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IBP_Whitepaper_Best practice in Self Service

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Companies can benefit from providing self-service in many ways: increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs and better sales conversion rates. The question therefore is not whether to implement self-service but how to implement it effectively. Reviewing what other companies are doing is a first step in the right direction, but it is particularly important to keep in mind that one size does not indeed fit all.

Self-service involves far more than logging into a portal or using an app; self-service encompasses a complex architecture of various channels, multi-channel links and functions. Achieving excellence means mastering the interdependencies and optimizing the architecture and processes in the right place, at the right time and in the right way.

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IBP_Whitepaper_Best practice in Self Service

  1. 1. Best practice in self-service IBP View Iskander Business Partner
  2. 2. August 2013 Iskander Business Partner GmbH Nora Egressy Armin Iskander Companies can benefit from providing self-service in many ways: increased customer satisfaction, reduced costs and better sales conversion rates. The question therefore is not whether to implement self-service but how to implement it effectively. Reviewing what other companies are doing is a first step in the right direction, but it is particularly important to keep in mind that one size does not indeed fit all. Self-service involves far more than logging into a portal or using an app; self-service encompasses a complex architecture of various channels, multi-channel links and functions. Achieving excellence means mastering the interdependencies and optimizing the architecture and processes in the right place, at the right time and in the right way. IBP View 1 Best practice in self-service Iskander Business Partner
  3. 3. Why self-service? DIY (do it yourself) customer service is on the rise because it is mutually beneficial for customers and companies. Today, customers demand faster solutions, 24/7 access to services and the feeling that they are in control. Many are wary of calling hotlines, to be put on hold and are instead turning to alternative self-service channels e.g. SMS, chat, virtual agents. According to a Forrester study, 72% of customers prefer using a company’s website to solve their issues. However, only 52% find the information that they require. This is only one of many examples that depicts the significant gap between the quality of self- service that customers expect, and what they are able to receive. Indeed companies could benefit greatly from closing this gap between expectations and reality. Promoting a culture of self-service in one’s customer base can over time lead to cost savings, higher customer satisfaction levels and better sales opportunities for the company. An example: the cost of checking in a passenger with an airline agent is € 2 compared to less than € 0.10 with a mobile. Furthermore the customer benefits from shorter waiting times and increased flexibility (direct choice of seat etc.) This is reflected in higher satisfaction ratings; mobile check-in achieves the highest satisfaction levels. The greatest challenge for a company is to match the self-service function to the right channel and thereby succeed in giving the customer a better overall expe- rience; the ‘wow effect’. Many industries have embraced self-service in the past decades and looking at best-practices can provide some key learnings. A well-known example is Amazon. Amazon has revolutionized the world of e-commerce and they are also pioneers in self-service. To a large extent, Amazon owes its success to solid back-end processes; the order process, returns process etc. were by design set up to limit customer contacts. An important learning for the telecom industry, is the way Amazon creates transparency around problem management and the manner in which customers are effectively channeled to the right point of contact. Also noteworthy is the utilization of customer data e.g. an intelligent recommendations system, based on previous 2 Optimal channel for online check-in Self-service best practice 790 800 810 820 830 840 850 860 870 0 1 2 3 counterkiosk Mobile Optimal: reduced cost, increased customer satisfaction, more effective marketing & sales USD Satisfaction(max=1000)
  4. 4. lable in each price category, bringing more transparency into the booking process and incentivizing customers to book ASAP. While there are limitations in terms of comp- aring an Amazon or a Lufthansa to a telecom operator, it is possible to break down single self-service processes and use these as best practice examples. For example: pro-actively sending status notifications and providing links to track an order via an online portal. Or providing different levels of self-service to different customer groups (high value vs. low value. 