Investments in self-service applications have skyrocketed during the past two years, with companies large and small building or enhancing self-service solutions. Four enterprise-centric trends are driving companies to invest in self-service automation, either to eliminate or minimize the need to employ live agents to assist their customers. Five additional call center departmental trends are pushing even the most quality-conscious managers to consider self-service to eliminate or dramatically reduce their need for live agents. These trends are: 1. the ongoing agent attrition problem, 2. the challenge of finding qualified agents, 3. the increasing cost of agents, 4. poor service quality and bad public relations associated with offshore outsourcers, and 5. increasing gas prices, which are exacerbating many agent-related issues. The new generation of self-service applications for the Web and IVR is excellent. Fortunately, quite a few best practices have emerged for identifying appropriate uses of automation in self-service applications.