The Customer and Business Impact of Enabling Next-Level Self-Service

Across industries including financial services, telecommunications, and utilities, customer expectations of convenience, speed, and ease have increased the demand for the digitization of customer touchpoints. As these sectors invest in online portals, chatbots, and mobile apps, one crucial customer touchpoint is called into question: the contact center.

The contact center has been an important customer touchpoint since its rise in the 1980s, but satisfaction in contact centers has trended sharply downward since 2016. Heavy reliance on this touchpoint can also impact the bottom line, as the cost per contact via call center is $3.80, compared to $0.01 for digital self-service and $0.07 for voice assistant service (source: WillowTree).

None of this means that the call center will disappear  — rather, it means that utility providers have an opportunity to refocus the call center on the high-touch interactions that require human-human contact, and transform digital self-service offerings to support low-touch customer needs.

Advancing digital self-service offerings drives toward positive outcomes for customers, such as higher online engagement, improved CSAT, and improved Customer Effort Scores (CES), as well as outcomes for the business, like higher enrollment in cost-saving programs and increased operational efficiency.

When WIllowTree’s client, NiSource, redesigned and launched their online customer portal, they saw outcomes like:

  • 261% increase in validated new account sign ups
  • 104% increase in paperless billing enrollment
  • 98% decrease in payment failures
  • And more!

Read the full case study on NiSource’s digital transformation.

The Future of Digital Self-Service

At WillowTree, we believe that the future state of self-service lies with a technology that is undergoing one of the fastest adoption rates in history: voice.

When most people think of voice technology, they think of talking to a smart speaker like Alexa or Google Home, and the device talking back to them. However, the most efficient use cases for voice that our research has uncovered look a little different. Join WillowTree at EMACS to hear from Jamie Timm, Partner & VP of Program Management at EMACS on October 6 from 1:40 – 2:10 pm ET to learn how voice technology can transform digital self-service and maximize efficiency across the utility sector.