Some estimates show that up to 80 percent of customer interactions will happen through self-service as early as 2020. Customers are looking to place orders, submit tickets, get billing information and receive various other services on their own terms. These services are enabled through technology investments which can be challenging to implement for smaller businesses. In this article we will examine the three questions in the golden circle around Self-service – Why, What and How?
Why do you need Self-Service portals for IT Services companies?
The first and most important reason is that even if your customers are not explicitly asking you, they are expecting it from you. Secondly, this investment is the only way you can scale your business in the world of recurring cloud-services. Self Service and customer-facing Microsoft CRM portals create better customer experiences and allow Technology Services companies to scale at a fixed and predictable cost. As a service provider if you are not thinking about Scale and Customer experience your opportunities are going to erode.
Self-Service delivers and creates better Customer Experience, and Customer Experience is one of the main reasons why customers chose to work with a service provider. For an IT services company, the customer experience journey starts from the initial contact and as shown below, the path is not linear and is littered with an infinite number of interactions.
To provide an exceptional customer experience at every step along this journey, Microsoft Partners and Technology Services companies need to have the infrastructure and tools in place to manage these interactions.
What can you do with Self-Service for your customers?
Self-service is about enabling scenarios for your customers at every stage of the journey shown above. Some example of the things customers want to do:
- Register for a training event
- Update their Personal and company information
- Create and receive a Quote
- Update Payment Information
- Place an Order for new services
- Review and Manage their existing services
- Request help for an issue
- Review and update their agreements
- Review their invoices.
Most often the only self-service scenario that is enabled is ticketing and case management and the primary reason is that the data and processes are initiated and enabled in different systems. The challenge for Service providers is how do you enable these various scenarios when the data is actually scattered in multiple systems?
How can you achieve these great experiences and outcomes?
Self-service creates better customer experiences and allows technology service providers to scale their business. Customer data and business processes are stored in various systems.
- Accounting Systems have Billing Information and Payment Data
- Ticketing Systems have incidents and Service Data
- Providers like Microsoft or Distributors have the Subscription and Service Data
- PSA systems have Time and Project Information and
- CRM Systems like Salesforce, Dynamics 365 have Customer Relationship data
Self-service can become very hard to deliver when the data is in so many different systems. Work 365 delivers a unified solution for all the applications with Billing Automation, Service Management on the Dynamics 365 platform.
Dynamics 365 + Work 365
Built on Dynamics 365, Work 365 creates opportunities for us to transform services and deliver better outcomes while also reducing the following:
- Customer attrition or turnover
- Cost of new customer acquisition
- Cost of service
- Time and effort spent on dealing with account changes and billing