Survey Says Customers Prefer Online Self-Service, But It Has to Be Good

A 2012 survey conducted by leading analyst firm Coleman Parkes for Amdocs shows that customers prefer to use online self-service for support, and that if businesses get the online self-serve option right, customer support calls are greatly reduced.

The survey questioned 2,900 smartphone users between the ages of 18 – 40 across North America, the UK, Asia Pacific and Central and Latin America in January 2012. Here are some of the top takeaways from the report:

  • 75% of surveyed consumers said they would prefer to use online support if it were reliable and provided accurate and complete information; 91% say they would use an online knowledgebase if it were available and tailored to their needs.
  • More than 40% of customers contact a call center after they can’t find answers to their question via self-service; up to 50% of “How do I …?” calls could be deflected to self-care channels if information was provided online or in a knowledgebase.

“We are seeing a major shift in customer behavior,” said Ian Parkes, Director and Co-founder at Coleman Parkes. “Consumers prefer to seek answers to common questions through online resources. However, many end users believe service providers’ online services cannot solve their problems, so they gravitate back to the call center. There is a clear opportunity for service providers to take control of the experience and to reduce costs.”

While the survey is specific to smartphone users, the overall message is clear that online self-service including a knowledgebase, if done right, can make customer service and support more manageable and efficient by deflecting repetitive questions and requests. Customer service representatives can then focus on the more complex customer support requests and provide improved and more personalized customer engagement experiences.

Need some tips on developing an online knowledgebase that will promote successful customer self-service? The links below will get any organization off to a great start:

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