Customer self-service quiz answers

Looking for a cheat sheet to SearchCRM.com's Customer self service quiz? Read answers and get detailed information on all related CRM topics, including the benefits of self service technology and how to select and manage self service applications.

1) The correct answer is A.
Customer service and support (CSS) is the part of a company's customer relationship management (CRM) department that interacts with a customer for their immediate benefit, including components such as the contact center, the help desk, and the call management system.

Learn more in our definition for Customer service and support.

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2) The correct answer is D.
According to call center expert Donna Fluss, it costs between $3.00 and $5.00 for a typical service call (and much more for a technical support conversation) versus less than $0.20 per IVR transaction. In her column on self service on SearchCRM.com, she points out that forcing customers to the more expensive channels is a costly mistake.

"If your company invests in a flexible, feature-rich and easy-to-use self-service application, an increasing percentage of your customers will elect to help themselves and you will save money," Fluss said.

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3) The correct answer is A.
In a recent SearchCRM.com column on self-service applications, Donna Fluss pointed out a number of cost benefits to self-service technology. It costs less than $0.20 for a Web self-service session, she said. But there are other benefits as well.

"Companies that do not invest in their self-service environments are missing a great opportunity to reduce operating expenses and provide a satisfying and branded customer experience. Additionally, with Generation Y entering the workforce, Web-based self-service is a requirement, as it is their preferred channel for doing business, " Fluss said. "These folks believe that "speaking" is done with the fingers on a keyboard."

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4) The correct answer is E.
Allen Bonde, self-service guru and senior vice president of strategy and marketing at the management consultancy eVergance, points to applications of self-service technology in a number of vertical industries. In a presentation at the 2005 DCI self service conference, Bonde mentioned that self service is being used in the retail industry, in banking, eGovernment, healthcare, online travel and more. Learn more in Building a business case for self service by Allen Bonde, an installment in SearchCRM.com's CRM ROI series: Building a business case for CRM.

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5) The correct answer is D. Home based inquiries are not one of the common uses of self service.
Customers are using self-service applications on many levels. Some customers are using self service on a basic level for informative inquiries, including instances where customers search FAQ lists or read a product description on a retail Web site. Other customers are learning the convenience of administrative inquiries. An example of an inquiry of this type would be where a customer fills out a loan application online, then a company representative retrieves and processes the application during a low volume time period.

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6) The correct answer is A.
Too many companies still do not appreciate that customers will only use self-service if it is a better and easier alternative, said Donna Fluss in her SearchCRM.com column on self service applications.

"Customers avoid self-service environments that are challenging to use and lack timely and effective user feedback, " Fluss said. "Sophisticated Web self-service users do not have a lot of patience. Users want to get in quickly, find the information they need, possibly do a transaction, and get out. If the system fails at any point during this process, most users who are not captive will simply find a better site. Alternatively, if they are captive, as in a banking situation, the customer will call the bank's 800 number and grumpily demand the information from an innocent agent."

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7) The correct answer is A.
A SearchCRM.com news report from 2005 cited a survey from Boston-based AMR Research Inc. as saying that Web self-service technology will be the most frequently implemented application in 2005, with 34% of the firms surveyed citing plans for self-service.

Eric Newmark, senior research analyst with AMR, pointed out that service centers have traditionally been viewed as nonprofitable, but that is changing.

"Self-service technology has been marketed in that way, but in the last few years technology has arrived for companies to break out of this siloed approach," Newmark said.

The most common area where companies are finding revenue possibilities is with natural language search, and the biggest ROI is coming from businesses with a high volume of inquiries with a low level of complexity.

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8) The correct answer is B. Research by The Allen Bonde Group last year indicated that the market for self-service application software is close to $1.5 billion -- not $.5 billion.
In his introduction to the Self Service Learning Guide on SearchCRM.com, Bonde pointed out how the self-service market is growing.

"Self-service as a model and a market has been gaining momentum as consumers increasingly accept and even prefer the idea, and businesses look to not only reduce costs but also improve customer satisfaction ... At once both an extension of CRM and an evolution of e-commerce, the market for self-service application software is close to $1.5 billion, according to the latest ABG research," he said.

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9) The correct answers are B and D. (Sorry -- we tricked you!)
There are a few challenges that are associated with self service. One challenge commonly associated with the technology is measuring the effectiveness of self service. In fact, one of the dirty secrets of CRM is that many companies see a spike in calls to the call center immediately after deploying a self-service tool.

Another common challenge is user adoption. As call center expert Donna Fluss pointed out, customers will only use self-service applications if they are a better and easier alternative. The biggest problem with sub-par and annoying self-service applications, she says, is that no one took the time to ask customers what features and functionality they wanted. Enterprises continue to make the classic mistake of offering capabilities that the company wants to see automated.

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10) The correct answer is C.
In SearchCRM.com's Self-service scored in recent ranking, News Director Barney Beal cited a self-service scorecard from Allen Bonde Group.

"ABG identified Bozeman, Mont.-based RightNow Technologies Inc. and Cupertino, Calif.-based Knova Software Inc. RightNow scored a 17 and Knova a 16.5, based on a 20-point scale that awards up to five points across four categories.

'They're in that [leadership] position for two reasons," said Allen Bonde, president. "RightNow did a great job on the sales and marketing front and executed well. Knova has done well because their integration with ServiceWare is smoother than they or we had hoped.'"

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This was first published in November 2006

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