customer self service

In the digital age, life moves fast, and consumers want to solve their problems in the fastest, most effortless way they can. Waiting 20 minutes on hold with customer service was never a pleasant experience to begin with; now it’s flat out unacceptable.

A recent survey from Coleman Parkes revealed that 91% of customers would rather use online self-service if available. That’s why many companies are now providing it on their sites; it not only empowers customers to resolve issues on their own, it also frees up your customer relations team. If you’re looking to add self-service capabilities to your website, here are five guidelines to follow.

5 steps to help your customers help themselves

1. Gather the right content

Start by identifying the top reasons why people are contacting your customer support team, then begin gathering assets that can live on your site, FAQs, insightful articles, blogs, how-to videos and newsletters. You likely have plenty of self-service content already, either on your site or across multiple platforms and databases. Do you have a community forum on your website? Should you? Make sure you not only have a bunch of self-service content available, but also that it’s the right content for your customers and organized clearly.

2. Make it easily accessible

Customers who go to your site for answers won’t stick around for long if they can’t find what they need right away. Providing a search tool is a great way to help your visitors find the assistance they’re looking for. You also want to ensure that you’re providing consistency across all channels. Make sure your self-service portal is optimized for any device, from desktops to tablets to cell phones.

3. Use video where relevant

According to a Psychology Today report, the human brain processes video images 60,000 times faster than text. Incorporating visual elements to your self-service pages like FAQ videos, product upgrade how-tos or webcasts gives your customers access to support materials that are more stimulating and engaging, and allows them to pause or play back the content and digest it at their own speed.

4. Keep your content up to date

Self-service is not a “set it and forget it” section of your site. Companies change. Products get redesigned. Services evolve. Technological advances provide new ways to solve problems. It’s up to you to ensure that when customers come to your site for answers, they’re getting relevant content that is updated regularly.

5. Support with analytics

Some of your self-service content is bound to be more helpful than others. Self-service analytics makes it is easy to monitor your customers’ search activity, providing details on how they’re looking for help, if they’re successful, and areas where they might be struggling or hitting dead ends. This allows you to identify self-service content gaps, analyze customer journeys, and change your content or strategies to better assist your customers.

Self-service is about generating trust and providing a better customer experience. To build a better business experience for you and your staff, contact us today. We offer a full suite of communications products and services to help your organization operate more efficiently and productively.


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