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With the power of information on their fingertips and patience levels at an all time low, 50% of today’s customers want quick solutions and answers to their queries, reveals a global survey conducted by Zendesk. Now the question is, will businesses be able to cope up with the mounting challenge?

The first time companies made customers do certain tasks on their own was more than a decade ago. From penalties for not executing their bank transfers to interactive voice response services, businesses started taking certain tasks off their hands and made customers do it themselves. Fast forward 15 years, the situation has overturned and business that doesn’t have the option of self-service will have to bear the brunt of it.

Consumers now prefer a self-service solution along with the option of personalized service, if they require. This trend is expected to gain more traction in 2018 and beyond as service expectations grow. The following statistics are a live example of this trend-

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With this in mind lets dig deep and understand the real reasons why self-service is the only answer to changing customer service and customer experience landscape:

Quick Solution is Not an Option, But a Necessity

The consumers these days want their queries answered and their issues resolved at the drop of a hat, and they need all of that in pleasant and professional manner. The days of repeating your concern to five different people have long gone. The last thing customers want is to share the same piece of information twice or more. Also, it is no longer ‘OK’ to take 24-hours to respond to an email as most consumers expect to receive a response much sooner than that.

The only way for businesses to meet rising customer expectations is to give them the option of serving themselves. However, that doesn’t mean they will not require personalized services at all. If, for some reason, self-service is unable to deliver the required results, then personal contact is mandatory.

Virtual Assistant is the New Customer Support Agent

Consumers these days rely on Siri, Cortana or other virtual assistants on their smartphones to look for information quickly. These virtual agents deliver relevant and personalized answers to customer queries within seconds. Needless to say, users are now accustomed to using intelligent technologies and expect the same level of service with brands that they deal with.

Customers Expect Support that is Easy, Quick & Convenient

If studies are any indication, then the customers will go to the website to look for quick answers to their queries. They may also engage with useful video content to look for a rapid solution. Helpful videos such as tutorials, self-service “we-can-help-don’t-panic” guidance and video feedbacks are becoming increasingly popular as well as preferred by the users. Video content not only empowers users to resolve their issues on their own, but also encourages them to engage with the product. In this digital age, customers want prompt answers. Accurate, detailed and easy-to-find self-service videos will lead to improved customer experience.

Self-Service is a Win-Win Situation

When self-service was first introduced into customer support model, the businesses were looking for efficiency that involved users performing certain tasks on their own. However, today the self-service concept has reached a different level, meeting different set of expectations and a win-win situation. While the customers benefit from self-service model by improving their relationship with the brand, the organization is able to achieve efficiency and make greater returns by keeping the cost of service low.

According to many surveys, users still prefer to use self-service over speaking with customer service agents on the phone. The use of web-chat and mobile service channels is at an all time high. At the same time, other self-service communication channels such as online forums, communities, etc. have also increased. The customer’s need for accurate, relevant and quick solution makes it necessary for the businesses to meet these service standards if they want to prevent their precious patrons from going to someone who will.