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Self Service

By CG IT ·
Found this article on MSN about how self service has pervaded out life.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/ConsumerActionGuide/WhereHasAllTheHelpGone.aspx?page=1

Computer hardware and software mfgs have known this for years by providing FAQ and How To articles. They also found out that the vast majority of service calls from consumers were for simple items that could be scripted. This led the way for outsourcing phone customer support to places like India with cheap labor costs.

But the one thing that really caught my eye was how the article showed that services that were once free, business are now charging consumer extra like teller services at banks. Higher gas prices for non self service, and in the case of computer support, Dell Computers charging extra for customer phone support by US based customer service tech[easy to understand English speaking people].

Grocery stores are going the self service route even though most don't use them. One chain, Fresh and Easy, is 100% self checkout and self bagging.

As the article pointed out....

"It used to be, 'We'll give you something extra for doing self-service.' Now it's, 'If you don't do self-service, we'll charge you something extra for having a person help you,'" said Linda Musthaler, an analyst at Essential Solutions.

The bottom line is customer service costs a lot and well business will do anything to reduce costs and customer service is one area technology can do this. But at what cost?

Is customer service going the way of the Maytag Repairman? A unnecessary service that if there is ever a need, business basically have said that through technology, customers can do themselves so why should we?

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Have to agree that 'self-service' as the norm...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Self Service

is a far cry from 'customer service'. Though the quote below does have its application, within limits.

""What better customer service is there than self-service?" ask the marketers. "It's fast!" "It's accurate!" "It's convenient!" "It's confidential!""

When I'm in a hurry I'll use the self-service line at the grocer because it's fast. I do prefer to bag my own groceries because I know where I keep everything and can bag in the manner that makes it easiest to put away when I get home - not to mention I won't make the bags too heavy. On occasion, the confidentiality factor comes into play as well. But as the norm? No. Ticks me off that real 'customer service' now costs extra.

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