IS SELF-SERVICE TECHNOLOGY THE BEST FORM OF CUSTOMER SERVICE?

10/05/18 09:48 AM By Leonyl

The most recent tech buzz followed after Amazon Go wowed everyone with their no-checkout grocery store. Shoppers can walk in, take whatever they need, and go out without having to queue up at a check-out counter. Instead, they will be billed automatically to their credit cards. Moreover, McDonald's is offering their customers the same convenience with a "Create Your Taste" kiosk where you can invent your own unique meal according to your specifications.

The two brands mentioned above are not the only companies who are changing the game of customer service. Their competitors and businesses from different lines of industry are experimenting with self-service kiosks, applications, and similar options. It's almost everywhere now, from supermarkets, hotel check-ins, bank transactions, getting movie tickets, booking flights, and more. It's becoming more prevalent, with the promise of a prompt and convenient sales process. Apparently, the incorporation of technology in customer service allows customers to have more control over the products and services they want. A study conducted by The Forrester Research claims that the usage of self-service options is at 80% of customers across all business industries, and the forum or online community hub usage per customer is at 60%, which makes email and voice customer support seem like a form of escalation.

For some companies, self-service technology seems like a revolutionary scheme - it will allow them to streamline the transaction processes, reduce the overhead cost, and conceivably increase the revenue. It is undoubtedly the next best business project to take on, considering the potential return will yield. However, a lingering question remains unasked loudly: is it really beneficial for your customers?

Self-service options appear to be convenient, but if you look at the bigger picture, backed up by statistics, customers don't really benefit from it as much as they think. Various research institutions have conducted studies that show self-service technology is secretly making your customers spend more money than the traditional face-to-face transactions. The Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto, The National University of Singapore, as well as the Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina, studied the buying behaviors of customers in self-service transactions. They discovered that orders made digitally through a kiosk or an app were 20% more expensive than the regular products and that the market share of items with hard-to-pronounce names increased by 8.4%. Online food orders had 14% more specific instructions with 3% calorie increase compared to the average phone and over-the-counter orders. These studies concluded that customers fear being judged by their preferences, and they do not want to appear unsophisticated in front of other people.

For some customers, it surely eliminates the awkwardness of having to face people, and it gives them the feeling of privacy and control. But what they're probably not aware is that convenience has an equivalent price. Although we are aware that some of our clients prefer self-service, we have to set proper expectations that it might cost them more. Keeping the information from them is a form of dishonesty.

As your business expands, and as you explore the best strategies that work for you, you have to consider that your customers will also grow with you. Make sure that you're not sacrificing customer experience by upgrading to self-service technologies and other cost-cutting measures.


At Devtac, we know the importance of CRM in business, and we know what will contribute to your business's growth. As one of the leading CRM Solutions Provider in the Philippines, we can help you achieve your goal. Worried your customers aren't satisfied? Give us a call or send us a message.