In today's highly competitive environment, financial services are largely a commodity, with institutions distinguished as much by service and price as by products and product features.Web self-service can significantly improve service quality. By automating much routine service, Web self-service enables users to quickly and easily resolve most of their service needs around-the-clock More importantly, because users aren't placed in a call queue for an available agent, Web self-service is often more responsive than contact centers.

Nevertheless, the decision to implement Web self-service is primarily driven by the desire to reduce costs. While estimates of cost ratios vary, Meridien estimates that a Web self-service interaction costs roughly 14 times less than a call-center interaction. Therefore, diverting 10% of a call center's volume to Web self-service would yield roughly a 9% reduction in servicing costs.

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