Web Self-Service Comes of Age
By Donna Fluss
Web users today expect outstanding site performance in all areas including self-service. Companies that don’t provide consistently high quality service in all channels will find their customers returning to the faithful and expensive telephone or defecting to the competition. Intriguingly, although a phone call can be as much as 22 times more expensive than a self-service transaction, an even bigger long-term issue is the lost revenue opportunity. Web self-service functionality offers a unique opportunity for enterprises to redesign many of their current sales, marketing and customer service processes. By providing self-service options throughout the customer life cycle, enterprises can eliminate millions of dollars in infrastructure expenses that the web renders obsolete. If there is any doubt, look at the change that airlines (a $93 billion industry in the US alone) have implemented in commission policies for travel agencies. As the result of web self-service, airlines have been able to eliminate the payment of millions of dollars in commissions to travel agencies, which are no longer viewed as necessary business partners.