Is it really self-service?

Is it really self-service?

self service signIt is an obscure title I will give you that. So what am I on about?! So over the weekend I needed to log on to the DStv self-service portal to add a portable device to my account. I was all set; I had the serial number; my account number; the device number; everything. Everything that is except for the ability to actually log on…

DStv screenshotThis is where my confusion started to set in. I was confronted by this image on the right. A notice on their login screen saying that they cannot help me. Hang on; stop the bus. I don’t need you to help me – that is why I was using the – wait for it – Self Service Application! Forget for a second that my battery was incredibly low or that at 23:17 at night I should probably have a lot of other things to be doing other than linking a Walka to my DStv account. But be that as it may – that is all I wanted to do and I was cut off before I could go any further!

So this got me thinking – what is the purpose of their self-service portal if I cannot use it when I want to use it; when it is convenient for me – then why bother having it?!

I really did expect a lot more from the company that has changed the way South Africans view TV (with the PVR).

As much as this is a gripe about how I was forced to wait for their offices to open again before I could authenticate my device; (thanks DStv) this is also about a lesson that I think a lot of companies have still not learnt. Follow through with your promises!

Having an app that makes it simple and convenient for me to do something is great – whether it is checking my account balance; changing my details or whatever it is. 10 points. Don’t then ruin the experience by making me fit in to your schedule. If the app cannot work just because you are not in the office makes me think that you have just put lipstick on a pig and that the app is not really integrated properly into your existing architecture; but you are relying on call center agents who have been slightly redeployed and are following a workflow batch list and not just answering a phone. -10 points.

I know that I have harped on about the DStv app here; but this was just by way of example. There are plenty of other organisations that don’t get even half as much right as what DStv have!

But the underlying truth remains the same for them as well as DStv – deliver on your promises – if something is self-service; don’t force me into using it only at specific times; if you are promising me convenience and a user centric experience – don’t ruin it with your shortcomings. Follow through. Deliver. And ultimately keep your users happy and coming back to use your app more than your call centre…

Which is really the point isn’t it?! Apps that work properly are a lot cheaper than a call centre full of idle hands whose hearts are not in it in the first place!

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