In the last couple years, we’ve seen an increase in self-serve solutions. From gas pumps, grocery checkouts, food orders, and appointment scheduling, consumers are becoming accustomed to doing what they want when they want to. Additionally, the internet and mobile phones have changed the way buyers behave. Consumers demand instant customer service and become highly annoyed when they have to wait, which would only indicate that self-serve is here to stay.
There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait on hold or stand in line. Self-serve solutions allow customers to help themself whether that be scheduling an appointment, finding an answer to a question, or ordering a meal, without having to rely or wait on someone else. Customers are able to complete their request automatically, saving them time and increasing customer satisfaction, as well as saving the company time and money by reducing the resources required to assist that customer.
Companies are too slow to follow up
When a customer fills out a form on your website or reaches out to your company, they are highly motivated to find a solution for their problem. The longer it takes for customers to be served or get a response the less motivated they become and the less likely they will follow through. According to Lead Response Management, the odds of contacting a lead if called within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drop 100 times.
Yet a study conducted by Drift revealed that only 7% of companies researched responded within 5 minutes, even more surprising was that 55% of the companies didn’t respond within even 5 days. That is a lot of missed opportunities and an extremely poor customer experience.
So why self-serve?
Time and convenience are highly valued by customers, a study by Forrester found that 72% of customers prefer to use self-service rather than phone or email support.
“73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service” according to Forrester, but so many customers are still waiting. Our time has become increasingly valuable and consumers aren’t willing to wait; customers want on-demand service or they will leave and find it elsewhere. According to Arise, almost two-thirds of respondents say they would wait no longer than two minutes and it’s not just millennials, 74% of those over 65 wouldn’t wait the two minutes. Just a few years ago customers were willing to wait up to 13 minutes, that is a dramatic change in a short period of time. Self-serve solutions help eliminate wait time, allowing customers to receive an immediate response which increases the likelihood of them completing the transaction.
Customer expectations are increasing and their contact channel preferences are changing. Customers want service to be easily available at their convenience. Self-serve solutions give customers control to solve their own problems when and where they want. For example, it is 10pm at night and Cindy remembers she needs to file her taxes, she emails her tax preparer about scheduling an appointment. He tries to call her back the next day but she’s in meetings and the back and forth begins. By providing a self-serve solution such as appointment scheduling, Cindy could simply visit the company’s website, check the availability and schedule a meeting time that works best for her, allowing her to confirm the booking and eliminating the need to wait for a response. Self-serve solutions ensure service is always available, making it more convenient for customers to engage with your business.
Customers are coming to expect personalized service when interacting with your business, whether that means be greeted by name or receiving personalized suggestions based on their previous behaviour. Customers want to feel as though they are a valued customer with unique needs, and that your business has taken the time to ensure they receive the best customer experience. Self-serve solutions capture customer data and track buyer behaviour, so that companies can deliver that personalized service and elevate their customer experience.
More organizations are looking to implement self-serve solutions and understand the value they can provide their customers. When these solutions are easy to navigate and implemented appropriately, service becomes faster, convenient and personalized. Organizations see increased customer adoption and satisfaction, as well as improved productivity.
The value of an appointment
Now that we have reviewed the power of self-serve solutions and the benefits they can bring to both your organization and your customers, it is important to consider the value that specifically comes from appointment scheduling. Before making a decision on which solution is right for your organization, you need to be able to quantify potential ROI and see the value that a solution can bring.
In our appointment scheduling value report, we outline who is impacted most by appointments, key performance metrics affected by appointments and how an appointment scheduling solution can help improve relationships and create high value interactions.