Customer self-service support is growing in popularity. It has clear benefits for businesses, which save resources dealing with inquiries from customers. And customers also find it useful because they can find the answers they want quickly and without having to contact support.
Here’s a guide to what it involves and how it works, as well as how to answer the question as to whether it is right for your business.
What Is Self-Service?
Customer support self-service is basically where customers find the answers to their problems without having to contact a support agent, and it relies on a few key features to be effective.
It is built around creating a detailed knowledge base. This is a collection of articles that you compile that answer the most common problems your customers have. Customers can head straight to the knowledge base when they have an issue, where they can ask a question and find a list of possible answers.
When the problem is very common, the answer will almost certainly be found here. This saves customers time contacting your team, and it frees up your support agents to focus on more complex customer problems.
Another popular feature of self-service is the community discussion. This is where you actively build a community of customers where they can ask and answer questions, and this allows customers to help each other out.
It is especially useful where you have lots of long-term brand advocates who are happy to share their knowledge with new customers. You can then limit your agents to monitoring and moderating the conversation.
There are other features that you can add to your customer self-service, and one of these is the ability to rate content. That way, customers can find out which content is rated the highest and is, therefore, likely to be the most useful as soon as they arrive in the support center.
You can also use the ratings to find out which content is most useful for your customers and where you need to make improvements to your knowledge base content.
If you have customers from all over the world, you may want to provide multilingual content. This way, no matter where your customers come from, they can access the answers they are seeking. You can translate your English content into as many other languages as you need, and this also avoids the need to have support agents who are themselves multilingual.
Issues to Consider for Your Business
It’s clear that having a good customer self-service support system in place can be good for your business and your customers. Using specialist software like SysAid’s help desk can help you to provide great customer support, and adding a self-service element can be a great idea.
However, when deciding whether it is the right option for your business, you have to keep a few things in mind.
For example, some customers will always want to speak to a real person when they experience a problem. They will not want to search through your knowledge base for the answer they are seeking. In these cases, it’s very important that you don’t make it difficult to contact a support agent. It should be an easy option for them, otherwise, it can cause frustration.
You also need to ensure that you keep a close eye on your knowledge base and update it regularly. A knowledge base is not something you can set up once and leave forever. Instead, keep a record of the types of problems that customers are contacting you with, and incorporate the answers into your knowledge base all the time. This will ensure that you are constantly providing more answers and improving the self-service you provide.
Make sure you implement it properly. It should be fast and easy to use, and it should incorporate a good search feature. You will want to make sure it is well designed with clear navigation to help rather than hinder the customer, and customers should want to use it and spend time on it.
Is It Right for Your Business?
Done well, customer support self-service can save your customers and your business time. But it can do more than that. A well-designed service can increase loyalty in your brand, boost trust, and make people more likely to recommend you.
Good customer support is one of the most important things a business can provide, and it really can help your business to grow. So if you run the type of business where a detailed knowledge base could be useful, consider implementing one and see the benefits.