Is the Self-Serve Economy Costing Businesses More Than it Saves?

Corporate Communications Experts: Rebecca Theim (left) and Stephanie Nora White (right).

Corporate Communications Experts: Rebecca Theim (left) and Stephanie Nora White (right).

Is the Self-Serve Economy Costing Businesses More Than it Saves?

Although consumers have grudgingly grown accustomed to providing their own customer service—whether at the bank, gas stations, grocery stores, public transit systems, airports and now even at restaurants, post offices and hospitals—there’s mounting evidence that this trend isn’t as good for business as many organizations bargained for.

More than two decades ago, businesses and organizations began what would become a headlong embrace of a new twist on outsourcing: making customers do for themselves what previously was done by employees. Companies’ overwhelming motivator...