Self Service - Are you a lover or a hater?

  • 9 September 2019
  • 6 replies
Self Service - Are you a lover or a hater?
Userlevel 7

Self Service for some is the only way to get stuff done, for others, it's a nightmare that usually ends up in a frustrated phone call to a company to get an issue resolved.

However, it's not going away and companies are not going to stop talking about it, as they believe it's easier, more simple and more convenient for customers, and let's be honest, is more cost effective most of the time. This allows companies to ensure they focus on dealing with the more complex stuff and doing that well, rather than clogging up phone lines with simple questions and answers that could have been found online, in half the time.

So where are we?
Well, we believe we have great self service tools available, especially through MyOVO, your account area. There are loads of things you can check and manage yourself here, without having to call, email, contact via social media etc. We also receive a load of great reviews about how easy and simple to use our account functionality is. If you haven't checked it out yet, login and have a look for yourself!

We also have our wonderful forum filled with a ton of great content to help you across a wide range of subjects, so again, its online and super easy to search or ask a question. We also have other OVO customers that love to help so they will often step in and provide answers too!

We are not perfect
No, not at all. We know our help section on the website needs more work, but ultimately we need you all to help make sure we make self service easy for every one of you. So I have 2 questions. Please comment below with your answers. There are no right or wrong, as everyone is different, but please give us your feedback, so we can continue to make things easy for you to engage and manage your account with us.

The questions are:
1: If you use self service, what do you like about it? Whats your favourite feature?

2: If you don't use self service tools, why and what would change your mind and get you to try it? (yes I know that's 2 questions in 1...)

It's super important we understand what you love and what you hate about these online tools. Similarly, if you've had a great experience with another companies self service tools, please share those too!!

We'd love to hear your feedback and look forward to an honest and open discussion on this!


Updated 19/05/2020

6 replies

Userlevel 4
I'm fine with self service, up to a point. Pros and cons.

Can sometimes be more convenient to email, especially for non urgent queries and things when you might want a written trail.

However, email takes longer and is sometimes a pain with a back and forth conversation. And there are times when you just need an answer right now.

Personally, I'm OK with mostly online self service, but I think it's important to continue with phone contact as a back up. I can't imagine my 82 Yr old mother coping with online only. Also, sometimes you do just need to talk to someone, especially if it's a complex query.

I may be missing something, but there doesn't seem to be any live chat available at OVO. I've sorted out many problems with various companies that way.

I think online only should allow at least 1 phone call per year without the penalty of losing the online discount. But to keep it online only, there needs to more than email. Live chat would be good. Not everyone wants to go to a public forum, so it needs to be private and secure.
Userlevel 7
Thanks for the feedback @Gum168 really appreciate it! Love how you get stuck into our forum, great having you on board 🙂

Wonder what everyone else thinks? @Steve587?

Userlevel 3
As @Gum168 said, this is something that will probably vary a lot from customer to customer. For me, I can do probably 95% of what I need from the website/app (monitor usage, change direct debits, review payments, check the account balance, etc).

It's only the odd occasional query that I need the phone support for, and it's good to know it's there for when it's needed, and that there aren't penalties for occasional use and/or if the query is about something that isn't on the website/app.

If a customer is never logging into the app/website AND calls regularly then it may be reasonable to remove the self-service discount for a period of time, but if they don't login to the website AND don't call then they've not really cost you anything and so those customers should still get the self-service discount (becuase they've not required telephone support). Some customers may just not be interested in monitoring things very closely! :)

So far it seems like things work pretty well the way that they are, so good work!
Userlevel 4
I haven't used OVO self service, as (thankfully), I've not had the need!! But I have done this with other services, e.g. Sky, where I've looked for information and resolution to a problem.
As @Gum168 says, sometimes the only effective way to resolve an issue is direct conversation or webchat - which I have used with other services and found it very useful, especially when I get an emailed transcript of the chat - does OVO do that?
However, I've just realised that I don't appear to have this self service discount and have looked online - as I should!! - to find out how to get it, and low and behold, rather than doing a "self service" and clicking on a link somewhere to get it, I've got to phone OVO!!!!! Talk about don't do as I do, do as I say!!
Userlevel 7
Thanks for the input @Steve587 just as interested in people's experiences good or bad with other companies self service or lack of.

Good point re the self service reward, doh!! But exactly why we are looking at this in a lot of detail right now. We want to create a fantastic online self service experience that really makes it super easy for customers to make their interactions with us more seamless and less jarring. After all, we are all pressed for time, so the more we can do online, for ourselves at a time convenient to us, the better right!

Yes agree there will always be things customers will need to get on the phone for, but there are so many other things where they don't and can sort/manage/check/update online easily and whenever they have time to.

I love the Holiday Extras App for booking my airport parking, its all done online, from booking to updating anything on the booking, I don't have to message, call anyone it's all super simple and convenient. Appreciate thats a fairly routine simple thing, but there are definitely principles we can learn from.

I know @ITGeek123 is a fan of doing things online and hates having to call, so be great to hear about his awesome self service experiences, and the bad ones!

Keep the feedback coming, it's all super useful!!
Userlevel 4


I think the most important question here is are your customers receiving their Self Service Reward? For a very long time now I’ve only been paid half the agreed amount each quarter which means I’m then wasting time emailing you to ask for a refund of the owed amount.

It’s all very well having a Self Service Award but if you fail to pay it it’s not rewarding at all. I’m pretty sure it’s a part of my contract, therefore might even breach the terms I agreed to!