5 Things We Learned About Unlocking Customers’ Expectations On Self-Service
How can you bridge the gap between your customers’ expectations and reality? What is the role of self-service in your customers’ experience? How can you help your customers find the information they need in the easiest way possible?
So many CX and documentation leaders are trying to answer these questions, and they are not alone. Our November 2021 panel, Unlocking Customer Expectations: Connecting High-Hopes and Reality, united experts from the worlds of both CX and documentation, to give us their answers. We are grateful to our panelists for sharing their experiences and to the viewers who joined us for the lively discussion!
From the documentation world, Fred Dalrymple brought a wealth of experience as the documentation lead at digital.ai, a company Zoomin is proud to call a customer. digital.ai offers an intelligent DevOps delivery and management platform for software companies. digital.ai strives to increase operational efficiency, and reduce security and compliance risks.
From the CX world, Isabelle Carbon, who is in charge of the customer experience program at Swift, brought a plethora of insights on customer behaviour. Based in Belgium, Isabelle is leading the customer experience team at SWIFT, a leading company focused on high value payments, corresponding between banking, portfolios and corporations, in a frictionless and trusted way. Thus, championing technology as an important component of their work.
Here are the five key takeaways from the panel, plus some surprising expert advice you don’t want to miss:
The biggest gap in meeting customers’ expectations is in their expectation to resolve issues by themselves. Customers bring up time and again that they struggle to find relevant information, highlighting the importance of the search capabilities. This insight is even more meaningful when considering the abundance of the information at customers’ disposal in companies’ documentation portals, as well as the wide variety of information types and access points. With such a wealth of information, customers can find it challenging to find the right information or conduct an intuitive search if the information is not accessible. Customers’ frustration from not finding the right information among the plethora of available knowledge, is understandable, but can be easily avoided. This is why self-service, allowing customers independence in finding the answers they are looking for, is a crucial step in meeting customers expectations.
The lack of continuity and personalization are critical caveats that prevent customers from finding the information they need in the quickest and easiest way possible. When companies have a complex technical portfolio, or integrate several products together, customers can interact with a lot of information that is not necessarily relevant to their projects, or can get lost in the journey to adoption. A tailored journey based on the personalized needs of every customer, based on their preferences and necessities, is critical to meet their expectations.
Because knowledge is at the core of customers’ needs, every improvement should start with allowing better access across all knowledge centers. Access to knowledge is crucial for the customer experience because it meets your customers in every step of their journey.
As our panelists demonstrated, to relieve customer frustration, companies should look for ways to understand customers’ journey in searching information about products and services, and offer the personalized information the customers need and are looking for. When the information that companies offer is personalized, it reduces the confusion, anxiety and frustration that stems from customers’ doubt that they will be able to find the right information at all.
Turning customers’ readership into an active community, and increasing the interaction between the customers and your products are important goals for 2022, for the CX and documentation worlds.
Building a community where customers can explain their goals and how they've been able to achieve what they're after, has a dramatic impact on content, and encourages customers to share their experience and answer their peers’ questions effectively, in ways that enterprises may not be able to as well.
Although the importance of customer experience seems common sense, getting cross-functional buy-in for CX initiatives is still one of the biggest challenges for CX and documentation leaders. The first step in convincing enterprise stakeholders of the importance of CX and its impact, is satisfaction, as well as demonstrating how external unhappiness is linked to internal inefficiency. Setting clear analytics and KPIs will keep key useful performance indicators.
“Because we are in the B2B business, it’s important to remember that there is an individual behind the search. Because there are different personas that are using our products and services inside the enterprise, we need to offer the right answers for each of them.”
“In technical documentation, as opposed to customer support information, customers don’t always know what they are missing when they are coming to find the solution to a particular problem or an aspect they are trying to learn. Searching for knowledge can become a vicious circle that can be solved via the right taxonomy and viable standardized approaches. Connecting the information to the business problems customers can be solving allows them to actually use what they read.”