Self-service portals have been helping consumers for the last few decades. A self-service portal usage has increased, more and more businesses have begun investing in them to improve customer engagement, save time, and reduce costs.
More importantly, customers have come to expect self-service portals from the companies they do business with, especially when they are in one of these five industries.
#1 – Government services
Governments across the globe have seen the benefits of customer service portals and now fully embrace them. They not only reduce call volumes and wait times by empowering customers to help themselves, they also streamline reporting, communications, payments and more.
But governments aren’t just using customer portals to provide services. They also use these portals to provide important information to citizens. This includes tax information and the availability of government programs.
#2 – Banking
Banks and financial institutions may have been one of the first sectors to implement self-service with the introduction of ABMs/ATMs. These units allowed customers to deposit their own checks, review balances and even pay bills.
Today, banks have taken it a step further by encouraging customers to bank online. For many, this has nearly eliminated the need to call or visit the bank except for specific situations. Through the use of smart forms, banks allow customers to apply for new bank accounts and products, which further strengthens their relationships with customers, driving loyalty and retention. Some banks even operate entirely online, instead of paying to maintain physical locations that customers today rarely visit.
#3 – Insurance
Many insurance companies offer online portals that allow customers to review, update and print out their insurance policies. Customers can access quoting systems where they can quickly and easily swap out current vehicles with new vehicles to see what the impact would be.
These online self-service portals let customers review their policies, confirm payment amounts, and update banking information, ensuring that premiums are paid on time.
#4 – Professional services
Lawyers, accountants, tax preparers, medical professionals and even niche businesses such as travel agencies, are turning to online customer portals to help streamline scheduling and the sharing of information.
Some made the switch because they wanted to improve the customer experience, reduce costs or take advantage of improved security. Others switched because of the need for a contactless option over the past few years.
Regardless of why these businesses have made the change, it’s safe to say that the reason they’re sticking with it is because it improves their business and their bottom line.
#5 – Utilities
Whether you’re providing electricity, telecommunications, gas, water or another utility service, self service portals have had a huge impact on the way utilities do business.
By providing customers with online access to billing and utility usage, utility companies have been able to reduce the costs associated with customer service. The extra time that customer service reps gain can be put to good use dealing with more complicated issues and inquiries. This creates a vastly superior customer experience. Online billing and payment has also reduced the time it takes for customers to pay bills, which means improved cash flow and capital for other projects.
In addition to helping customers find information and complete key actions, notifications and alerts give utility companies the ability to communicate key information quickly and effectively to customers. This communication channel can be used to send automated bill payment reminders, as well as information on outages or other issues that may be important to their customers.
All of this leads to improved customer satisfaction, healthier conversations with customers, less headaches for the utility provider and overall, a more engaged utility customer.
For more information on how a customer self-service portal can help your utility reduce customer service costs while improving the customer experience, contact us today.