The right customer self service practice will help your company outperform, exceed expectations, and foster healthy client and customer relationships to last.
Zoomin is revolutionizing the self-service practice by turning product content into a centralized, consistent and truthful source of product information
Customer service has always been an important part of doing business, but in recent years, customer self-service has become increasingly important as well. As the market becomes increasingly digital and remotely accessible, customers have come to expect this in their customer relationships as well. Customers increasingly expect a certain level of agency in being able to perform basic steps for themselves and might have simultaneously grown wary of outsourced customer service representatives. At the same time, customer service representatives likely don’t wish to constantly reiterate the same answers day in and day out. This is where self-service customer service comes in. There are a lot of benefits of customer self-service, not the least of which being that you are able to save on costs associated with customer service representatives and save customers time simultaneously—while giving customers increased agency in their relationship with your company. As with any other form of customer service, there are some customer self service best practices that can help your company outperform, exceed expectations, and foster healthy client and customer relationships to last. So, what does a healthy self-service customer relationship look like in practice? We’ll discuss that as well as some of the other best customer self service practices. Some of these include setting up easy-to-use self service portals, keeping up with customer feedback in real-time, and continuous integration and deployment of updated practices as you gain valuable insight into what your highest performing customer self service tools are. Each customer service relationship is unique, and that’s why it’s important that your customer self-service relationship reflects that individuality and is tailored to your business, your clients, and your customers.
One of the most important ways to foster happy customer self service relationships is with a helpful customer self-service portal. A customer self-service portal is a way that customers can remotely log on and get answers to commonly asked questions, and make changes, as needed, to their account. With a simple self service portal login, your customers can enjoy around-the-clock access to account services or have their questions answered without the need for a 24/7 support staff on standby, ready to answer calls and common questions. Aside from constant access to their account, customers might also appreciate having the agency to have questions answered and make changes and initiate services that won’t require them to speak with a representative each time. Through a self-service customer portal, customers can feel as if they don’t need to wait until business hours or undertake monotonous phone calls in order to access services your company offers and make important decisions about their accounts. Not all customer self-service software is created equally, though. Among some of the most important criteria that drive the line between poor and excellent customer service relationships in the worst and best customer portals are usability, constantly updated FAQs, loading time, and functionality.
Understanding what customer service entails and how you can provide top-notch service is integral. Even so, to understand what works and what does not, it could be helpful to look at some concrete customer service statistics. There are many customer service statistics that underscore the absolute necessity of businesses using customer self service as an integral part of their larger customer service strategies. For example, while providing top-notch customer service is of utmost importance, Zoomin has found that businesses could potentially prevent 52% of support cases by ensuring that they are providing meaningful content experiences. This makes sense, considering that it is content regarding products that receives the most attention, with a staggering 70% of traffic going to it. What’s more, customer self-service statistics also show that even in the newer, more digital marketplace, customer service is as important as ever; 89% of business buyers and 92% of customers responded that they’d be more likely even if it has taken an increasingly new form with customer self-service relationships. More respondents claimed to make another purchase after a positive customer service interaction, and 78% of respondents also agreed with the statement that they’d “forgive a company for its mistake after receiving excellent service.” Having a robust customer service strategy isn’t only about fostering new customer relationships, it’s also about fostering brand loyalty, and customer self service is certainly no exception, especially as moving forward customers increasingly expect a self-service customer relationship.
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The advent of the self-service model doesn’t merely coincide with, and is largely related to, the rise of digital technology in business and how it’s affected every facet of how we interact with customers and other businesses. Some businesses have already been self-service businesses for a while—you can think of gas pumps, vending and automated teller machines, for instance. But now, a self-service strategy is important for almost any business whether business to business or business to consumer. The self-service business model has changed dramatically as consumers and business buyers alike increasingly expect to have all the answers at their fingertips through online access. Consumers and businesses also expect around-the-clock access now, and self customer service hours are not hindered by limitations once put on customer service representatives who’d have had to work around the clock in order to provide 24/7 service. Technology has also changed how to greet self-service customers. With new self-service software, we can tailor customer interactions based on data they’ve provided. While at one time the self-service model was limited to ATMs which would obviously greet customers the same way each time, we can create tailored approaches to fostering customer loyalty in their customer service experience.
With the rise of digital business, digital self-service is at the forefront of a successful self-service customer experience strategy more than ever. A digital self-service strategy can empower customers and save valuable company time simultaneously. With proper utilization of continuous integration and continuous deployment tools available in newer digital self-service technology, companies can use customer feedback and experiences to change their digital self-service strategy in near real-time and make sure that not only are FAQs updated consistently, but that customer or buyer-side tools are always in-line with the companies vision for an excellent customer service experience, even remotely. Digital self service technology has changed the way companies can interact with customers by allowing continuous integration and enabling robust feedback options that will keep companies in the loop with what customers are experiencing, even without the need for constantly having customer service representatives on the phone or in person. In a time where customers increasingly expect and demand the ability to login and make changes, have questions answered, and engage services, digital self service technology bridges gaps that, at one time, were simply untraversable.
Customer self-service is a multifaceted approach to customer relationships that puts customers at the helm and lends them agency in their relationship with your customer. Some of the most important examples are FAQ pages and self-service portals, but there are a lot of other important customer self-service examples you might recognize. Aside from FAQ pages, there are also feedback forms, and forums for customers to use, where company-side moderators can answer important questions that FAQs don’t answer, and website pages dedicated to finding help for customer problems. As with most changes in business towards digital solutions, there are also a number of changes available through self-service software that can help foster healthy self service customer relationships without the need for constant human interaction. Some examples of automated services in customer relationships include automated chat-bots that can interact with customers, apps for mobile devices, and automated mailing list options for emailing customers with relevant offers and information, tailored by their provided personal data. Altogether, customer service relationships can be improved constantly and updated to meet the unique needs of specific customers using automated tools and continuous integration of new solutions for new problems as they arise.
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