There's a terrific article at the BAI Banking Strategies website about the dangers of using self-service technology only to reduce costs, without any benefits to customers.
You don't have to trade off improved experience for improved cost -- the best self-serve deployments achieve both. Ms. Sturgill provides one example I really liked for this -- Dexia Bank based in Brussels. They created a self-service zone for cash transactions, and then removed the barrier that the wickets had set up between customers and staff. This is the kind of reciprocity that is very appealing to customers.
As Ms. Sturgill says,
The bank must be asking, “Is this faster for customers?” rather than “How much money can I save?” Another useful question: “Is this easy for customers to figure out?” rather than, “How much can I reduce staff?” While those latter benefits will exist, deploying from a perspective of saving money and reducing staff will look like exactly that and customers will be able to spot it easily.
When scoping out new systems and approaches, you need to set up design criteria that make sense for the customers and the company. Company criteria may relate to efficiency, quality, reduced staff, etc. Customer criteria need to include a requirement that the experience be at least as good, and preferably better. It could be better by reducing an irritant of some kind, for example. Or better because it's faster, more convenient, easier,