How complete self-service models improve CX, boost revenue per customer and deliver on personalization
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Providing excellent customer service should be a high priority for just about every kind of business. However, good customer service doesn’t always look the way you might think it does. While traditional customer service interactions have relied heavily on direct contact with a customer support representative, usually via phone call or email, new trends suggest that customers prefer self-service. This may come as a surprise to those who are used to a customer service experience that’s based around live interactions, but in many cases, a live interaction is not as important as a quick, reliable answer.
Customer self-service is a customer support strategy that enables customers to find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems on their own — without contacting a customer support agent. Many times, the issues customers contact customer support with are simple problems that could easily be resolved by the customer themselves if the customer simply had access to better product education. Instead, those customers have to contact customer support, contributing to support costs and wait times — not to mention degrading the customer experience. A self-service strategy seeks to address this problem by empowering customers to seek out their own answers and solve their own product issues with ease.
Businesses can enjoy many different benefits by refocusing their customer support strategy around self-service. Customer relationships often improve when customers are given the tools to solve their own problems. Statistics show that 81% of customers would rather solve a problem by themselves than have to contact the customer support team. In addition, providing this large majority of customers with self-service resources can contribute substantially to your chances of retaining their business long-term. Self-service customer relationship examples are some of the best examples of strong, healthy relationships between businesses and their clients.
Customer relationship examples offer compelling evidence of the benefits of self-service in action. But besides the self-service customer relationship boost, there’s a long list of ways implementing a customer self-service strategy can benefit your business. We’ll touch on a few examples here, and we’ll add to these points further down in this article.
1.Self-service is more efficient. Customers can usually help themselves much faster than your support team can if they’re given the resources to do so. Providing your customers with plenty of easily-accessible product content ensures they always get answers as fast as possible. Plus, more customers solving their own problems means fewer customers inflating wait times for those customers who truly do need to connect with your customer service team for any reason.
2.Self-service improves the customer experience. Faster solutions to product issues is just one self-service benefit that can make your customers’ lives easier. When you give your customers access to extensive product knowledge (like with a self-service option script), you give them the ability to continually learn more about your products and improve their product experience — even if they don’t currently have a problem to solve.
3.Self-service reduces support costs and improves scalability. When you offer self-service options to your customers, fewer of them will need to contact customer support. However, this doesn’t only benefit other customers who are waiting on hold to speak with an agent — it also benefits your business by lowering the number of support tickets you receive and keeping your customer support efforts highly scalable.
Let’s explore some more self-service examples and dig deeper into how self-service strategies work.
Incorporating a self-service experience into your business’s customer service strategy can be one of the most effective ways to improve your customer support efforts. Customer self-service examples continually show us that customers who are given the option to self-serve frequently choose to do so and that self-serving often contributes to a better customer experience and a better relationship with the business. The boost to the customer relationship that self-service frequently brings about is one of the central customer self-service benefits because it leads to numerous other benefits, like improved customer retention and higher customer satisfaction.
Using customer service software is one of the best ways to provide a high-quality self-service experience for your customers. Zoomin enables businesses to unify all their product content with a single customer self-service portal, which gives customers a reliable location where they can conveniently find whatever product information they need with just a few clicks.
Self-service is almost always a welcome addition to a business’s customer service strategy, but customers in different industries usually have different expectations of service. For example, your industry may call for a specific balance of self-service and traditional support resources. Paying attention to recent customer self-service statistics (and customer service statistics in general) can help you gauge what kind of experience customers in your industry want.
If you want to introduce a self-service element to your business’s customer support initiatives, the first step you need to take is to create a self-service strategy. Your self-service strategy is simply your plan for how you make self-service resources available to your customers. Most importantly, you need to create content that provides customers with valuable information about your business’s products or services.
Your product content comprises the resources your customers will turn to when they have problems or questions that can be solved without the intervention of a support agent. You may already have some product education content ready to go, or you may need to start from square one and build a content strategy from scratch. Either way, excellent content is foundational to a successful self-service customer service experience.
Some people feel that customer self-service can describe online services that help humanize the online experience. If customers can’t get through to a human support agent, they may feel frustrated by the lack of personal attention they’re receiving. However, high-quality product content can provide them with step-by-step instructions, valuable insight, or whatever they need, allowing them to access your brand’s expertise on demand. A good way to answer the question: “Does your digital customer service strategy deliver?” is to evaluate whether customers feel that your content is a suitable replacement for the human interaction they would have otherwise had.
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Before customers can take advantage of your business’s self-service resources, they need a convenient way to find those resources. Your business’s library of product content is only as valuable to your customers as it is accessible. Often, businesses have essential resources scattered across multiple digital locations. While this content may help customers solve problems or learn more about your business’s products or services, it will ultimately provide little benefit since it will probably require a substantial amount of searching on the customer’s part to find it. This almost completely negates one of the main benefits of self-service, which is the ability to provide customers with information quickly.
On the other hand, a customer self-service portal presents all your business’s customer education content in a single location, which makes it much faster and easier for customers to locate. Customer self-service portal examples demonstrate some of the most effective methods of delivering self-service content. Customers can simply log in through the portal and see all your product content collected in one place. Customer self-service software platforms like Zoomin can provide the means for businesses to set up self-service portals and provide each customer with their own self-service portal login information.
The benefits of customer self-service are many, but here are a few of the most significant examples:
1.Self-service saves time for customers. When customers have a self-service option, they don’t need to wait around for an agent to become available. They can simply help themselves at their point of need.
Self-service reduces support costs. Fewer customers contacting customer support agents means you can invest fewer resources into traditional customer support measures and divert those resources elsewhere.
Self-service is more scalable. A self-service customer service experience is easier to scale than a traditional customer service experience. With a traditional service experience, you need to expand your support resources as your customer base grows. This usually involves hiring more customer support representatives. However, a self-service customer support strategy can assist any number of customers without needing to be expanded. Once you publish content to the self-service portal, it can be accessed by however many customers need it at any time.
Self-service improves customer retention. Self-service options contribute substantially to a more positive customer experience. When customers are more satisfied with the experience they have at your company, they’re more likely to remain customers. By giving customers access to more efficient support methods, you can retain their business for longer.
Self-service improves product adoption. Customers can benefit from a self-service portal even when they aren’t actively trying to solve an issue. A self-service portal can contain all kinds of product information that could teach customers more about your business’s products or services. Armed with the ability to learn more about your products whenever they want, customers are usually more likely to explore new features or use their products in ways they hadn’t considered before.
Despite the many benefits, there are both advantages and disadvantages of self-service. We’ve answered the question: “what is customer self-service good for” — so what is self-service not good for?
In some cases, customers may experience problems that they truly cannot solve on their own. The problem may be extremely complicated and beyond the customer’s technical ability, or the solution may require a specific action on the business’s side that cannot be completed by the customer. For these cases, it’s vital to retain some traditional customer support avenues. Even though self-service is often the best method, most businesses shouldn’t present it as the only option.
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