Design for Self Service

How many of us have got frustrated waiting for the callcenter guys to empathize our situation and fix our random issues, all those endless searching on the websites/google for an immediate fix, how often have we messed around with the inflight entertainment system hoping it would work faster and could be easy to handle and understand our preferences. This quest is endless.

A few months ago I saw this couple struggling to deposit their savings, through a ATM machine, the queue which was building behind them was intimidating and daunting further making the experience worse.

This is where I see the application of self service. As Designers we have a huge role to play here on both customer and business ends.

Why Self Service?

For a User — Better usage of the product, Easy and Delightful Experience

For a Company — Reduction in Support costs, More collaboration with the customers, Increased customer satisfaction

What is a great self service Experience?

Creates a Perception that its more convenient than other channels
Highlights the benefits, encourages and stresses on self service
Allow the customer to achieve their key goals without fiction
Customers without baggage choose to bypass check-in and just board the aircraft. For those customers with baggage, the kiosk solution allows them to change a flight if they wish, check-in, change seats, pay for any excess baggage, and print their bag tags. Once the customer has tagged their bag, they simply place it on a baggage belt and the bag is sent airside.
ICICI bank website clearly indicates what the personal banking users can do on the right and the first time users and others at the top
Twitter’s sign up process clearly shows where the user is and what is that he is heading towards and how quickly he can start tweeting. Also Twitter, smartly pulls in your friends circle and surprises users in delightful manner.
Instil confidence in the customer that they can achieve their goal on their own
Momondo clearly guides a clueless traveler to book a vacation
Uber/ Ola has cracked this on the basis that even a user whose not comfortable with smart phone touch, can easily book a cab without hassle as the UI is very simple
Give an Overview
Provide a human and personal touch
Create delight through small, unexpected touches
Nike Training app — amazingly designed in terms of usability and Wow interms of visuals. Clearly has the human touch to motivate, track time and exercise along with the user

Another fine example would be Bookings.com — Once you book a stay through bookings.com, as your vacation date gets closer they send emails which brief you on what all can be done in the destination and a location guide. This kind of unexpected touch interests user and motivates to interact more with the site.

Carry the customer’s information across when they choose to switch channel or device

Today most of the apps have achieved this across platforms. Be it reading a book on kindle before you snooze, continue it on your mobile on the way to work , and then again on the PC at work, the reading experience remains the same.