Self-service lets customers access information and perform tasks without needing agent interaction. There are two types of self-service: employee self-service (ESS) and customer self-service (CSS). Both types offer around-the-clock help without requiring someone on the other end. The more quality information that’s available, the more successful self-service will be.
Self-service keeps your customers happy while cutting down on support tickets. Support agents are a limited resource that you shouldn’t overtax; they should be available to focus on more elaborate customer service issues. Self-service options also cost much less than email and telephone support. According to Soffront.com, self-service can reduce support costs by as much as 70 percent.
Creating a Help Center for Customers
When you setup a Help Center for your customers, they can access answers whenever they need to. A knowledge base provides customized customer service even during non-work hours. Customers aren’t the only ones who use the Help Center, either. Your employees will also use the knowledge base when they need to find an answer fast. Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting up a customer service Help Center:
Make It Easy to Find
Customers will only opt for self-service if they know it exists. Make sure to link to the Help Center from your website and mobile app. Your contact center agents should send customers links to articles that will be helpful. You can also include links to the Help Center in your social media posts and on digital products. If the Help Center is not easy to find, your agents will continue to be bogged down by support tickets and communication.
Include the Most Valuable Information
Make sure the right information is available. Only include the information that your customers actually need. Analyze support tickets to determine the most common questions and problems your customers face. Put those queries front-and-center on the Help Center’s front page. For example, include a list of the “Top 5 Most Common Questions” about your service or product.
Add Different Types of Media
Don’t just include a list of FAQ. Written content is valuable, but so are other types of media, like videos and photos. A screenshot with explanatory arrows may be more helpful than a text-only guide. If a product is difficult to setup, a video tutorial will help more than a pamphlet.
Incorporate Helpful Extras
Your Help Center should be searchable and answers should be interactive. After a solution to a question, the system should ask the customer if that solves their problem. If it doesn’t, provide links to other helpful solutions. You can also offer useful downloads or diagnostic tools. Give customers a way to make suggestions when they can’t find what they’re looking for. Provide links to social media and live chat support in case the customers needs to switch to live help.
Does Self-Service Make a Company Less Devoted to Their Customers?
Not at all! Instead, it’s a way to better assist your customers based on their preferences. Customers love self-service options, like how-to videos, FAQs and forums. They can get answers right away without having to speak with a live support agent. Self-service can provide a quicker solution and the opportunity to multi-task. According to ZenDesk.com, 91% of customers prefer pleasant self-service experiences to live support.
On the other hand, some customers have in-depth questions and need human help no matter what. Self-service puts less pressure on agents to field calls, emails and repetitive tasks, freeing them up to focus on more difficult inquiries.