June 25, 2001, 12:00 AM

Web-based self-service market to hit $1.6 billion

Frost & Sullivan says web-based customer support must move beyond FAQs, e-mail and text chat to satisfy customers with self-service online.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

As customer contact centers face rising costs in resolving customer inquiries, web-based self-service knowledge bases are emerging as a key component for online customer care and customer relationship management initiatives, according to new research from Frost & Sullivan. "This market is poised for significant growth as a growing number of brick-and-mortar companies move online,” says Frost & Sullivan analyst Katrina Howell. Web self-service knowledge base solutions, which as an industry generated $123 million in 2000, are expected to generate $1.6 billion by 2007, says the report.

While e-mail and text chat provide some opportunity to reduce contact center labor costs, self-service solutions provide the greatest opportunity to reduce personnel costs, says Frost & Sullivan. More than two-thirds of all contact center costs can be attributed to staffing, the report found, with the average voice interaction in a center costing $10. By contrast, the cost per customer of interaction through a web-based self-service knowledge base is estimated to be 10 cents or less. End user organizations surveyed by Frost & Sullivan found that after deploying a knowledge base, the number of agents required to respond to queries was reduced by 50% or more.



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