Making your customers self sufficient with self-service

self-service

Self-service is the new trend that is being pushed across the customer service industry. The majority of customers would rather find a solution themselves if it is quicker than waiting for a support agent to get back to them or having to wait in a call queue for their call to be picked up. To keep up with the trend, companies are expanding their online self-service capabilities. As a result, support agents are less swamped with minor tickets and can focus on the bigger issues and provide a better quality of support, thus improving the response that customers receive. Below we look into some of the key components to setting up a successful self-service platform.

Simplicity is key to self-service

Locating and digesting support information should be easy for end users. Your knowledge content should be simple to navigate. Try mapping out a basic end-user (customer) journey to help you with this process. After initially accessing your knowledge base, the end user will search for their issue, view the resources, read the article or articles, and then resolve their issue.

At any one of these clicking points you could lose the end user, who will at best call the service desk or at worst will just carry on trying to work around their IT issue . The article they need must never be more than a few clicks away. Ensure that you don’t over complicate the journey as, according to studies, after 2-3 consumer-world self-service attempt failures, customers will not try again.

Offer mobile and online self-service

When offering any service or product it is essential to provide for customers wherever they are. If customers search for your self-service via mobile and online then it should be made available to them through those avenues and any other popular means that they might use. A mobile or online self-service help centre can nurture effortless self-service through information tailored to the needs of your customers or end users.

Forums

Online customer communities are a wonderful way for customers to interact and help each other use your product, this can also help alleviate some of the pressure on your help desk by allowing other customers solve issues that some other customers may be experiencing that they previously found a solution to. It is also somewhere where you can see things that are working or not working for your customer and can be a source for what you need to improve on in upcoming updates.

Self-service doesn’t work without Fresh Material

A knowledge base requires ongoing maintenance and development to continue to attract and retain end-user benefaction. Old out-dated material will lead to end users turning back to old habits of logging those minor tickets that can drain the time of your agents.

It’s important to collect end-user feedback to understand how you can continue to improve your self-service support and to better meet their needs. It is most important that it is more than just collecting this data but also to put in place a system to act on the feedback you receive. Allow end users to rate and review the knowledge articles you provide. A simple rating button should be capable of flagging up content that might need simplifying or reworking. Remember if you’re product is quite technical, it can be difficult for people outside of your industry to understand all aspects and lingo that you might use. The kind of question you should be asking is: “Was this answer / article / information helpful?”

Don’t be afraid to give your customers some freedom to solve their own issues, if they struggle to solve their issues themselves they will get in touch if needs be. You can reap the rewards by having some faith in your customers today.