Discovering the two types of self-serve models.
"Crack the whip" is a term people jokingly say to me because of my Type A personality. While some would get offended by this comment, what is wrong with knowing how I want something to be done? I prefer doing things my way, with my processes and my vision. In a sense, you could say I am controlling. But, for me, I like to feel I am in command of a situation, even if it's simply running errands on the weekend.
Aside from my personal tendencies, self-service is a driving force that's changing how we interact with our customers and engage with our employees. For instance, take the BYO trend and the changing expectations on IT. More and more, employees are embracing their self-serve tendencies by passing on the idea of a company issued laptop or phone and bringing their own device. They want control of the resources they use. Onboarding new employees? With e-learning, mobile learning and social learning, employees are no longer confined to a classroom. They're learning outside the office, on their own time, and at their own pace. This sense of control associated with self-serve is a driving force affecting the way we: work, learn, & tackle personal errands.
Digging a bit deeper, I like to classify self-service into two categories: transactional & discovery.
- Getting gas? Instead of waiting to get served, I prefer to fill up my car myself.
- Getting groceries? If there is a self-serve checkout, you can guarantee I will stand in that line.
- Shopping for a broom? Instead of driving to a store, I have the luxury of ordering one online since I do not have a preference of the kind of broom I purchase.
In the transactional self-service examples mentioned above, they are all instant and they are convenient. For people that prefer transactional self-service activities, I'd encourage them to try Igloo Software's instant trial. They are in control to get started right away, with no annoying sales reps badgering them. They can also play around with their software when it is convenient for them.
- Shopping for a dress that I need to wear for a fancy event? I need patience, determination and I need options. The last thing I want is a salesperson inquiring if I want assistance or input. According to Sirius Decisions, it was found 70% of the buying process in a complex sale is already complete before prospects are willing to engage with a live sales person. For me, this statistic holds true since it is likely I will conduct research of dresses online before I even go to the mall.
- Going on a trip with family or friends? I'd rather avoid travel agents and take on the role of creating a personalized itinerary for all attendees. I research restaurants to check out, shopping, and hot nightlife spots. This, again, takes time and patience.
- Creating a photo album? Apple's iPhoto enables me to piece together my own personal masterpiece. I can select the exact photos I want with the exact formatting. Once I am ready and satisfied with how it looks, I can order a physical copy of it. I have been working on an album since March and I still don't feel it is ready. I want to add the date each picture was taken and meaningful quotes underneath. The fact that there is no timeline and no rush to complete this album makes this project fun for me.
In the discovery examples above, I love the exploring that takes place. I have no pressure to "buy now" and "hurry up". With no deadline and no rush, I have the power to research and learn new things on my own terms, that's empowering. For people that prefer discovery self-service activities, I'd encourage them to try Igloo Software's free trial of up to 10 users. If you are debating on launching a new intranet across all departments, it can appear as an overwhelming task. Like trying on clothes, you have a limit of garments that you can bring into a change room. Start with a limited amount of people & try Igloo's software out with your fellow team members in your department. Get a sense for how different applications work, and see how Igloo can help you and your team members out. With no deadline, & no timeline, you have nothing to loose (literally, since it is free).
Whichever self-service model you prefer, Igloo gives you the control to experience the platform on your terms, your way.