3 purchases and purchases of customers with similar profiles through the "Amazon Betterizer". Another leader in implementing self-service is the airline industry. Delta Airlines now offers tracking of luggage via app. KLM has a "Meet & Seat" function, where a customer can sign-in via their social media account and book who they want to sit next to (based on comparable social media profiles). Many airlines have increased the retail look & feel of their website by counting down the number of seats avai- Best practice in Telecom To evaluate best practice in telecom IBP has carried out an in-depth study of 9 operators, comparing both the self-service functions offered and evaluating the most frequent Top 10 use cases. The study revealed that there is a large difference between operators in terms of which self-service channels they offer and how many self-service functions are available. T-Mobile in the USA has the strongest channels and the most functions available, but there remains room for improvement e.g. increased care-to-sell opportunities or introducing chat as a support channel. In addition, it is important to note the limi- tations of this two-dimensional representation. What the grid doesn’t show are the opportunities in terms of finer qualitative aspects e.g. multichannel experience and better integration of sales. We have therefore grouped our findings into 3 key areas: Finance Airline Retail 2010 2000 1990 1980 1970 1960 2004: Mobile banking app 1983: Home Online banking solution 1967: Automatic teller maschine 1999: Web Check-in 2003: SMS Check-in 1963: Catalogue Shop 1994: Online Banking 1999: SMS Banking 1994: Online Shop ? Virtual assistant 1990s: Self- service checkouts 1995: Airline Kiosk 2009: Mobile Check-in 2013: Baggage self check 2020 Iskander Business Partner Industry self-service firsts
  5. 5. media presence and offer services via interactive voice response (IVR) or SMS. We noted differences in the extent of video content offered and chat availability for support questions. Virtual chat or chat is the only real-time interactive support alternative to voice and is generally positioned as an escalation option. The UK MVNO Giffgaff is a good example of an operator modeling their self-service concept around social media and optimizing the architecture in a way that the customer does not need to call the hotline. Their forum is particularly effective and there is also a high level of transparency (e.g. message board with service updates). We can therefore see that the performance of these channels is critical to the customer. Performance can be measured by various KPIs. Returning traffic to a support site (are customers returning to get more help over time?) is an interesting indicator of how well the knowledge base serves the customer. This knowledge base must be both easily accessible (predictive search functions, search results include other channels e.g. from forum/ community) and produce relevant results. Continuous improvement based on customer feedback to individual FAQs, as well as apps or forum discussions is essential. Some operators (e.g. o2) take feedback a step further and have set up idea portals as a source of innovation (example suggestion: customers would like to receive an SMS confirmation when terminating a contract). 4 Self-service potential Self-service channels In order to establish self-service functions, an operator must first have the self-service channels in place to deliver these. Channel performance is a key factor since the channels should offer the same or better level of service than what the customer could receive via the hotline. Compared to an industry study, telecom operators offer significantly more self-service functions than other firms. All the operators included in our study have a website, a social 1. self-service channels, 2. multichannel links and 3. functions offered. Channelbreadth&performance Breadth of self-service functions
  6. 6. via IVR to the online portal. It is however not always enough to educate the customer, so the next step is to incentivize customers to use the channel. There are some sporadic examples of this e.g. Telstra offers lottery for people who use their app, Congstar offers premium points for customers who contribute to the forum. However, generally there is a lot of room for improvement. With respect to multichannel linkages, most operators already integrate web and social media and often offer a downloadable app on their websites. The availability of video content and it’s usage also varies – it can be integrated into an FAQ, and it might also advertise other adjacent channels such as an online portal or app. Today, most apps do not provide a direct link into a forum or website, and may only have a limited FAQ section. T-Mobile USA's app is a good example of a more advanced offering. The multi-channel challenge is how to set up an architecture that can be dynamically con- trolled in response to real-time variables. For example, channeling the customer to different destinations, depending on contact reason and real-time channel utilization levels e.g. on the Amazon FAQs the customer selects an area from a drop-down menu, specifies contact reason and is given a "recommended contact option", based on both the reason and the utilization. Offering a differentiated self-service journey, based on customer value is another option to consider e.g. prioritizing high value customers in chat. Multi-channel could also be used to further sales convergence e.g. using 5 Linking channels to each other is an essential job that is often not well done. Linking does not only help customers find the right support channel, but also educates them on the available channels elsewhere. Educating customers on self-service functions is in general an important requirement. For example directing a customer from the hotline Self-service channel availability & performance Multichannel Links Web Apps Social Media SMS Call Back Video Chat Self-service rate / returning traffic to support sites App rating (Apple/Android) Facebook Likes/Customer Base, Forum activity Relevance of SMS/ Usefulness Sales and/or support, response time Number of videos (% service related) Sales and/or support, % problems resolved Performance indicator% offering self-service channel 73,6% 18% 31,1% 27,8% - 20,6% - 100% 80% 100% 90% 50% 50% 60% Industry benchmarks* Operators *2012 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report by Merchant surveying 637 respondents in 72 countries Iskander Business Partner
