5 reasons your company needs self-service
Your customers expect near-instant solutions and a flawless customer experience, when it comes to using your products. When self-service is not put at the center of customer experience, your company will likely lose clients to those competitors who do.
In a fast-paced world where self-service has become the norm, companies cannot afford to move slowly if they want to provide the best customer experience. Beyond being a standard of customer service, a self-service-first strategy can impact enterprises’ overall internal and external outreach, as well as how they organize and communicate their product knowledge.
Does your organization recognize the benefits of customer self-service across all of its customer-facing departments?
Here are 5 self-service insights that no enterprise should overlook:
Your customers want answers as quickly as possible. Overdue or delayed support from live support reps can be frustrating, so providing customers with the tools to self-serve gives them direct access to the information they want - and fast.
A recent Frost & Sullivan report about the State of Self-Service confirmed what has been a growing trend for a number of years: customers WANT to self-serve. No matter how good the live support offering is, customers are showing an overwhelming preference for self-led resolution, with 81% of the research’s B2B technical content users saying they would like to resolve technical issues by themselves. In fact, only 3% of users stated that they contact customer support immediately when confronted with a product problem.
A great customer experience uses a self-service strategy to put the information customers need at their fingertips, making the knowledge accessible for them whenever and wherever they need it. It is also essential when trying to avoid negative experiences and saving customers from spending time and energy on finding the answers to their questions. Given that customers’ expectations around self-service are high, it is important to lower the effort for your customers to find the answers they are looking for.
Typically, a self-service portal expands your customers' knowledge and skills and offers the tools to utilize their knowledge, and independently solve more complex problems in the future. This sense of control, capability and empowerment correspond with the way your customers’ want to feel when using your product, and towards your brand in general. With 86% of users preferring to self-serve, it may be more important than ever to create a digital-first support culture that allows customers to readily find the answers they need in a quick, efficient manner.
Quality and speed of service, as every support leader knows, are among the most important factors that affect customer satisfaction. When it comes to giving customers the proper attention and gaining their trust, time is essential. Businesses should actively use self-service tools to help their customers find their answers, respecting their valuable time.
For instance, Docusign, a leading electronic signature and agreement cloud service, reduced the time it took customers to find information. A single task that took approximately two minutes to complete on Docusign’s existing support center, only took 55 seconds on the Zoomin documentation portal. Docusign were able to reduce the customer friction and allow them to locate, find and discover their content quickly.
The recent Frost & Sullivan research about the State of Self-service reveals that it takes, on average, 6.7 minutes for users to find the answer they need to a product related question. To put that in perspective, try Googling an answer to a simple question and see how long it takes to receive results. For customers looking for information about how to use a product, these 6.7 minutes can stretch into an eternity. When customers need to invest time in searching for product answers, they become frustrated. Their frustration may cause them to leave your website, and look for other options, from interacting with other, less reliable knowledge resources, to developing fatigue with your product or peeking at your competitors who might cater to their needs quicker.
Customer self-service reduces the volume of support tickets your enterprise receives. When you can deflect simple customer queries to an automated self-service portal, you free up your reps to focus on the more complex queries and tasks that only they can and should perform. It’s easy to see why it costs far less to solve customers’ problems using self-service tools than when they contact corporate support: once you’ve created self-service resources, the additional cost to maintain it is minimal, yet its outreach can grow exponentially. Customer self-service channels can drive significant savings in support training and customer service costs.
A customized knowledge base on your self-service portal can boost your website traffic. When product portals and websites provide all the answers and tools necessary for customers to self-serve, a customer will naturally head there first for any questions they might have. This means driving more quality traffic to your domain.
Imperva, for example, a world leader in cybersecurity, had been providing online help through different interfaces for different products. Imperva used Zoomin to unify all of their technical product content and provide easy, intuitive access to product answers. Specifically, Imperva increased traffic to their website, adding 25,000 unique monthly visitors, improving their customer experience.
Surprisingly, the idea that companies can deliver the right service at the right time and deliver personalized solutions, that can simultaneously serve many customers, gather information about their usage and decrease support budgets, is often overlooked.
By providing clear answers to a wide variety of questions, self-service can provide your customers and employees with the best possible experience. With a self-serve, content-led approach, customers can master their products at their own pace and on their own terms. That's a win-win situation for everyone.