Customers have come to expect self-service options in everything from scheduling medical appointments and paying bills, to checking in for flights and more. According to The Real Self-Service Economy, 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they prefer self-service to human contact with companies, and 70 percent expect a company’s website to include self-service options. For contact centers, providing stellar self-service contributes to overall customer experience, creating satisfied and loyal fans while simultaneously decreasing the number of in-coming service calls.
For these reasons, companies are allocating more resources to self-service strategies. But before you begin implementing self-service options, consider the following predictors for self-service success:
The most important gauge of any type of self-service is how much effort it requires of the customer. Great self-service connects the customer with the answers they need fast, with the minimal number of clicks and steps. Everyone has experienced the frustration of sifting through pages of disorganized hyperlinks and information to find an answer.
Self-service works when it empowers customers to find information and resolve issues on their own, without picking up a phone or interacting with the contact center. According to a recent report from Forrester Research, customers are now using the self-service FAQ pages on a company’s website more often than speaking with an agent on the phone. In other words, your self-service content is only as good as your customers’ ability to find it.
Search engines have led to increased demand for all types of self-service content. According to the Parature State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey, 84 percent of consumers surveyed said they’ve used search engines to find answers to customer service questions. Considering the fact that customers use search engines on multiple devices, self-service options have to be available across all channels. Stellar self-service delivers consistent content across channels and platforms; it is never more than a single click away and is delivered seamlessly no matter where or how it is accessed.
According Synthetix, 75 percent of consumers think companies should make answers to all their common questions available via smartphones. Ensure your self-service content is indexed for search engines and available via social media and a mobile-responsive support portal.
In order to be successful, self-service must treat each customer as an individual by automatically taking into account customer information such as: profile info and geolocation; products and services purchased; support history; and community and website activity. Part of providing a personal self-service experience includes being proactive. Make recommendations to help customers at key points in their journey, such as how to use specific product features, link to certain pages on your website or social media, or create a new support case or ticket.
Once you have self-service content in place, it’s imperative to measure the results. One way to do so is through analytics tools like those offered by SingleComm. By exploring behavioral data, you can identify self-service content gaps, anticipate emerging support issues and maintain content quality. Schedule a free demo today to learn more about how you can successfully leverage self-service to decrease contact center costs while providing stellar customer experience.
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