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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Web Self-Service Strikes Out

Re: Web Self-Service Strikes Out
Posted by: Keith Regan 2002-02-25 21:58:43
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Self-service -- using an Internet presence to help customers find answers to their
questions -- is a popular buzzword in e-commerce nowadays. But this concept is still
coming into its own, and already there's a problem: Customers expect many more answers
than Web sites are prepared to provide. The result? Self-service is coming to mean, in
effect, no service.

Re: Web Self-Service Strikes Out
Posted by: csitprof 2002-02-27 12:11:07 In reply to: Keith Regan
I agree.

I called the 800 number to order a replacement part from GE for my broken Microwave handle and paid $30 for the part.

At an ecommerce seminar, the lecturer told me I'd have paid $15 on the site. I felt embarrassed because I do tech support and hound the Microsoft, Novell and HP support sites for a living. I knew in my heart the GE site was a waste of time. I wish you were in that class with me for moral support.

I believe the tide is set though. Just like people used to say (in 1995), Windows crashed my system and I'm uninstalling it, and now it's like water in an ocean. GE will one day refer you to the local distributer and allow you to buy from them online. If GE sold the part online, it would put their sales channel out of business. Give GE and their sales channel ten years and they will have the web service figured out.

In the meantime, I'd like to slap the e-evangelists silly, 'cause IT AIN'T HERE NOW.

resistence is futile

Re: Web Self-Service Strikes Out
Posted by: javaba 2002-02-26 17:32:51 In reply to: Keith Regan
It's always refreshing to hear about large corporations making a mess of their online presence - it means that the space for the small guy (if he/she gets their act together) can be a success.

Re: Web Self-Service Strikes Out
Posted by: dshahbazi 2002-02-26 14:51:32 In reply to: Keith Regan
Self-service does not exist in a vacuum. Until humanoid robots take over customer service departments, Call Centers and Help Desks should always be an out to Web-based frustrations. Self-service is more about incorporating automation tools into a Web site that make it easier to find frequently requested information. They are not the end-all-be-all to answering every question. They should, however, be able to respond quite efficiently to frequently asked questions. It would be beneficial to learn whether GE or Rubbermaid have incorporated such tools on their Web sites.
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