier clients.
Through our 15 years of working directly with leading consumer brands, we’ve had a courtside perspective of how the consumer self-service wave has helped retailers and service providers both save and earn money. It’s only evident to us that the same benefits should apply to your own business model within the IT domain. Cutting costs and saving time for your clients equates to new revenue opportunities for you. These are indeed the two pillars of the “easy sell.” To include computer self-repair in this equation makes all the more sense, as studies show that 5 to 10% of the typical working population require OS repair in a given year.
As web-based solutions like Smart Key are both uncomplicated to deliver and uncomplicated to use, they can be an affordable option for both you and your customers. This is the beauty of self-service: easier for you, more affordable for them, and a lighter process for everyone. As with consumer self-service in general, we see a true win-win for those who choose to help pioneer the next big wave of IT self-service for the business professional. So join the movement and Let Them Do It!
Clients are generally more satisfied when they have the option to resolve an issue themselves. In the consumer world, this means finding answers to their questions online via the search for and discovery of various knowledge bases. For IT self-service, a small percentage of the layman population may be capable of finding the necessary knowledge online to treat certain types of common issues that occur with PCs and accessory devices. However, for the majority of people, and for the majority of IT problems, an online search will not be sufficient to resolve their issues.
Going back and forth on the telephone with an IT expert may eventually get the job done, however this can be a laborious and frustrating process that does not always produce the desired result. The final alternative is to send the problem device to one’s company IT department, or to an off-site computer repair center. This, too, does not produce happy results, as no one enjoys being left without their technology, even for a number of hours let alone a number of days. Therefore, professionals today will expect their IT department to have a quick solution for them. Will they have it? That depends on whether or not you’ve already sold them Smart Key.
Smart Key gives the power back to the end user by offering a guided process to resolve IT issues that is easy enough for the average person to execute. No hours of searching online, no frustrating ordeals over the telephone, and no off-site repair centers. When the problem can be solved at the user level, it creates a cheerful picture for everyone down the chain. This is what consumer self-service is all about, and likely why it’s here to stay.
To learn more about the subjects addressed in this post, Softthinks is pleased to make its 2015 Gartner survey available to the public.