When customer self-service comes to mind, we think of it as a time-saving and easy way to provide customer solutions without having to deal with the customers themselves. Sounds lovely, doesn't it?
Yet, many companies still believe their FAQ page and search box is enough. Sorry to say, but this just won’t cut it anymore.
And if you feel self-service isn’t a must and prefer clients to reach out to you so you can provide a personalized experience, think again. Customers are lazy and asking them to reach out could potentially cost you sales.
To help you get started, we'll discuss the benefits a proper customer self-service and how to go about building one.
Clients like to try to figure it out themselves first
Before contacting the company in question, most clients prefer to search for the answer themselves.
Think about how many times you've Googled how/where/when to do something before getting in touch with the company to assist you?
Forums and YouTube videos suddenly become our best friends. Unless it's too technical or absolutely needs an agent, in most cases, customers like to work it out on their own.
It reduces the workload of your agents
Time is money! The more you can efficiently redirect clients to self-service, the more time agents have to bring real added value to cases and customers that really need it.
Stimulate agents and bring them new challenges. Not only will you save agents from boredom and mind-numbing work, but most importantly you'll maximize their potential!
How to create a great self-service?
Provide in-depth answers
Although the customer questions might seem obvious, every answer should be thorough and well-thought out. Many companies make the error of having little information available to customers.
Help clients help themselves by providing them with all the possible tools. A more detailed answer doesn’t mean more words. Don’t hesitate to use screenshots, tutorials, recorded webinars, links and so on to help create a rich self-service where clients feel they are being accompanied and walked through every step of the way.
Go beyond the search box at the top of you page and create popups and links where potential questions may arise.
Let’s say a customer was about to close a purchase but forgot to check the return policy. Linking to the complete shipping and return policy on the very page where such question might arise is not only proactive but helps the client move along the customer journey.
By putting yourself in your customers’ shoes you’ll be able to provide the right information at the right time and the right place. The key is to bring the information to the customer so they don’t have to look for it.
Create user-friendly content
If it looks confusing, clients will immediately give up and resort to getting in touch with one of your agents. Therefore, self-help needs to be soft on the eye and easy to understand.
Avoid complicated jargon and abbreviations and instead, opt for straight to the point, 5th-grade reading level. Break information down into bite size pieces, use visuals and create videos which make information consumption fast and easy.
Make it interactive
To ensure that your self-help customer support service is working, there's no one better to ask than the clients who use it.
Consider including a comment section and 'was this helpful?' at the end of every piece of content. Or why not create a forum where agents can interact and answer questions that might not have yet been addressed so it can be viewed and accessed by other customers?
Making self-service interactive is essentially like getting feedback from your customers and provides you with a wealth of information to know what’s working and what needs improvement.
Customer self-service is more than a brief FAQ page. When done well, it can have the potential to move clients along their journey and unburden agents so they can focus on bringing real value.
Plus, customers will appreciate you for providing them with the right tools to figure out the answers themselves. What's not to love?