I recently recorded a podcast with the always fun and insightful Laura Hoyt of SearchCRM.com. Here is a link to listen to the podcast; registration is required. I thought I would pass along some highlights from our interview.
Q: Is self-service a strong investment in today’s economy? Do you expect this market to grow over the next few years?
A: Absolutely. Even in a down economy I’m seeing strong spending for knowledgebase tools and self-service technology, because of the bullet-proof ROI. According to my 2009 technology survey of over 300 technology companies, technology budgets allocated to KB, self-service and multi-channels tools represents 30% of the total budget, compared to 22% last year. And, even though spending has slowed, we still are seeing companies investing in 2009 and 2010 in KB and self-service. It’s not just about call deflection, today it is about being competitive and offering an exceptional customer experience.
Q: What’s the best way to get upper management on board with a self-service initiative?
A: I recommend three steps.
1. Build the business case. Check out my report from last year, “The ROI of Knowledge Management: Building a Business Case for KM Investments.”
2. Analyze customer demographics. There are lots of studies out there, including some of my own, showing channel preferences by demographic. If you still think phone is everyone’s preferred channel, you are hopelessly outdated. If customers are demanding self-service, you have to offer it.
3. Survey survey survey. The Voice of the Customer can be very compelling for executives. Ask customers what they like and don’t like about your self-service site, and what features they would like to see. (more…)