4 min.

Time is an essential resource when it comes to customers’ attention and trust. Enterprises should use it actively to help their customers to self-serve. Here’s how. 

It takes about 5 minutes to read a 1,500 word article for the average reader. This is about the time it will take you to read this article. Five minutes doesn’t sound like a long time. And when we’re doing something enjoyable it doesn’t feel like it either.

But for customers looking for information about how to use a product, these five minutes can stretch into an eternity. 

Zoomin has made its mission to help companies deliver accurate knowledge and help their customers get easy answers to product questions.

Recently, we commissioned research by Frost & Sullivan into the state of self-service content experiences. Our goal was to gain a better understanding of users’ expectations when it comes to technical content experiences - and how well enterprises are meeting them. One of the most shocking stats from the report was this:

It takes, on average, 6.7 minutes for users to find the answer they need to a product related question.

6.7 minutes might sound like a reasonable amount of time looking for knowledge. But in today’s digital world, where users are accustomed to finding any answer in the universe in milliseconds, 6.7 minutes of search could feel like a throwback to ancient history. In a world of milliseconds, minutes are a measurement of the past.

Time feels different for these customers. The average reader will invest time in reading an enjoyable article, but when they're already frustrated and in need of help, tolerance plummets.

Time is vital for the best self-service experience

What happens to your customer during 6.7 minutes of search for product answers in your documentation portal? The short answer is: a lot.

6.7 minutes of search opens an unwanted window of frustration. Your product knowledge is merely one of many digital interactions your current and potential customers interact with. 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 catered to their needs quicker.

6.7 minutes color your knowledge resources as inconvenient and unattentive, no matter how innovative and comprehensive they may be. Your brand deserves more.

Let’s take a quick pause to look at our stopwatch. So far you read 420 words and it took about 2 minutes (maybe shorter because you are a fast reader!).

Naturally, time is a crucial factor to the quality of customer experience you deliver. Customers want and need efficient service in as short a time as possible. Effortless and accurate knowledge experiences not only enable customers to resolve issues on their own, but also elevate their customer satisfaction. The process itself signals how much your company is approachable, receptive, customer-focused and agile. It can determine how much the customer will feel comfortable using your product and engage in a long-term relationship with it.

What companies should know about timing their customer experience?

Clearly, both enterprises and their customer stand to benefit from investing in faster, more effortless self-service experiences

And yet…

Enterprises are making their customers’ lives unnecessarily difficult. Enterprises, even the biggest, most successful market-leading companies in the world are still forcing their customers to waste precious time looking for answers to their product questions, unaware of the role technical content plays in driving customer experience.

But the fact is that clearly written and easily accessible technical content is fundamental to successful customer outcomes. This content helps guide users through onboarding and adoption, all the way to troubleshooting complex issues as they arise. Customers want to go through this process on their own (in fact our research shows only 3% of users contact support immediately when confronted with a product problem) but there’s a limit to how long they will spend enduring trial and error before they inevitably submit a ticket.

Zoomin understands how to unite time, knowledge and customer experience

At Zoomin, we understand that consumer standards have reached the B2B world. Customers are now accustomed to finding anything instantly, expect systems to anticipate our questions, and offer frictionless processes in answering them.

We want to make 6.7 minutes of tedious search a thing of the past. Our solutions make it easy for users to access personalized product answers by taking your existing technical product information, and consolidating it into unified sources of rich, accurate and up-to-date product content, wherever your customers look for it.  

Finally, let’s take a look at our stopwatch again.

We read for about 3 minutes (789 words) while the average customer has not yet found their answer in the product knowledge portal. Maybe they gave up and opened a support ticket and now your support team is on the case; maybe they searched for answers in your competitor’s website; and maybe they went to make coffee and put their interaction with your product on the back burner. All these options could have been avoided. This is what self-serve is all about.

Customer experience is measured in milliseconds. Time is an essential resource when it comes to customers’ attention and trust, and enterprises should use it actively to help their customers to self-serve. The clock is ticking. 3.3 minutes have already passed.

Back to all posts