Customer self-service: Its relevance in a competitive business world
- 24 Nov 2023
Wearing the entrepreneurial hat, it’s easy to assume that great customer service stems from a resourceful helpdesk. However, do you know that your customers are not always interested in reaching out to your support desk for help? In most cases, they try to seek answers to common problems all by themselves.
Interestingly, 67% of your customers don’t want to interact with your representatives. Rather, what they need is self-service, so that they can bail themselves out of trouble. The trick is to furnish as many self-help resources as possible to your customers, along with optional human support. This implies that they may count on your agents if the necessity arises.
What does customer self-service mean?
Customer self-service refers to a system where your customers seek the necessary information and support themselves without relying on your agents. Effective self-service mechanisms for customers originate from a calculated mix of resources and technology. This enables customers to solve their own problems without any interference from your agents. As a direct benefit of customer self-service, you can free up your agents of the pressure as they need to respond to fewer inquiries. Instead, they can channel this time to personalize the experience for your customers.
Some of the common self-help resources for customers include:
- FAQ page
- Knowledge resources like blogs
- Self-service guidelines
- Customized automation workflows
- In-product tutorials
Statistics demonstrating the value of customer self-service
Before delving into the importance of customer self-service resources, let’s explore these numbers.
- 77% of customers perceive brands offering self-service provisions in a more positive light.
- 91% of customers are ready to use knowledge bases once they are available.
- 50% of customers fail to resolve issues themselves due to the dearth of adequate information online.
- 90% of customers expect brands to have online portals for self-service.
- 40% of customers fail to resolve their problems through self-service resources and need to contact agents.
What are the advantages of customer self-service?
- Resolve issues instantly
Customers find it easier to resolve their issues themselves rather than communicating with agents. After all, everyone values their time. In this context, self-service resources turn out to be extremely helpful. Remember, more than two-thirds of your customers aren’t interested in interacting with your agents in the first place. Why make them experience the delay when you can assist them with the necessary resources?
- Higher sales
A sizable segment of your customers is likely to abandon transactions rather than waiting for your agents to assist them. As much as 53% of online adults in the US would leave their cart if they fail to find instant answers to their queries.
Providing valuable resources through guidelines, blogs, or FAQ pages to your customers can translate to higher conversions. This would generate more sales and boost your revenue.
- Lower operational costs
Have you calculated the wages you need to shell out to your human agents when they operate 24/7? Considering a standard 8-hour shift, you would need three agents to handle inquiries throughout the day. To curtail costs, forward-thinking online brands are integrating AI-backed chatbots. You simply need to pay $50 to $100 a month to automate responses. So, even if a customer comes up with a query at odd hours at night, your bot would assist the person with the necessary resources.
- Happier and productive staff
Even customer support agents get frustrated while dealing with repetitive and mundane queries from your customers. 40% of customer support agents consider these queries to be mind-numbing. With self-service resources, the number of repetitive questions drastically comes down. As a result, your support staff cherishes a more happening and enjoyable experience while dealing with unique requests.
Tips to enhance customer self-service
Now that you know why self-service matters to your customers, check out these guidelines that would help you craft a better experience for them.
- Build a FAQ page
In the first place, build a resource-enriched FAQ page for your customers. This page would cater to your customers with the answers to commonly asked questions. Make sure that the resources are worthwhile by answering questions that matter to your customers.
Deploy smart analytics tools to scan through your reports related to the incoming queries on your customer support desk. If you find that most customers have some queries in common, list them on your FAQ page.
Besides, you may survey your agents and find out the most common questions. Customer support representatives can feel the pulse of your customers. They can help you list down the most common questions they receive.
- Mix up your self-service resources
When you provide your customers with multiple self-service options, they enjoy the privilege to choose the most suitable one. This significantly elevated the customer experience, as they feel at ease with the format in which you deliver the information.
For instance, you can run a daily blog even if you have a FAQ page. If you launch a new product, organize a webinar so that users can get familiar with it. A calculated mix of knowledge resources can work wonders for your customers!
- Integrate audio, video, and images
Visual appeal matters when you disseminate information to your customers. So, whether you are answering FAQ questions, developing a blog, or uploading an informative video, take care of the vibrancy of multimedia. The quality of your images, audio, and video goes a long way in influencing the psychology of your customers.
For instance, if you are directing your readers to a particular page on your blog, use screenshots to specify the places they should explore.
Moreover, many customers prefer video guides rather than text chunks. Considering their priorities, you need to be prudent with your choice of format.
With competition raging in the digitized business paradigm, it pays to invest in self-help resources. This approach can help you transform your customer experience and portray your brand as a trendsetter in handling customers. With dedicated tools, AI-backed bots, and a supportive team of human agents, your customers would love your approach to simplifying their tasks.
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