Self Service is a Bestseller
Customers are increasingly being asked to lend a hand when buying goods or services. Starting in food markets, the self service method is now on the rise across all industries. Customers put their meals together in restaurants, get their parking tickets at the vending machine and, as do it yourselfers, assemble their own furniture.
Do it yourself
We have become accustomed to the fact that the customer is no longer king, but must actively participate. Even though the construction of an Ikea Pax cabinet is strong challenge for me, it also fills me with a certain pride to have built the new clothing home myself. However, you have to invest time in building up what is saved in purchasing money. At petrol stations, self service is in the meanwhile a common practice. Hardly anyone knows him anymore – the gas station attendant, on which the customers had to wait for refuelling at the gas pump. Sometimes you had a short chat and not to forget, this person always cleaned the windows and checked the tire pressure. Today, this service has fallen victim to self service. The customer himself is now in the duty and therefore the tire pressure usually remains unchecked.
Do customers really prefer to do everything themselves?
At first, I would say “yes”. The high temporal flexibility and the growing do-it-yourself mentality are good arguments for the introduction of self service offers. But there are also dark sides.
For example, I recently arrived at the airport counter at 11 pm to check in my luggage by self service. A perfect thing in terms of flexibility. You print out the luggage label on the machine and then put the luggage on the conveyor belt, enters the destination airport – done. Sounds simple, right? It definitely was up to the moment in which the luggage on the tape has tilted and was not forwarded anymore. What a disaster. In the middle of the night, I stood with my suitcase, which I had saved from the tape, but I could not check in a second time. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than a service employee!
A second example: Get a train ticket. Again, self service is part of everyday life. On most train platforms there are no more service employees. In my opinion, that is ok as there is no special need. The machines are well preconfigured. The most popular destination stations appear immediately in the start window, the ticket type follows in the second step, select payment function and the ticket is provided. It simply works. Until the day I wanted to use a Super Save Rail and Fly ticket. My travel agency had recommended that I should print the ticket on the machine on the evening before I start the journey to avoid any time shortages. I thought that was completely superfluous. I was familiar with the ticket machines and felt technically well versed. In retrospect, I have to agree with the agency’s service staff. It was anything but trivial to elicit this ticket from the machine. I had to navigate a good 30 minutes through the ticket menu until I found the right ticket option. Since then, I appreciate the support of a specialist in complicated processes.
Now a last example: The same trip, arrived at the resort. I have booked a hotel with half board. Meals were served in buffet style – of course with self service. It was wonderful. The selection was not overly large but varied and actually met every taste. I was particularly impressed by the service around the buffet. All meals were always freshly refilled. The used plates were cleared as if by magic and the buffet itself was clean, well arranged and inviting.
And here comes my final thesis: Self Service is great, if you consider 2 important things. Self service requires a high level of service behind the scenes. The needs of the customer must be thought through and prepared in a user-friendly way. When I offer self service, I have to calculate in advance what the customer needs in order to make the selection clear and keep the “customer working hours” as short as possible.
Self Service BI yes, but right
Self service is one of the main topics in the analytics environment. More and more employees in companies want to analyze their relevant data quickly and independently. Self-service Business Intelligence is a good solution to relieve the burden on the IT department and increase the time flexibility of the departments. As with any self service offering, Self Service BI requires intensive background preparation. The new freedom in reporting also harbours its risks.
Since not every business user is and can not be a data specialist, the analysis offer should be carefully prepared. After all, users should not go down with the immense flood of data. Like a money or ticket vending machine, user behaviour should be thought through and intuitively processed. Many reports can be preconfigured in the design so that the end user only has to use the appropriate data. This makes the selection clear and the report creation a breeze.
Before the end users are sent to the new analytics world, important issues need to be addressed, e.g. who checks the components of data protection? Is it allowed to restore newly configured records to the system? Who retains the overview or the sovereignty over the data?
We at Selbach Information Systems are convinced that a solid selfservice BI solution has to be well thought out.
Are you interested in learning how Selbach Information Systems addresses these challenges? We have developed a sophisticated concept for Managed Self Service BI. We also like to show you how you can forecast the user behaviour of customers with the help of predictive analytics and make the appropriate reports immediately available in the background.
Selbach Information Systems GmbH develops comprehensive IT solutions for successful corporate management for more than 20 years.
Our employees are experts in data modeling, reporting, dashboarding, planning, predictive analytics, Industry 4.0 and more. Our focus is on modern software architectures, apps and cloud applications
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When it comes to high technical requirements, flexible solutions and user-friendly design, then Selbach Information Systems GmbH is the right partner.
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