Gartner research finds that customers primarily choose a channel — regardless of whether it is assisted or self-service — based on past service experiences, with perceived speed to resolution and their feeling of which channel is most appropriate for their issue second and third, respectively. Customers’ top reasons for choosing a channel demonstrate they do not necessarily know which channels are better or worse for resolving a particular issue.
The research also shows that customers have just as good — but often better — service experiences in self-service than in assisted channels. On average, self-service outperforms the phone channel in all CX metrics, producing statistically significant differences across CES, CSAT and VES.
Therefore, service leaders must make a concerted effort to guide customers away from the phone channel and toward self-service channels if that is the right channel that leads to a better service experience. Our research shows that guiding customers to the right self-service solutions leads to a significantly better CX. Of the customers who reported they were guided, nearly all (88%) rated their satisfaction with the experience a 6 or 7 out of 7, and only 3% rated it at 1 through 4.