Better customer service through self-service

  • The right self-service features make life easier for your customers and your business
  • Three tips for enabling customers to access on-demand, specialised self-service

Better customer service through self-serviceAS businesses grow and scale, providing quality customer service can be a challenge. This can become even more stressful during busy periods, such as the upcoming Christmas period when many retail businesses bring in the bulk of their sales.
One great way to keep your customers happy is to encourage them to help themselves online.
As customers grow increasingly tech-savvy, the majority are not only ready for self-service, but actually prefer it.
A survey done by Zendesk revealed that 91% of the respondents said they would skip contacting a support centre and find their own answers instead, as long as it is a pleasant self-service experience. And 67% prefer to do this over speaking to a company representative.
This means that requests to your support centre can be dramatically reduced with the right self-service features in place.
Here are three tips for enabling customers to access on-demand, specialised self-service, whenever and wherever they need it:
1) Provide the right information online
This information is the knowledge base of any support centre. It includes product documentation, a list of FAQs, official announcements, video tutorials, photo displays and any other content that helps the customer to understand your products and services better.
Make sure you incorporate a search function and label the content correctly, so customers can find the right information that they need.
If you are just starting out and are unsure of what content to include, analyse previous support requests to find out what are the common pain points and frequently asked questions.
2) Spread the word

Better customer service through self-service

By letting more customers know about your self-service features, more can choose to self-serve.
When customers contact your business through email or live chat, agents can direct them to right online information, listed above.
You can also start building an online community, where you have open dialogues with your customers, which can be viewed by others. Discussions should be managed under specific topics, so customers can navigate easily to search for what they need.
The community can share their own ideas, tips, best practices and help each other, as well as come to this platform for the official answer.
An added advantage is that vibrant communities are a great channel for businesses to gather feedback and crowdsource for new ideas.
3) Be where your customers are
When customers require help, they do not want to interrupt what they are doing and go somewhere else to get the support. So try to integrate self-service features at the locations where your customers are likely to face difficulties.
For example, when shopping online many customers get frustrated at the check-out process, resulting in them abandoning their shopping carts and a loss in revenue for the business.
By embedding a link to a check-out tutorial, businesses can address customers’ concerns, at the time when they are ready to make a purchase.
In addition to your website, make sure that self-service features are available across different platforms, such as via mobile apps and social media sites.
Customer self-service is one of the best ways to provide great service without overtaxing your limited resources.
With the right kind of self service features in place, you can make life easier – for both your customers and your business.
Timothy Kua is Asia Pacific director of field marketing at Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service platform that brings organisations and their customers closer together.
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