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Self Service Learning Guide

This guide introduces the fundamentals and benefits of self-service. It is meant to provide a "quick start" approach through articles, examples of best practices, case studies and expert advice.

Editor's note: This learning guide has moved. To access all the latest news and information on customer self-service, click here.

This  guide introduces the fundamentals and benefits of self-service. It is meant to provide a "quick start" approach through articles, examples of best practices, case studies and expert advice. Drop us an e-mail to let us know what other learning guides you'd like to see on

Introduction to Customer Self-Service
This month's spotlight
What is self-service?
Putting self-service technology to use
Articles on self-service vendors
Who are the self-service vendors?
Reports and white papers on self-service
Visit our other Learning Guides

Introduction from self-service expert Allen Bonde  Return to Table of Contents
Allen Bonde

Timing is everything. Helping customers help themselves is a relatively old idea -- but one that has become a growing business priority. Self-service as a model and a market has been gaining momentum as consumers increasingly accept and even prefer the idea, and businesses look to not only reduce costs but also improve customer satisfaction.

Self-service works when there are benefits for both users and the business. A recent survey by J.D. Power shows that 38% of airline passengers now use self-service kiosks, and wait on average half as long for their boarding passes. A leading wireless provider not only saved money by deflecting calls to its Web site, but also discovered that its customers who preferred online support were also the most profitable.

The benefits can be clear; yet challenges remain like where to push information and systems to users without getting push back, and how to make sense of an ever-changing marketplace. At once both an extension of CRM and an evolution of e-commerce, the market for self-service application software is close to $1.5 billion, according to the latest ABG research.

Among the leaders in our 2005 vendor scorecard are well known companies like RightNow Technologies, Knova Software and Art Technology Group. Yet as these and others like BroadVision, KANA and even Siebel jockey to be the self-service platform of choice, many companies are still assembling solutions from components for search, knowledge management, etc.

While continuing vendor consolidation, new on-demand solutions and better integration with voice self-service are creating more turn-key approaches, leveraging self-service models is likely to remain both an art and a science. The resources assembled here should prove invaluable, no matter where you are in the planning or deployment process.

About Allen
Allen Bonde is the president of Allen Bonde Group, Inc. (ABG), a management consulting and strategic advisory firm with a focus on self-service trends, best practices and strategies based in Framingham, Mass. E-mail at:


  Customer Self-Service Spotlight  Return to Table of Contents


  What is self-service?  Return to Table of Contents


Putting self-service technology to use  Return to Table of Contents


  Articles on self-service vendors  Return to Table of Contents


  Who are the self-service vendors?  Return to Table of Contents

Editors' note: This section is not meant to provide a comprehensive list of all the vendors in this space. We've provided these vendors to give you a starting point from which to begin your research.


  Reports and white papers about self-service  Return to Table of Contents


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