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How Does Customer Self-Service Software Help Organizations?

3Di Systems | June 22, 2023

5 Minute Read

Customers demand instant access to information and services as the world is increasingly online. They want to be able to resolve their issues, make payments, and access services at their convenience, without having to wait on hold for a customer service representative.

At the same time, businesses and public sector organizations are under increasing pressure to deliver high-quality customer service while also reducing costs. Traditional customer service methods rely heavily on human interaction and are struggling to meet these demands.

Customers who can't get the help they need when they need it, may become frustrated and take their business elsewhere, damaging trust in the organization. Meanwhile, the cost of maintaining large customer service teams can put a strain on an organization's resources, diverting funds away from other important areas.

Customer self-service software offers a solution to these challenges. This technology allows customers to access information, make payments, submit service requests, and communicate with the organization at any time, from any device. It reduces the need for direct interaction with customer service representatives, freeing up these resources for more complex issues that require human intervention.

What could I be using customer self-service software for?

When you implement a comprehensive solution with self-service capabilities, such as a Virtual City Hall, countless tasks become much faster and easier for your team, while becoming more helpful and less frustrating for your customers. So let’s take a look at some examples of customer self-service software.

Managing Service Requests

Customer self-service software allows customers to submit service requests directly through a web portal or mobile app. The software then routes these requests to the appropriate department or individual for resolution. This can significantly speed up the process of resolving customer issues and reduce the workload on customer service representatives.

In the private sector, a telecom company might use self-service software to allow customers to report service outages or request technical support. The customer simply logs into their account, selects the type of issue they're experiencing, and submits the request. The software then connects them to the appropriate technical support team for resolution.

In the private sector, a retail company as large as Amazon (or as small as a startup) can use self-service software to allow customers to request product returns or exchanges. The customer simply logs into their account, selects the product they wish to return or exchange, and submits the request. The software then connects them to the appropriate customer service team for resolution. 

In the public sector, a local government might use similar software to allow residents to report non-emergency issues, such as potholes or broken streetlights. The resident can submit the issue along with a location, and the software ensures the request goes to the right person or department.

Omnichannel Citizen Self-Service

Processing Payments

Self-service software often includes integrated payment systems that allow customers to make payments directly through the platform. This can include paying for products or services, paying bills or fines, or making account changes. A robust payment system will allow for all kinds of payment structures and complex pricing. A good software option should include security measures to protect customer payment information.

A private sector organization like a manufacturing company might use self-service software to allow customers to view and pay invoices for shipments online. The customer can log into their account, view their current and past bills, and even set up autopay if they need to.

In the public sector, a city government might use similar software to allow residents to pay for permits, parking tickets, or other fees online. The resident can view their outstanding fees and make payments directly as well.

Sending Communications through the Right Channels

Many self-service platforms include communication tools that allow customers to interact with the company. This can include live chat, in-app notifications, email, social media integration, and more. These tools allow customers to ask questions, provide feedback, and interact with the organization in real time.

While not always “self-service” in the pure sense of the term, these communication tools reduce an organization’s workload across the board. It also helps the organization keep in touch with the customer, as the customer can personalize their communication preferences. Some people may want an email, while for others a notification from their mobile app is better.

Omnichannel communications form an integral part of public sector self-service platforms, for instance. A housing agency might use the software to allow residents to communicate with the agency, and get automated updates about the progress of their requests, from complaints to permitting. Residents can also ask questions and provide feedback directly through the platform.

In the private sector, an online retailer might use self-service software that includes a live chat feature. This allows customers to ask questions or get help while they're shopping. The software connects the customer with a customer service representative who can answer their questions in real time.

Providing Better Access to Information

Self-service software often includes a knowledgebase or FAQ section where customers can find answers to common questions. This allows customers to resolve their own issues without needing to contact customer service.

The software may also include search functionality to make it easier for customers to find the information they need, especially as these databases get larger and more complex.

Private sector companies like software providers often implement a self-service knowledgebase to provide customers with access to tons of common questions (and many not-so-common ones) about their product. Some even include community input too, rather than limiting it to what the company chooses to write about.

In the public sector, a local government might use similar software to provide residents with access to a database of local laws and regulations, information about affordable housing, updates on upcoming events, or important messaging for public safety, like fire safety tips and standards. Residents can easily search the database to find the information they need.

Enabling Mobile and Web Access

Most self-service software is accessible via both web and mobile platforms. Whether it’s a mobile-friendly web page or a custom mobile app, this allows customers to access the service from anywhere, at any time. The software is typically designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, regardless of the platform used.

In the private sector, a retail company might use self-service software that is accessible via both a web portal and a mobile app. This allows customers to shop, make purchases, track orders, and access customer service from anywhere, on their own time.

In the public sector, a local government might use similar software to provide residents with access to services and information from any device. This helps address all kinds of needs, such as accessing public records, submitting service requests, or paying fees, as mentioned above. Providing better mobile options like this is also more inclusive of residents who may not have easy access to a desktop computer.

Integrating with Other Software

Self-service software can often be integrated with other business systems, such as CRM or ERP systems. This allows for a seamless flow of information between the self-service platform and other business processes.

Healthcare providers for example might use self-service software that is integrated with their electronic health record (EHR) system. This allows patients to access their medical records, schedule appointments, and communicate with their healthcare providers all from one platform.

A government agency meanwhile might use self-service software integrated with their case management system. This would allow residents to apply for benefits, track the status of their application, and communicate with a case worker all from one platform, creating a much smoother citizen experience.

Getting Started with Customer Self-Service Software

Customer self-service software offers numerous benefits to both organizations and their customers. For organizations, it can lead to significant cost savings by reducing the workload on customer service representatives and speeding up resolution times. It also allows for a seamless flow of information between the self-service platform and other processes.

For customers, it provides immediate access to services and information, improving overall customer satisfaction. The convenience of being able to access these services from anywhere, at any time, is another significant advantage.

If your organization wants to increase the efficiency of customer interactions, reducing labor in the process, implementing customer self-service software might give you the break you’re looking for. To learn more about how to get started, book a free demo today, and see firsthand what 3Di Engage can do for you.


Delivering Omnichannel Citizen Self-Service