Top Buzzwords

Self-service technology: Top five buzzwords

Self-service is a version of electronic support that allows customers to access information and perform routine tasks over the Internet. More and more frequently, businesses are implementing self-service applications to improve their customer service and reduce costs. Browse these buzzwords and brush up on key self-service definitions and terms.

Table of Contents

Self-service technology: Top five buzzwords
1. E-support
2. Employee self-service
3. Click-to-callback
4. Virtual agent
5. Kiosk

Self-service technology: Top five buzzwords

 E-support is an electronic (usually Web-based) version of customer service. E-support is a cost-effective, efficient way for companies to offer customers around-the-clock support. Most Web sites offer a combination of e-support types (static information, interactive self-help, live interaction support and toll-free customer support), which range from least to most expensive.

  • Learn how to start e-support initiatives.

     Employee self-service is a new trend in human resources management that gives employees control over job-related tasks that used to be the responsibility of management or administrative staff. Such tasks include updating personal information and filing applications for reimbursement. Employees may access these applications over the company's intranet, portal or kiosks.

  • Find out if building a corporate portal is right for your business.

     Click-to-callback is a Web-based CRM technology frequently used in call centers that enables users to leave a phone number on a company's Web site so that a representative can call them back. This technology has the potential to alleviate problems related to call volume in the call center.

  • Read about call center software.

    A  virtual agent is a chatterbot program that serves as an online customer service representative for a company. Because virtual agents combine artificial intelligence (AI) with a graphical representation, agents have the ability to create a more personalized experience for the customer. These automated representatives are used in CRM to help people perform tasks such as locating information or placing orders and making reservations.

  • Read about the impact of the virtual agent in call centers.

    A  kiosk is a small physical structure (often including a computer and a display screen) that displays information for visitors in airports, shopping malls, movie theaters or trade shows. Kiosks can be designed to loop through a series of pages or allow user interaction and exploration.

  • Read an article about self-service kiosks in movie theaters.

    Get advice on how to get started with online self-service technology in this expert response.

    Visit the online customer service topic center of for more self-service resources.


This was first published in November 2007

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