Customer self-service channels are the need of the hour today, and many businesses are incorporating this aspect into their business websites. Customers having round-the-clock access to the internet would like to ask queries and get immediate answers online with less time waiting in queues. According to a recent survey, 91% of customers prefer self-service on websites if available and tailored to their needs. In fact, it has become so crucial that most customers now expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.
What is a Customer Self-Service System?
A self-service customer system comprises methods and techniques that allow customers to address their queries themselves with no company assistance or guidance from the customer service representative.
Nowadays, smart customer self-service portals leverage customer self-service through different channels such as chatbots, FAQs, manuals, articles, videos, and virtual assistants. As a result, businesses can have a unified knowledge base that can act as the repository of knowledge and provide uniform information to all customers across all self-service channels.
Benefits of Self-Service as the first choice
Gone are the days when customers had to wait for minutes over a phone call to reach a support team to find answers to their questions. In fact, 40% of consumers now prefer self-service systems over human contact. Market research even shows that most customers prefer to use a company's website instead of using SMS, social media, or live chat for support.
With customer self-service becoming the first choice for your customers, here are some compelling reasons why you should switch to a self-service system in your enterprise.
Fast support with less waiting
Customers need fast addressal of their queries so that businesses have to be faster at delivering customer service, else they will look for assistance somewhere else. Available self-service systems pave the way for fewer customers in waiting and more customer happiness. Swift service leads to happier customers, who are more likely to return to your business rather than one without self-service.
Give control to your customers and empower them.
Contrary to common belief, letting customers service themselves does not decrease your business' service level offered to them. In fact, it makes the customers engage in the service on their terms. This feature adds value for them as now they can become an active part of the process. Self-service systems of businesses have a unique ability to give their customers more control of the service they receive. It empowers them and their decision-making and, ultimately, their overall customer experience.
Simple and Hassle-free Way to Service Customers
Customers can easily use the app version of your business's self-service system on their smartphones which they bring along with them every day. If your self-service portal is mobile-friendly, then your customers are more likely to use it. So the worry of businesses of their customers not capable of using an on-site self-service solution on-site no longer exists.
Provide Contactless Assistance
Self-service portals are capable of providing excellent contactless customer support. Your customers don’t need to walk into retail branches or physical stores to seek assistance through self-service. Instead, they can find solutions on their own with the help of FAQs, chatbots, how-to guides, articles, or manuals. In addition, enterprises can deploy knowledge base software solutions through preferred channels which can make answers to customer queries accessible remotely.
Reduce support costs
One of the best advantages of switching over to customer self-service systems is that it results in a considerable reduction in support costs. This is because customer query calls now get deflected to self-service channels, which are part of the portal. With such portals in place, enterprises no longer need to employ extra personnel to address customers or update data. Self-service portals with cloud-based storage would reflect change across all channels through Knowledge Management. This makes the return on investment on self-service portals higher.
Increase brand advocacy
Self-service portals lead to enhanced customer experience as now they can address many queries on their own and at a much faster rate. Self-service through knowledge management tools elevates your customer experience, which in turn improves brand advocacy. Thus, good customer service enables customers to talk about your brand. As more and more customers trust your brand, your service's NPS scores increase and build trustworthy relationships with customers.
Where can a Self-Service System lag?
This brings us to a grave concern: What are the associated challenges of a self-service system. While different companies deploy self-service systems for different reasons, training employees to use the system, ensuring that customer data is fully protected and running frequent system checks becomes necessary. Though the costs of these self-service systems are justified, certain disadvantages of self-service portals also exist.
Today‘s customers actually prefer using customer self-service over other forms of support as it gives them more control and power. However, a customer self-service portal can only be effective if it is easy to use. To achieve this, the customer service FAQs and the knowledge base need to be up to date, easily accessible, and visual through videos and images. The self-service portal also needs to be organized appropriately so that customers can easily find relevant information on their own, and their on-page search results pages return the most accurate answers.
With proper optimization of all content on the self-service portal for most digital devices like desktop, tablet and mobile, faster response times, and ease of access, customer self-service portals can soon become a helping hand to your business.