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Self-Service Thy Customer

Self-Service Thy Customer

How to deploy and optimize self-service remains an inexact science for many organizations. In many cases we see IT, business units and support organizations making some of the same mistakes when it comes to planning, developing and deploying new self-service applications.

The top 10 mistakes companies make in introducing self-service - and how to avoid them.

Self-service applications remain a hot topic as the potential to lower costs by enabling employees or customers to help themselves proves extremely compelling to senior management - and increasingly to end users. However, while self-service can clearly enable greater efficiency (a trip to the airport, local bank branch or supermarket provides a real-life example), can it also deliver better service? This is a fundamental question whose answer determines the success of new consumer and business-oriented self-service models, and ultimately whether the current wave of self-service applications and tools will continue to be viewed as worthy IT priorities or simply the last "next big thing".

Taking a more user-centric approach by adopting CRM v.2 models (see "Is CRM Dead?", CIO March) can be an important step in plotting your self-service road map. So can evaluating the latest in knowledge management, collaboration and even new tools such as user forums, blogs and wikis to add to your service and employee productivity "stack". Better customer satisfaction, lower cost of sales and service, and greater knowledge sharing are ultimately the goals.

But in practice, as our consultants often see in the field, how to deploy and optimize self-service remains an inexact science for many organizations. In many cases we see IT, business units and support organizations making some of the same mistakes when it comes to planning, developing and deploying new self-service applications.

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