The other night, my fiancé and I went on a great date.
First we went to get dinner at a hip new sushi restaurant. Along with several traditional options, the menu featured a chance to “build your own rolls.” I picked a few ingredients and the sushi chef prepared my specially designed dish to my liking.
After dinner, we then went to our local bar which featured a large selection of beer from all over the world. With over 40 drafts as well as dozens of bottles, my date and I struggled to decide which beer was for us. After narrowing down our menu selection to a handful of options, a brief conversation with our “beer geek” bartender provided us with the answers we were looking for. Shortly afterwords, we were presented with two delicious beers we had never tried before.
At the movie theater, we both knew we wanted to see The Hobbit, but should we see it in 3D or IMAX? Should we buy the tickets at the counter, online, or through their automated ticketing machines? We decided to skip the line and use the machines, ensuring that we reached our seats in time to watch the trailers.
After the movie, we visited the nearby self-serve frozen yogurt shop. This particular store had 21 different flavor options as well as dozens of toppings to try. We both served ourselves and our deserts ended up costing us about $7.
At the end of our date, we went home very full and happy. I was amazed at how much we got to do that evening. Only later did we realize that, in total, we spent less than a $100.
End of One-Size Fits All
For each part of our date, we were presented with dozens of options and conveniences. We customized each aspect of it based on our budget, wishes, and needs. As a customer, I experienced great customer service – while doing much of the work myself.
The modern consumer is looking for a better customer experience. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. Many people would argue that self-service is the opposite of great customer service. However, in a recent survey, 77% of customers said they wished for more self-service technology in physical stores.
So what about the businesses? What benefits did they receive with self-service?
· For the restaurant, they created a unique experience and cut down on waste. We didn’t send food back, because we knew we’d like it before we even ordered it.
· The bar expanded a brand’s reach by offering new selections to customers from around the world. Using a clever menu and an educated professional, they provided great service and not a “catch-all” solution.
· The theater was able to offer other forms of payment and service, increasing the speed in which they could serve customers.
· The self-serve yogurt shop cut overhead by eliminating the need for multiple employees.
These companies generated less waste, produced an efficient operation, and increased revenue – by offering customers more options through better self-service.
What exactly is self-service?
Self-service not just expecting the customer to do all the work on their own – it’s about meeting the customer half way. It’s about providing the options and information to customers so that they can create customizable solutions to their problems.
In the tech world, a recent survey found that 72% of customers prefer self-service to resolve their support issues over picking up the phone or sending an email. These self-service options can include:
- Service Apps
- FAQs, Manuals, and Step-by-step tutorials
- Community forums
Providing customers self-service options, either through offering multiple support options or through store-front design, improves overall customer experience. Customers appreciate a variety of options and brands see immediate results.
Contact us today to learn about the cutting-edge solutions to increase customer options and self-service. Please contact us for complimentary assessment and personalized demo.