“Many customer service and support leaders worry that creating easy transitions to assisted channels will undermine their self-service goals,” said Eric Keller, Senior Director, Research in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice “Our research shows the opposite is true: 74% of customers who experience easy transitions to a customer service rep say they’ll return to self-service next time.
“Despite resolving their issue in assisted service, these customers are just as likely to use self-service in the future as those whose issues were fully resolved using self-service.”
Seamless Transitions Boost CX and Reduce Costs
The survey highlights the benefits of promoting seamless transitions between self-service and assisted channels. Seamless transitions improve CX across a range of metrics (see Figure 1) and boost loyalty, but they also save time and resources. In fact, 93% of respondents reported high customer satisfaction (CSAT) when there was a seamless channel transition. The survey found customers who experience seamless transitions from self-service to a rep spend 27% less time in assisted channels.
Figure 1. Seamless Transitions Improve CX Outcomes
“Multi-channel customer service journeys are extremely common, and improving those channel transitions has a material impact on the bottom line,” said Keller. “Seamless transitions save an average of 4 minutes of costly rep time per customer journey because reps aren’t asking customers to repeat information they have already provided.”
With 88% of customer journeys starting in self-service touching multiple channels, customer service and support leaders must recognize that creating seamless transitions between those service channels is the key to their digital-first service ambitions.
To create low-effort multichannel journeys, customer service and support leaders should:
- Share customers’ context from self-service with reps. The steps customers take or information they provide in self-service is too often lost if they switch channels, with customers having to repeat themselves. Instead, companies should capture customers’ context in self-service (e.g., the FAQs they visited) and transfer that information to reps.
- Provide prescriptive channel guidance, not just choices. Whether it’s a digital interactive voice response (IVR), a case creation tool, or strategically placed chat pop-ups, organizations need to guide customers during channel transitions, rather than providing many choices and letting them find their own way.
- Make seamless transitions part of the messaging to customers as to why they should start in self-service. Customers will be more likely to try self-service when they know it will be easy to get more support if needed.