8. October 2020 Blog

The benefits of customer self-service

Nowadays, customer self-service is the most desired form of support and is becoming a standard among modern companies around the world. In fact, 73% of customers want to solve product or service issues on their own. Keep on reading to find out more about the benefits of such a solution.

Growing a business and taking care of customers’ needs are challenging. A well-trained customer support team is necessary to satisfy your clients and even turn them into brand ambassadors. While striving to deliver the most effective service, don’t forget to make sure you’re responding to your customers’ real needs - which often involve self-service. 

What is customer self-service?

Let’s clarify the term first. 

Self-service enables customers to get support without any interaction with business representatives. Therefore, they can find solutions to their problems in the resources provided by the company. Customer self-service can be offered in many forms, such as FAQs, knowledgebase, self-checkout, chatbots, as well as the IVR menu.

Benefits of customer self-service 

Providing your customers with self-service options might be time-consuming initially, but it will surely be very beneficial in the long run. 

Here’s why:

Self-service is available 24/7

As you know, customers’ expectations are increasing continuously. Many of them wish to solve their problems at any time. Hiring human agents after business hours can be expensive and frankly speaking, not convenient for your employees. Self-service resources can seamlessly take over that job and help your clients when they need it. 

Self-service solutions act immediately

Don’t keep your customers waiting for agents to answer the phone or send a response. When it comes to the most essential and repetitive questions, you should provide the answers in your resources. Depending on your business, customers might require immediate help, so do everything you can to offer one. 

Self-service can be more user friendly

In some cases, content on your websites, such as articles and explaining videos, can be more useful than an agent describing the screen and trying to help with a certain issue. Moreover, sometimes it’s easier to understand complex issues while reading rather than listening. 

Self-service enables agents to refocus

While answering the same, repetitive questions over and over again can be exhausting. Don’t waste your representatives’ time, skills, and energy on dealing with similar basic issues on a daily basis. Make the most of the fact that customers are willing to look for solutions on their own without interacting with your team.

Therefore, your team can focus on the more complex issues and advanced tasks, which can increase their productivity and satisfaction from work. They’ll also have more time to improve their skills through additional training and face other professional challenges. 

Self-service is cost-effective

Thanks to the automation of the customer service process or resources available on the website, you can save money on customer support. Preparing insightful answers and materials such as videos can be time-consuming, but such content will serve your customers for a long time. You need to update your resources regularly, but it shouldn’t take a lot of effort once basic materials are comprehensive.  

Customer self-service: Examples 

Enough with the theory. Let’s get some inspiration! 

FAQs and knowledgebase

Resources on a business website are a must-have for all kinds of companies. The FAQ page is meant to be helpful for customers, as well as employees. Such articles and videos can be used by your agents while delivering customer support, so you need to prepare insightful resources. 

Ask your team what the most important and frequently asked questions are. Their insights should help you gather all the essential information. Use simple language to include precise tips and guidelines in specific cases. Add images, screenshots, and videos to explain your tips better. 

Use clear navigation to enable users to find the answers quicker. Include many keywords and phrases that customers might use while looking for the resources. Also, make sure that the FAQ page is easy-to-find on your homepage, and it’s intuitive. Moreover, optimize your resources for SEO, so that they can be accessed easier from the search engines. 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu

If you provide customer support via phone, you need a proper  IVR menu. It’s one of the most interesting smart call center software features

Interactive Voice Response is a technology that enables interacting with callers before or instead of talking to an agent. In most cases, IVR helps gather information about a caller and redirect them to the appropriate agents.

Nevertheless, this technology creates many more opportunities for businesses. You can implement an advanced IVR system to resolve issues and boost customer support. Thanks to voice command, your clients can interact with a machine at any time and get the desired answers quicker. 

Chatbots

The use of bots for business purposes is continuously growing. It’s not surprising as it’s an easy way to provide excellent customer experience. When it comes to online self-service, bots can be an effective way to provide FAQs more engagingly and conversationally. 

Bots enable automation and give your customers and employees all of the benefits listed above and more. Rule-based bots can answer pre-defined questions and immediately give information they have access to, such as an order number or the nearest store’s address.

You can use a chatbot in your live chat on the website, in your app, or on Facebook Messenger. You can use online tools such as Chatfuel or ChatBot to easily build and implement such a solution in your customer support channels. 

Moreover, chatbots that use artificial intelligence can solve complex issues, recognize some emotions, and suggest suitable solutions. Natural Language Processing enables machines to understand humans better and more accurately than ever before. Therefore, a conversation can be smoother and customers experience better. 

Bots can also be used for pre-purchasing customer service. Chatbots can help consumers as shopping assistants by recommending suitable products based on collected data about a user, for example. 

However, once you implement a chatbot, remember to leave the option to talk to your representatives. Some customers might still feel more confident while chatting with a human agent than a machine. 

The key takeaways on customer self-service 

While creating your customer service strategy, remember to include self-service options as they can help you boost your team’s performance and increase customer satisfaction. Think about your clients’ genuine needs and the most significant issues that may appear and craft the best resources to enable fast and helpful service.

Choose the forms of self-service convenient for your target group, and don’t hesitate to use a few options to respond to the needs of various customers, such as the IVR menu, FAQs, and chatbot. Good luck!