  7. 7. 6 thereby increase self-service rates. There is a large variance in the number of functions offered by providers and this can reflect the positioning of the operator, as well as the complexity of their product portfolio. However even providers with fewer functions can learn how to manage these functions better (e.g. the SIM exchange process via online portal) or evaluate whether it could be offered via other more efficient channels. Self-service functions can be categorized as basic, advanced and innovative. Most providers offer basic functions, such as account management (view and change account details, change personal details), usage management (view absolute usage), access to historical invoices and detailed call profiles, phone configuration options and basic troubleshooting guides. More mature providers offer an order tracking solution (e.g. T-Mobile DE), where customers can check status of hardware including SIM orders. Real-time billing (e.g. Vodafone DE – Vodafone Quick Check) via the online portal and/or an app along with a notification of limits being reached, is another popular solution. More advanced usage analysis (e.g. T-Mobile USA) allows customers to compare usage on different accounts, to link phone numbers to contacts, to filter results and generate graphics. Multiple contract management both via an app and online (e.g. o2) is a useful and necessary feature, in order to give the customer a full overview of all products. An incident management system where customers can track status of problems and solutions is Functions T-Mobile USA App Self-service functions Once the self-service channels are available and the customer knows where to turn for each function, the more comprehensive the offering, the better it is in enabling customers. The art is to offer sufficient useful functions on a self-service channel, in order to convince the customer that using the channel is worthwhile. Once the customer is "locked-in", operators can continue adding functions iteratively and the customers activity on forum/Facebook to generate sales recommendations. Being in control of the multi-channel architecture allows companies to reduce costs, increase customer satisfaction and achieve better sales conver- sion rates.
  8. 8. an iterative improvement; developing and introducing selected high priority measures/ functions. These functions can be broken down into steps and best practice (also from other industries) can be broken down into steps and best practice (also from other industries) can be integrated into the process. starting to be introduced (e.g. 1&1). Innovative functions include the presence of care in order to sell offers – the "care to sell" philosophy aims to convert a customer care contact into a sales opportunity. A good example is T-Mobile USA, offering a phone upgrade on the phone support site or Vodafone offering the automatic booking of a data option when 90% of the existing data pack has been used up. An automated process for ex- changing hardware similar to Amazon – e.g. printing address and packaging hardware – would also be beneficial. Offering customers products/services that other customers with a similar profile have purchased could be a new experiment in sales. A customer history/events timeline shows the customer the major milestones and can be used to prompt customers to consider other offers. For example T-Mobile DE is experimenting with a Webcode which allows customers to access information from their hotline/online dis- cussions (product advice given etc.) and to consider this again at their own leisure. 7 Self-service opportunity The real question is how to transform best practice into reality, how can we increase self- service usage? There are two approaches to deliver improve- ments in self-service. One option is to carry out a comprehensive review of the self-service architecture in order to identify the key drivers behind (low) adoption, as well as the most important gaps. A quicker option is to aim for Self-service performance key drivers A 360 degree view of the self-service architecture provides an in-depth analysis of the drivers and barriers behind self-service usage. For example, are the self-service rates suboptimal, because services are not offered via the most effective channel/are there channels missing? Or is it rather a question of the channel performance not living up to the expectations (e.g. bugs in app, slow response to chat)? Is it possible that there are well- performing channels in place, but the customers are not aware of these or need to be educated in using them? Or does the customer need to be pushed towards using the channel e.g. notification: online is cheaper and quicker than a call to the hotline? It is also important to consider, whether the multi-channel experience is consistent and whether it is used to its full potential in terms of customer education and incentivization. Finally, we should review whether the self- service functions are adequate – do we need more (innovative) functions or do we need to optimize existing functions e.g. offer a clearer MNP process. Iskander Business Partner
