Selecting The Right Mix of Customer Self-Service Technologies

by Jim Berkowitz on July 30, 2010

Here are several excerpts from an excellent article by Sue Hildreth, Selecting self-service CRM software means looking in many places.  Be sure to check out the complete source article for much more on the six tips outlined below:

The types of self-service CRM vary widely — from online virus scanners to community forums to FAQs — but all aim to enable customers to help themselves to information or complete a transaction without requiring direct communication with a customer service representative.

“Self service does two things,” said Allen Bonde, managing director of Evoke CRM Partners, a social media and self-service CRM consultancy. “It allows you to reach new customers and to do transactions more efficiently than manual processes.”

The mix of self-service tools that an organization provides is highly dependent on the market and the preferences of its customers…

No suite has it all

Self-service products are available in suites as well as standalone products. CRM applications may have knowledge bases, user profiles, chat, search and customer databases. Emerging social platforms typically include such things as blogs, forums, and management and analytics tools for overseeing multiple social channels. But unless an organization is adding only a few self-service tools — or is just plain lucky — it is unlikely to find everything it needs in one CRM suite.

What to look for in self-service tools

Here are six tips from experts on selecting the right mix of self-service technologies.
1. Canvass your customers
2. Make the user interface a priority
3. Upgrade your
4. Leverage social channels
5. SMBs should buy, not build
6. Self-service is more than a website

{ 1 comment }

Matt at Intelestream January 12, 2011 at 7:02 pm

It’s not just a case of choosing the right technologies, but ensuring that you know why you’re using them. The strategic, offline element has to be undertaken before committing to any purchase. As you’ve correctly pointed out, canvassing your customers is a good place to start, but don’t forget to look at how your company can accommodate and meet their needs – you don’t want to commit to a technological integration nor give it fanfare for the customer, if your company hasn’t the wherewithal to pull it off. Self-service empowers the customer to, well, serve themselves. Yet introducing it shouldn’t neglect the implementation and maintenance of such a service.

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