What is Self-Service? Whats in your Toolchest?

By | April 3, 2022

What is Self-Service? 

It’s beginning to get a bit blurry with the rise of automation, robotics and AI.  And then you have web portals claiming they are at top hierarchy CRM itself, when in fact they are are just one tool in the big CRM toolset.

Is it self-service?  We can start with three questions

  1. Is there another person involved?
  2. Are you getting information from systems without talking to a person or counteragent?
  3. Are additional people available but only on an optional as-needed basis?

Here are some definitions

  • From Salesforce — What is self-service? Self-service definition: a fast and easy way for customers to find answers to simple questions about products, services, and policies. Key self-service channels include your help center, customer portal, and customer community. Self-service channels are a win-win for customers and companies.
  • CRM System – Customer Relationship Management
  • Selfservice allows you to provide online support to your customers without requiring any interaction with a representative from your company

Here are starting example categories

  • CRM systems for customer call-in. though most of us cringe when using.  It is expected to get much worse with AI-generated conversations
  • CRM systems for managing customer questions — i.e. does Zendesk, Hubspot or Salesforce ring a bell?
  • Mobile Phones allow for self-service often via Google Assistant or others. Often the base credential as well.
  • Chatbots – hate em or love em, depends on the issue
  • Websites – for ordering and customer queries and requests for information.
  • We will write a general tips FAQ on effectively using self-service services.
  • Supermarket checkout with the self-service pods is one of the largest if not the largest
  • ATMs for getting your cash are at the apex  — see ATMIA
  • Bitcoin or Crypto Machines
  • Kiosks
    • Fast Casual order kiosks like McDonald’s kiosks (150K or so ww)
    • DMV license renewal
    • Border Control & Immigration
    • Bill payment terminals such as AT&T and Verizon
    • Bitcoin Kiosks
    • Loyalty Kiosks
    • A whole range of check-in and check-out to numerous to detail here
    • Smart city
  • Vending has a tremendous number of “Get your own stuff” iterations from pantries to corner machines
    • Buy a candy bar
    • Activate the water and soap at manual car wash
  • Interactive digital signage
    • Ones a person touches or interacts with on some level like Wayfinding
    • The ones people simply look at to retrieve information (flight status at airport e.g.)
  • Self-service in medicine
    • What about telemedicine and telehealth
    • Monitoring systems