Self-service models are used by businesses to allow their customers to serve themselves or to complete most steps in purchasing products or services on their own.
Self-Service is a widespread practice that is often implemented in subtle ways and heightened by technology. FAQ’s on a webpage is for instance also considered self-service.
IKEA is a multinational corporation that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture at low prices. At their locations, customers are prompted and given many tools to serve themselves. For instance, IKEA locations give customers access to the warehouse to retrieve their item for purchase. This cuts the cost of staff who would otherwise deliver said item to the buyer. This model keeps costs low for the consumer.
While small businesses are known and admired for their one-on-one customer interactions, there are still many that implement self-service methods. For instance, informational kiosks or accessible price scanners are forms of this model. Often times, consumers are more satisfied with self-service methods than face-to-face customer service.
On the other hand, there are businesses that base all of their operations on this model. An example of this would be self-service car washes.