I checked-in to my hotel room from the plane – such a great self-service option

One of the things I help my clients do is find innovative and relevant ways to improve the customer experience through self-service options. I always notice when a company delivers a great self-service option that customers find appealing. Last week during a business trip to San Francisco, I experienced a top-notch self-service option that I just have to share with you.

When I checked emails on my iPhone during my layover in Phoenix, I saw an email from Hyatt inviting me to check-in to my room via the web. All I had to do was click  “Web Check-In” and type in a few details. The web check-in page told me that I’d get an email when my room was ready. By the time I touched down in San Francisco, I had an email with my check-in confirmation and room number. Upon arrival, all I had to do was hold my smartphone up to the kiosk and scan my barcode and I was all set to go up to my room….and relax before my big keynote.

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This email was such a welcome message in my inbox. I got my room number, directions to my room and easy barcode scan instructions.

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The Hyatt web check-in was super convenient, quick and easy. For a busy business traveler like me, this convenience was very refreshing and welcome. Not only is this great for customers, but it makes things easier for Hyatt by minimizing lines and manpower at the front desk.

Consider one busy and potentially frustrating part of your customer experience and brainstorm ways you might introduce a relevant self-service option. Self-service options aren’t always the best solutions, but I always encourage my clients to brainstorm and explore. You never know when you’ll hit a goldmine. Think ATMS, airport kiosks, tollbooth passes….

Rethink Your Self Service Experience. Here are 2 Ideas from Target to Get You Started.

I was in Target yesterday and I noticed their nice self-service options. Need to quickly find a real person when you’re in electronics looking for a replacement charging adapter for your daughter’s Kindle Fire? No problem, just pick up the Red Phone and a red-shirted employee should be at your side in minutes. Can’t find the price for the Red Velvet Cupcake scented candle? That’s easy. Just hold the candle up to the price scanner and instantly the price appears on the screen.

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Target’s self-service options have cross-generation appeal. Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y seem to use and these kiosks with satisfaction. How might you rethink your customer experience to deliver a faster, more enjoyable experience that helps customers help themselves – or get live help when they need it?

Myra Golden has spent 15 years benchmarking, interviewing and mystery shopping the best service companies in the world and in her keynotes she shares her insights to help her clients improve their own customer experiences. In her inspiring and riveting keynotes, Myra shares specific customer experience design details from the best service companies of our time: Apple, Zappos.com, Starbucks and Disney. Your audience will walk away with 4 powerful deliverables to help them create the best possible customer experience in their own companies. Explore Myra’s keynotes here.

Making Self-Service Options Appealing to Generation Y

Generation Y is highly tech driven and because they spend so much of their time communicating through text and social media, human interaction isn’t always their preferred method for getting customer service. When designing your customer experience, look for ways to meet the unique needs of generation Y by having appealing self-service options available. By appealing, I mean tech savvy options like QR codes, fast and efficient apps and pretty much any option that involves smartphones.

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Apple lets customers scan products and pay right from their phones.

Apple does a great job of offering self-service options that are aimed squarely at Generation Y (and X).  If you’ve ever been in an Apple store, you know that their stores are always jam-packed. As much as I love browsing in the Apple store, there are times when I want to get in and out. Like the day I just stopped in to pick up a case for my MacBook Air. Because Apple has given careful thought to self-service options that appeal to tech-savvy shoppers like me, I was able to pull out my iPhone and scan my product right from the display. The product pulled up on my phone via the Apple store app and I was able to pay right from my phone and walk out, bypassing all of the crowds.

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While in the Apple store, customers can not only purchase and pay for products right from their phones, but they can also see how may customers are ahead of them for live help or they can see how many minutes before the next Genius support appointment opens up. 

How might you rethink your customer experience to deliver a faster, more enjoyable experience that requires less human interaction? Don’t think tech-savvy self service options are limited to retail. If you are a contact center, library, bank, insurance company – any company that serves customers, I want you to think out of the box and consider how you might create an easier, faster, more enjoyable experience for your customers using QR codes, apps, smart phones or social media. Get creative.

Myra Golden has spent 15 years benchmarking, interviewing and mystery shopping the best service companies in the world and in her keynotes she shares her insights to help her clients improve their own customer experiences. In her inspiring and riveting keynotes, Myra shares specific customer experience design details from the best service companies of our time: Apple, Zappos.com, Starbucks and Disney. Your audience will walk away with 4 powerful deliverables to help them create the best possible customer experience in their own companies. Explore Myra’s keynotes here.