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Inside the Quality-First Contact Center

Self Customer Service: The Different Options and Best Practices

Self-Customer-Service

While allowing customers the ability to chat with an agent to reach a solution to any problem or question they may have is an important aspect for the customer experience, empowering customers to find the solution on their own is essential. Self customer service channels provide customers with the ability to find a solution to their issue without a customer service agent's help. Allowing customers the option of independence and quick solutions improves customer sentiment towards a brand or business by instilling the idea that their products and services are user friendly. This article will provide some insight into the self customer service best practices.


What are some benefits of self customer service?

  • Utilizing self service tools grants fast resolutions to customers

These tools afford customers the ability to solve their own problems at their leisure! Users are typically entering self-service options because they are looking for a solution to a sometimes frustrating problem, so it is important to offer fast and easy access to these solutions.

  • It is efficient and frees up service agents

Creating quick and easy ways for customers to answer simple questions on their own, decreases customer service agents call volume and allows agents to answer more in depth customer inquiries.

  • Its cost effective

Quality self customer service options makes it possible to aid a large number of customers while limiting the need for live service interactions.  

  • Increases sales

If a customer is having difficulty purchasing or utilizing a product and can solve their issue through the company website, they are less likely to abandon the transaction than if they were required to input a customer service request or call an agent.

  • Improves the agent experience

Utilizing these great self service tools will allow agents to receive a lower call volume and allows them to experience less short calls that still require them to perform post call work on.

  • Builds feelings of user friendliness

Customers will experience a better sentiment towards a brand or business that provides easy to find and use self service tools. This makes them more likely to utilize and recommend that business in the future.

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What are the different self customer service options currently available?

  1. FAQ pages: An FAQ page is created by analyzing common customer inquiries and placing the answers onto the company website for easy access.
  2. Community forum: Community forums allow customers to post a question or problem within a public forum and receive help from other users or expects on the product. Community forums are best utilized when a company is rapidly growing, has a large number of products or services, and support agents are struggling to keep up with customer inquiries.
  3. Automated Intelligence chat and phone center: Automated Intelligence (AI) is a great resource for companies that have a large amount of similar customer inquiries. AI can utilize keywords within a customer interaction to search solution databases to help solve any customer issues. AI programs can also employ interactive voice response to aid customers in their inquiries. This tool can be important for businesses who do not have 24 hour customer support to utilize.                                                                                                                                                                                                
  4. Knowledge base: A knowledge base is a tool for creating a customer help center. Businesses can publish how-to articles and knowledge base articles to answer more in depth frequently asked questions. This tool is best for companies with technical products that customers may need some sort of manual for. They can utilize a search engine to quickly find solutions.
  5. Classes and tutorials: Offering classes and tutorials is a great way to engage with a customer base while spreading knowledge and awareness about your product or service. These tutorials can be posted on social media to create a following for your business and grow interest in your product.
  6. Live Chat: Live chat is more hands on for customer support teams. If a customer does not wish to talk on the phone they can enter a live chat with a customer support agent to ask any questions they may have. This option is typically simple to use and allows for agents to copy and paste from a script or FAQ page for fast and easy customer solutions.

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What are the best practices to consider when implementing customer self service solutions?

The most important thing to consider when creating self service options for customers is the customers themselves. Performing market research on current customer bases and evaluating common questions and technological abilities is important when deciding what self service options would benefit your customers most.

  • Focus on simplicity and functionality

Users are not entering self service tools to explore all options available to them, it is likely that they are in search of a very specific answer. Utilizing a simple design for FAQ tabs, AI options, forums, and whatever tools your business decides to use will create a better chance for seamless customer solutions.

Function should always remain the focus. Customers are not interested in how intricately a brand can design an FAQ page or create a tutorial, they are simply interested in solving their issue in an efficient fashion.

  • Track usability

Analyze search data points and commonly visited questions to determine what answers customers are most interested in finding. This data can be used to eliminate or add any information. Eliminating information may seem counterintuitive, but it helps eliminate clutter and empowers customers to find what information they are truly after.

Tracking usability of each self-service option can also provide insight into which options need to be updated, removed, or added.

  • Understand user issues

Be sure to visit your sites and customer self-service options frequently to discover any changes that should be made in the interest of improving usability. Users are more likely to move on and abandon their inquiry than inform a business about glitches within a self-service tool.

Ask customers to take surveys surrounding customer self-service tools provided to determine what user issues may be a common occurrence. Understanding issues customers face will allow you to improve their customer service experience and potentially expand your service offerings.

  • Create Images and Icons

Utilizing images and icons within customer self-service tools helps users find and select the answers they may be having trouble finding. Creating easily recognizable images will help customers build a more tangible idea of where their solution may be.

  • Provide multiple help desk options

Giving customers the option between different types of self-service tools is a great way to reach a larger audience and improve customer experiences. Some customers are not interested in forums or AI software and want to look within the FAQ page or at video tutorials. Customer preferences may vary so creating a variety, while still keeping things simple, will allow access to everyone.

Good vs Bad Self service

GOOD SELF-SERVICE

BAD SELF-SERVICE

Provides customers with fast and easy access to information and solutions they need

Forces customers to perform work that could be done by the company

Maintains accurate and easily accessible solutions within the company website

Compels customers to visit external websites in search of their solution 

Provides customers with all tools needed within a centralized location

Sends customers on a long list of tasks before they are able to obtain the information they seek

Utilizes common knowledge terminology and offers easy to access live agent assistance

Uses complicated technology and terminology

 

Set your customers up for the best!

Even though your business may not be actively involved in every self-service inquiry made, the customer experience created from these tools still directly affects your businesses quality of customer service. Setting customers up for success by creating easy ways to ask and answer questions is the best way to ensure a satisfactory experience.

Contact Callzilla to learn more about our experiences aiding businesses in improving their customer service options.

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Topics: Customer Service Insights