A self-service center is a personal area of a user on the website of a company where he can manage his profile. With the help of a self-service center, users of digital services can, for example, add and change personal data themselves, transmit enquiries, obtain new services, or change existing services. Through the customer-controlled administration of the profile, for instance, the content and frequency of newsletters can be adapted to the user’s own needs, thus increasing the relevance of your communication. This means that only topics of interest to the user are displayed in the newsletter, which helps the user to perceive your company more positively through tailor-made communication.
Despite the advantages mentioned above, only a few email marketers use the possibilities of a self-service center. In a survey conducted by eMarketer, 69 percent of users surveyed stated that they expected to be able to determine the frequency of their emails themselves. However, only 10 percent of marketers surveyed confirmed that they meet these requirements. A similar picture emerges with regard to content. Here, too, a majority of 63 percent of the users stated that they wanted to decide about the content by themselves, but only 24 percent of the marketers were able to offer those functions. As a result, some users encounter their newsletters with disinterest and, in case of doubt, do not open them at all.

Currently users get too much (irrelevant) content played out

Due to the lack of the possibility to determine the topics and frequency of communication, many users get too much and especially irrelevant content played out. According to a study by Alliance Data, placing control over communication in the hands of users can help to ensure that users are no longer overwhelmed by the flood of content. 52 percent of the users surveyed agree with the statement that they pay more attention to the messages received by companies if they can control the frequency and content themselves.
Self-service centers are a very simple way to customize your email marketing (and other digital dialogue marketing forms such as SMS marketing) without tracking and analyzing user reactions. Instead of extracting insights from tracking data what might be of interest to your users, you simply let them decide for themselves.

Self-service centers deliver important data and relieve processes

Self-service centers are important tools for obtaining more and better data from a user. Regularly ask your users to update and/or complete their profile. With real-time marketing automation technology, this can be conducted fully automated. ELAINE automatically detects if there are gaps in the profile or if data has not been updated for some time and then sends an email requesting a profile check or completion. This is done either in defined time intervals, e. g. once every six months, or promptly after certain events, e. g. a purchase in your online shop or a request to your customer service. If a user unsubscribes from your newsletter, you can inform him about the possibilities of the self-service center in which he is able to adjust the communication so that communication might gets more interesting for him. Maybe the user does not want to unsubscribe completely but only wants to reduce the frequency or get other content. Self-service centers also help to reduce unsubscribe rates.
In addition, independent profile management by users can reduce operational expenses in customer service and IT, since self-service centers can also be used to replicate processes that would otherwise require personal exchange by telephone or email and manual adjustments in your data management systems. An in-depth study by Forrester Research and Oracle analyzed the costs associated with using multiple customer service channels. The study found that self-service centers can reduce costs by approximately $11 per call! Also, users’ problems can be solved more quickly because they don’t have to wait for an employee to take care of them. This is also in line with the users’ need for speed. 

Bottom line

In summary, self-service centers are effective ways to personalize the customer experience and increase customer loyalty. Many users in today’s corporate communications require a self-service center and have high demands on the speed of processing that can be met with self-service center. In addition, it relieves your customer service and, if necessary, your IT teams.