TOONIMO'S BLOG
Read the latest on user experience, user training and onboarding from members, partners and experts.

Onsite Self Service – Ideal or Reality for E-commerce Businesses?

Written by Toonimo | Mar 03, 2015


E-commerce_large

E-commerce business owners often feel they have to make a choice between saving on customer support costs and increasing customer satisfaction. This can be a delicate balance and is likely to result in a strain in one area or the other. This common predicament leads business owners to seek out ways to preempt the need for customer service requests by providing as much opportunity for customer self-service as possible.

Onsite self service is truly an ideal solution. It offers the best of both worlds because it provides a way to reduce costs AND improve customer satisfaction, giving businesses a viable solution to end this trade-off of cost vs. satisfaction. Onsite self service makes it possible for web customers to access information and complete actions on your website without the need for a service or sales representative, which has dual benefits.

Research on website self service by Synthetix showed that:
- 90% of consumers will always check a website first before emailing or calling a company and

- 89% are ‘more satisfied’ when they get answers online quickly.

This is great news because it shows that an online self service solution is not just good for the business, but for the consumer as well.

Giving customers the power to manage the sales process alone has a number of important benefits:

  1. Customers appreciate the ability to shop independently at the time, place and manner that is convenient for them.

  2. Customer service agents can be reserved for when they are most needed, which is cost-effective and process enhancing.

  3. Customer wait time is reduced.

  4. Business hours are less of an issue, so sales can happen around the clock.

  5. Length of transactions are reduced since there are fewer steps necessary for the consumer to obtain information.


There is one caveat, however. In order for onsite self service to enhance customer satisfaction and reduce customer service costs, it needs to really provide answers to the customer’s questions. It needs to be done right.

The Missing Piece - Personalized Service


The primary element missing from a typical self checkout process is personalized assistance. Yet, for a customer to make it from product introduction to self checkout there needs to be a high level of confidence in the quality and amount of available information about the product.  This information varies from person to person.

With an onsite guidance system responds to the user’s behaviors and can identify their specific needs to provide directed messaging and assistance according to the individual. Therefore, customers can and will self checkout because they feel that their experience was personalized.

A good customer experience is expected. Customers that have a bad experience will not only stop doing business with you but they are far more likely to share their negative experiences than their positive ones.

Online self service solves the customer service cost vs. satisfaction predicament allthewhile improving the user experience, increasing conversion rates and your revenue. Personalized platforms like Toonimo, go one step further to reduce the potential failings of some self service initiatives by ensuring that your customer’s individual needs are truly being met, by responding to user activity on the site.  Your website can take on a bigger role in the customer service process, without the expense of round the clock service personnel.