  9. 9. Self-service channels available Channel performance Customer education Customer incentivization Multichannels links Functionalities • How effective are the channels? • What improvements are needed – technical/knowledge based? • Do customers know what self- services exist & how to use? • How to educate customer better? • How do I increase adoption of different channels/services (carrot & stick measures) • What linkages do I have? • How can I optimize linkages & exposure? • How effective are current functions/processes? • What functions are missing? 8 Self-service is here to stay and investing now in the architecture and processes is an investment in the future. Whether opting for the introduction of high potential initiatives (the iterative process) or implementing the complete portfolio of multi- channel self-services, the potential for companies is enormous. Through better self- service they can improve customer satisfaction, achieve higher sales targets and at the same time save on costs. Top 10 Measures ListEvaluating the self-service architecture Iterative improvement An alternative approach is to put together a list of quick-win measures and implement these in order of importance. This leads to an iterative improvement and is an approach better suited to operators, who already have a solid core architecture in place - areas 1 & 2: well performing channels (e.g. is the app good enough to promote?). The key to success here is to be able to identify the right time to introduce these new self-service opportunities. The list of measures should be assembled by a variety of departments (CRM, Customer Care, Sales etc.) and be prioritized according to the estimated business value. Conclusion • Are channels compliments or substitutes? • Do I need more channels? 1 2 3 5 4 6 1. Advertise app (e.g. QR codes in invoice) 2. Check order status on app 3. Introduce customer history 4. Customer education on self-service at POS 5. Offer network status updates 6. Web code (access all offers/info from consultation) 7. Recommendations based on what others have bought 8. Alerts management (usage, bill, new product) 9. Customer service audit (show status of customer complaint resolution) 10. … Top List ILLUSTRATIVE
  10. 10. 9 Iskander Business Partner
  11. 11. The authors Nora Egressy is a Consultant at Iskander Business Partner. She has 2 years of consulting and project management experience and has worked on a variety of international projects. Her focus areas include strategy development, business case development and market analysis. Nora has worked previously for CSMG Global in London and has completed internships with Deloitte LLP in the UK and Roland Berger in Hungary. 10 Armin Iskander Armin Iskander is founder and managing partner of Iskander Business Partner. Before founding Iskander Business Partner GmbH in 2005, Armin was managing partner for Germany with Accelate Business Launch and Expansion GmbH. Prior, Armin was responsible to several business units within Webmiles AG. Before he was Project Manager with Roland Berger & Partner Strategy Con- sultants for four years. There he handled projects in the UK, Germany, France, Switzer- land and Brazil. Armin holds an engineer's degree from the University of Dortmund.
  12. 12. Iskander Business Partner is and international management consultancy with a strong focus on the development and implementation of growth projects for the High-Tech industries. We pride ourselves on being highly competent professionals who think as entrepreneurs. www.i-b-partner.com Company and philosophy We develop concepts with a focus on results and implementation hand-in-hand with our customers in a reliable, pragmatic and application-oriented way. We believe in partnership, mutual trust and goal orientated management consulting with a focus on successful implementation – our concepts for product-, marketing-, sales- and CRM-Strategies ensure a path of sustainable success. Since the foundation of the company by Armin Iskander in 2005, our success has been growing on solid foundations. Our expansion is based on attracting entrepreneurial employees who play an active part in shaping our firm strategy and supporting our clients. Passion for our job, a readiness to assume personal responsibility and close customer contact are the sails that carry us to success. Flat hierarchies and a down-to-earth attitude ensure that we never lose sight of the horizon. Instead of providing theoretical concepts, we offer the implementation of concrete solutions. We are partners of the enterprises we consult - being experienced, well-trained experts and consultants, we are able to navigate through shallow waters and to negotiate these to the benefit of our customers. Our strong crew is safely heading for success. In our team, every single member counts, our co-operation ensures successful bearing towards our destination. Our result: satisfied customers and highly motivated employees. 11 Iskander Business Partner
  13. 13. Iskander Business Partner GmbH Paulstraße 19 85737 Ismaning/München Telefon: +49 89 99 650 861 Fax: +49 89 99 650 862 office@i-b-partner.com www.i-b-partner.com Iskander Business Partner

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