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Consortium for Service Innovation

Doubt: Self-service doesn’t work.

This concern often comes from...

Possible Underlying Beliefs

  • Customers will always want to call us
  • Customers pay for support why would they want to do it themselves
  • Customers don’t/won’t search
  • There isn’t enough content available through self-service
  • Customers don’t understand the technical details about their issues

Suggestions for Discovery

  • Ask before coaching.
  • Tell me more about that? 

Key Points for Advocacy

  • We don’t have visibility to all the customers’ activity in pursuing answers.
  • Customer demand for support is much greater than what we see as cases coming into the support center.
  • Customers are using many different channels to get answers, including google, online communities, and forums. 
  • Volume of activity in online forums/communities and self-service is huge.
  • For most customers finding an answer to their issue in self-service is much faster than opening a case and waiting to talk with someone. 
  • Industry stats show way more activity in Self-service than in case volume.
  • How often have you called support for the products you use? 
  • What is the first thing you do if you have an issue with the tools you use?

Reference Materials

Sample Scenario

NOTE: This is a sample scenario that provides an example of how a conversation might go between an influencer (Pat) and a doubtful experienced knowledge worker (Luke). Coaching skills are denoted in blue.

Each situation will vary, and influencers will have to adjust their approach based on the situation. Listening and good judgment are required; it is important to be really curious.  We’re aiming to identify underlying beliefs so we can offer a different way of looking at things! Asking people to explain their concerns by demonstrating how they do their work can provide a lot of insight.

  • Pat: Hello Luke, how are things?
  • Luke: Hi, just fine.
  • Pat: I see you created a few KB articles last week and they are now available on self-service. That’s great! Appreciation
  • Luke: Yeah… you’re welcome…. But I doubt anyone will use them.
  • Pat: Oh…. why is that? Inquiry
  • Luke: Customers will always call us.  They are not going to use self-service.
  • Pat: Hmmmm… tell me more about why you feel that way? Inquiry
  • Luke: Well… first of all most of them pay for support, which I assume we like the revenue. And, second I doubt they will go to the trouble of searching.
  • Pat: I see.  Reflection
  • Luke: I mean really…. they call us with the simplest stuff.
  • Pat: I guess some of our customers might prefer to call us.  But what do you do when you have an issue with the products you use?  Reflection, Inquiry
  • Luke: Google… I google it.
  • Pat: I remember the google story you told about the battery on your car’s keyfob going dead.  You were dreading calling the car dealer or having to go to the car dealer to get the battery changed. Reflection
  • Luke: Right, it wasn’t at all obvious how to open the keyfob so I googled it and found a youtube video that showed how to change the battery.
  • Pat: And your car was under an extended warranty? Reflection
  • Luke: Well yes… but googling it was much faster.  I found the video in less time it would have taken me to find the phone number and call Toyota.
  • Pat: Industry data shows that most people are like you.  They would rather find an answer in online community forums or self-service than open a case.  Advocacy
  • Luke: Yeah… but I don’t think that applies to our customers.
  • Pat: Ah… I think that might be true if they have a really critical issue.  But for many issues, they can find an answer faster online than opening a case.  Advocacy
  • Luke: Mmmm…. I don’t know.
  • Pat: Have you seen the reports that show the volume of activity in the community forum for our products? Inquiry
  • Luke: No.
  • Pat: It is pretty enlightening. It really shows how we don’t see all our customers’ activity in pursuing resolutions to issues by just looking at our case volume. Advocacy
  • Luke: Really?
  • Pat: Also, we are doing some things to promote the self-service capabilities. We are trying to make it easier for customers to find what they need. Advocacy
  • Luke: Well I would be interested in seeing that activity report you talked about.
  • Pat: Ok, I will send you the link.

Alternate to keyfob section

  • Pat: Right.  How often have you called Microsoft or our IT help desk when you have an issue? 
  • Luke: Ahh…. pretty much never. But I know what I am doing and I am not paying for support. 
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