As your organization moves toward enabling self-service technology, it is important to set clear implementation goals, metrics and timelines.
This is the information and the planning you need to ensure your project is as successful as possible. The goals and metrics allow you to measure efforts while a timeline keeps you on track. If any part of the project does not go to plan, you can simply adjust the metrics and timelines to work toward your clearly stated goals.
Understanding why you are implementing self-service and what you want to see out of it is key. Not every aspect of user experiences can or should be turned into a self-service approach. However, if you work to understand what your users need and provide it to them they will be more likely to use and enjoy your services. As this article notes, self-service technology needs to add value to your organization versus being technology for technology’s sake.
Take a look at current user processes, and survey your users on what is working for them and what is causing pain points. If something is working efficiently without self-service, it may not be the priority. However if there are user flows that take a lot of time and resources while leaving users dissatisfied, that’s a better place to start.
Understanding why you are creating self-service technology informs both employee buy-in and user adoption. Employees need to understand why self-service is a good alternative to current practice so they can explain the benefits to users.
Also, implementation is part of the process, not the end of the process. It’s important to maintain up to date content and systems, and actively monitor and analyze how self-service technology is used. We will explain more about that when we come to metrics.
Measuring Self-Service Technology Success
Metrics help your organization understand how self-service technology is used so you can ensure you are meeting user needs. As this Forbes article notes, connected insights into customer journeys, agents’ use of knowledge, and how customer service works presents critical insights for optimizing your system.
For example, if your company implements a knowledge base, it’s helpful to know what is being searched, how long it takes to resolve a problem, and how many support tickets are still coming through. If people are routinely searching for information and not getting answers, there’s a flaw in the self-service system.
That said, it can be more challenging to monitor metrics and key performance indicators when channels and tools are self-service. Instead of staff or agents getting feedback from users, metrics are largely automated. This means there are certain performance indicators that become more relevant and more important to capture.
For instance, call deflection is important. This is the process through which customers receive the information or service they need efficiently, without necessarily being routed to a human. Looking at the number of users who are successful with self-service, and the number of users who would have contacted a live agent, you can estimate this metric.
Success rate could look like the percentage of times a search of the knowledge bank gives users the information they need. Conversely, it could look at the volume of knowledge base searches that ultimately result in a ticket. Every company will have a different set of metrics, of course, but all should be focused on ensuring users are actually seeing value from the self-service tech.
Creating a Timeline for Implementing Self-Service Technology
When you understand your goals for self-service technology and how you will measure success, you can build a timeline. The biggest question is if you will roll out the entire project at once, or phase it in. As you know from our previous article, we are fans of incremental change to test pilot projects before moving on to a full-scale rollout. TechBeacon notes that a full suite of self-services takes time and effort to achieve, and that onboarding departments is critical.
With that in mind, your timeline should factor in not just the technological side of implementing new services and processes, but other strategies. That means communication plans for users and employees — remember, early buy-in helps make a project successful! It also means marketing, training, and testing.
It’s also important to understand that a timeline for self-service technology implementation may always be a work in progress. Getting an initial project off the ground is exciting, of course, but self-service is constantly changing. Any timeline and/or strategy needs to factor in updates, for devices and infrastructure and for the information contained within the self-service portal or platform.
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