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Customer self-service

Customer Self-Service: The Best Kept Secret to Better Customer Support

Today’s customer is more independent in the way they interact with your company. They now prefer to find solutions on their own instead of waiting for your customer support reps to assist them. 

67% of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of speaking with a customer service rep, according to the data from this Zendesk infographic.

While this is a good thing for you and your team, it also means that you have to make these solutions readily available to your customer. So how can you ensure your customers are getting effective support when (and how!) they need it?

The solution lies in providing quality and accessible customer self-service options.


What is customer self-service?

Simply put, this is any action a customer takes to solve a problem on their own —without assistance from a customer support rep. 

An example of self-service is when a customer accesses your help centre and reads a support article to solve a problem—instead of giving you a call. 

Customer self-service options reduce roadblocks for your customers whenever they’re looking for a solution. This improves their customer experience as they get their answers faster. No waiting on hold, no delayed email responses. 


Why does quality self-service matter?

By offering support the way they prefer—you will be able to meet your customers at their level. This shows that you care about them and that you are committed to offering them a great experience. 

With so many options available, if a customer repeatedly doesn’t get what they want from their experience with you—they will likely move on to an option better suited for them. It is, therefore, crucial to be the organisation that offers instantaneous solutions. 

Self-service also takes a huge load off your customer support staff. It saves them from having to handle the more basic and repetitive queries. Instead, they can focus on more complex and unique issues. 


How to provide efficient customer self-service

Want to implement self-service support at your business? These are the best channels to get started with: 


1. Knowledge Bases

A knowledge base is a centralised database on your website that organises information in a way that allows it to be searched and retrieved easily.

A knowledge base can contain useful content such as user manuals, comprehensive FAQ pages, and peer-driven question/answer forum contributions. 

To make self-service more useful to your customers, make your knowledge base easy to find. It should also be easy for your customers to navigate to the answer they are looking for.

You may also like to consider investing in customer support software with ticket deflection features. Ticket deflection enables you to further automate the support experience. 

When a customer contacts support, your software will attempt to “deflect” a ticket by suggesting a relevant resource from your knowledge base instead. In many cases, this will negate the need to contact a support rep and empower the customer to serve themselves.


2. Automated Chatbots

Chatbots are popular because they provide instant answers to your customers. You’ve probably seen them in use on business Facebook pages. Check out any Australian airline or bank page and hit the Message button to see it in action.

For chatbots to work in your favour, you must make sure they are intuitive and provide consistent answers for every customer inquiry. 


3. Customer Product Training

Imagine your customers understood your products and services, as well as your support staff, do? There would be significantly fewer support queries and more satisfied customers. 

If you sell a product that involves a bit of “getting-to-know” you may like to offer training as part of your customer experience. This kind of training can automate the support experience thus promoting self-service to your customer.


4. Online Customer Communities

This self-service customer support channel provides your customers with a space to interact with other customers in a more informal setting.

Customer forums and communities are great for peer-to-peer troubleshooting. Customers help each other solve problems. The community space also allows them to have other product-related conversations. WordPress does this so well on their forums.

Providing a self-service option for customer service is quickly becoming a must-have rather than just a nice-to-have. a necessary part of the customer experience. It removes the need for direct support contact (fewer phone calls and emails!) and overall, makes for a better customer experience.

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