Independent Contact Center Consultants: Bridging Strategy, Technology and Operations Since 2004

Performance Management for Self-Service

It is rare to see centers conducting quality monitoring (QM) or capturing Voice of the Customer (VoC) for self-service. Once the applications pass their respective usability and functional tests, the center simply monitors usage statistics and raises concerns when outliers are noted – e.g., excessive “opt outs” to agents. And yet the customer experience with self-service impacts their overall impression of the company. A QM or VoC process may have a role to play.

frustrated customerWhile IVR usage may be waning for self-service, some companies have specific requirements to bolster the effectiveness of this channel. Some retain IVR experts such as EIG to leverage their proprietary tools and special expertise to identify weakness in user interface design. Others use the equivalent of “side-by-side monitoring” or the call observation function to listen in while customers interact with the IVR. It is easier to conduct this eavesdropping with speech-based interfaces, but even touch-tone interactions provide insights. Some users express their frustration to a nearby friend or family member; others talk to (or yell at!) the system itself! And, of course, focus groups can provide “voice of the customer” input when the company contemplates changes or additions to the IVR user interfaces.

A few centers have started to offer instant web surveys in the wake a self-service transaction. They probe for the customer’s experience with the application, success in completing a transaction, and level of effort. Suggestions for improvement are welcome. Foresee, WebTrends, and others provide the technology and methodology to complete a web self-service assessment.

If you choose not to institute a formal QA or VoC process with self service, make sure you can capture and track key indicators of success including: Opt Outs (or Bounce Rate), Total Users, Return Users, Completed Transactions, Access Frequency, Last Use Date, etc. Self-service success drives greater usage, which in turn relieves pressure on your direct and assisted service channels. And success makes customers happy, too.