The Changing Face of Customer Support

Self-help websites will save money on customer support, but only if your site actually supports your customers.

Tim Deluca-Smith, vice president of Marketing, WDS, A Xerox Company

Increasingly, today’s customers are calling upon online self-service to access the information they need, quickly and conveniently. In the digital era, convenience is king.

Support costs can range from $0.10 for your website, to $11 for technical support.
Support costs can range from $0.10 for your website, to $11 for technical support.

This is great news for consumer brands as self-service is only a fraction of the cost compared with other channels; in fact brands can shave 98 percent off the cost of a support interaction by enabling customers to self-serve and mitigate the need for them to call in.

Despite its advantage, too often self-service fails to deliver on its full potential. What can appear to be a well-furnished website, packed with eye-catching,, media-rich content and tools, can often be little more than window dressing for a site that lacks the content required for effective self-service. Not only does this unnecessarily increase support costs, but it’s incredibly frustrating for time-poor customers.

As customers continue to pursue the most convenient support avenues, the customer support landscape needs to evolve to meet these needs. WDS, A Xerox Company, is championing this change and urging mobile operator brands to give greater focus to online self-service, as well as customer acquisition, within their online real estate.

A recent WDS call audit reveals a growing trend for mobile customers to self-serve online,, with 40 percent of customers heading to their mobile operator’s website before they call its contact center. Unfortunately for customers and mobile brands alike, 82 percent of customers that visited their operators website before calling, did so in the hope to resolve their problem themselves but instead had to call for support, an inconvenience for the customer, and additional cost for their operator.

Any self-service fail boils down to one of two things, either the right information isn’t available online or it’s simply not discoverable.

Throughout all customer touch points, having the right information at the right time is essential. At WDS, we draw upon our knowledge management process to make sure all of our support offerings are populated to meet the demand for customer support at any given time. Our team of user interface and search optimization experts then makes sure that this content can be discovered and understood easily by customers.

For new mobile devices and service releases, support content is created pre-emptively. After that, we analyze the transactions on the Web, as well as the calls that come into the contact centers. That’s how we’re able to understand what customers are looking for, as well as where they expect to see it – and more. This closes the feedback loop so that WDS, and our clients, can significantly improve the resolution of potential customer problems.

By addressing content coverage and discoverability in this manner, we have reduced contact center traffic by as much as 40 percent for some of the world’s best known wireless brands. Now we want to enable the broader mobile operator community to deliver more effective online support. That’s why we have developed Self-Care Express, a product to make this same technology more accessible, so that smaller operators with smaller budgets can also deliver an effective support experience.

For brands that get customer support right, the rewards are enormous. The WDS Mobile Loyalty Audit 2014 found that customers who are highly satisfied with the support experience become the mobile operator’s biggest advocates, delivering a Net Promoter Score of +61 against an industry average of only +5. (On a scale of -100 to +100, a score of +50 or higher is considered excellent.)

Best of all, with effective online self-service, customers can find their solutions online, which is most satisfying and convenient for them, instead of having to call support. Equally important, the cost to the mobile operator is a few cents instead of several dollars. That’s a savings of as much as 98 percent.

To learn more about Self-Care Express, or to request a copy of the WDS Mobile Loyalty Audit 2014 please contact

Follow the WDS blog for analysis into some of the key trends shaping the customer service experience, providing valuable insight for the wireless community.

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