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 SearchCRM.com.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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|
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Customer Self-Service Spotlight||Return to Table of Contents|
|What is self-service?||Return to Table of Contents|
- Glossary Definition: Self-service (Source: SearchCRM.com, powered by Whatis.com)
- Webcast: Offering Support 24/7 -- Improve Your Customer Relationships With Online Self-service
(Source: SearchCRM.com, 02/17/05)
- Webcast: Successful Customer Support Starts with Knowledge Management
(Source: SearchCRM.com, 02/02/05)
- Column: The (other) big payoff from self-service (Source: SearchCRM.com, 11/04/04)
- Article: Five dirty little secrets of CRM (Source: SearchCRM.com, 09/16/04)
- News: Passing the test with self-service (Source: CRMDaily, 08/31/04)
- Article: Arm yourself for the e-service revolution (Source: SearchCRM.com, 10/06/03)
- Article: Experts: Don't put down the phone just yet (Source: destinationCRM, 07/31/03)
- Advice: The role of Web self-service (Source: SearchCRM.com, 05/07/03)
|Putting self-service technology to use||Return to Table of Contents|
- Article: BellSouth calls up new search tool (Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/30/05)
- Article: Self-service stakes revenue claim (Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/02/05)
- Article: Are you already wired for next-generation self-service? (Source: SearchCRM.com, 07/09/04)
- Article: Make the agent the last option (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/15/04)
- Article: Help desks encourage do-it-yourselfers (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/02/04)
- Article: Talkin' about the self-service revolution (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/01/04)
- Q&A: Helping customers help themselves (Source: SearchCRM.com, 11/30/04)
|Articles on self-service vendors||Return to Table of Contents|
- Find out who won our 2004 Products of the Year winners for customer-facing online service. (Source: SearchCRM.com)
- Article: Self-service scored in recent ranking (Source: SearchCRM.com, 05/18/05)
- Article: Avaya patches two vulnerabilities (Source: SearchEnterpriseVoice.com, 05/16/05)
- News: Self-service tool for utilities debuts (Source: CRMDaily, 04/22/05)
- News: Siebel spruces up self-service (Source: CRMDaily, 04/19/05)
- Article: Siebel gets into e-billing with purchase of Edocs (Source: SearchCRM.com, 12/17/04)
- Article: Oracle offers vision of customer service (Source: SearchCRM.com, 12/06/04)
- Webcast: All Customer Support Automation Solutions Are Not Created Equal
(Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/30/04)
- Article: E-billing and self-service, a perfect match (Source: SearchCRM.com, 06/02/04)
- Article: Coming soon: New self-service call center tool (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/29/04)
- Article: Paybacks from the shift to Web self-service (Source: SearchCRM.com, 09/28/03)
- Article: Two software firms get some self-service satisfaction (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/08/03)
- News: Sento aims to ease self service (Source: destinationCRM, 03/03/03)
- Article: Healthcare provider finds quick ROI with self-service sales apps (Source: SearchCRM.com, 04/02/02)
|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|
- White paper: Speech Recognition Redefines Self-Service (Source: eLoyalty.com, 12/23/03)
- White paper: How Web Self-Service Can Increase Customer Satisfaction & Improve Your Bottom Line (Source: Surado, 07/16/03)
- Report: Is Self-Service the Panacea? (Source: Gartner, 03/11/02)
RESOURCES FROM OUR SPONSOR
Free 30-Day Trial
Self-Service Customer Support Special Offer: FREE 30-day trial of Parature's award-winning support solution
Learn how building your own Support Portal can redefine your service desk in this FREE White Paper: The Support Portal: A New Paradigm in Self-Service