Some people think that self-service is just adding an FAQ or a product information page on their website. In reality, a true self-service solution can significantly alter not only the way customers communicate with you, but also how you communicate internally. Here are 5 cool things you didn’t know about customer self-service solutions and, more importantly, why you should implement these solutions to improve the customer experience.
1) You can customize content for specific customers or products – Especially in the software industry, having different products and different features available can sometimes be confusing to customers. Before you know it, they’re reaching out to support unable to solve their own issues while looking at the wrong product information. This situation can be avoided entirely by customizing your self-service portal so information will only show up for products that the customer owns.
2) You can manage multiple brands in the same self-service portal – One of the common misconceptions of a self-service solution is that they only apply for one brand. Multinational companies, especially in the B2B industry, often maintain just one single self-service portal that drives customers to their parent company and creates a confusing experience. Instead of going through the process of explaining the parent/child brand relationship to customers, use a self-service solution that supports multiple brands throughcustomer management. You can customize not only the content and branding for customers but also enable the management of all self-service content from a single install.
3) You don’t need to be a code whiz to add self-service content – The word “software” can sometimes be intimidating in the business world, especially if you’re not a highly technical person. But, when it comes to self-service, it certainly isn’t a word to be afraid of. Instead, self-service solutions are easy for even an employee with limited technical skills to utilize. Many self-service portals now have built-in WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) features for adding self-service content quickly and without any hassle.
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4) You can easily reference self-service content within tickets – A common agent complaint with self-service is related to how they don’t want to have yet another program running just for content. Agents often view the process of searching for the right self-service article as a waste of time when they're trying to close tickets as fast as possible. Fortunately, some customer service software solutions have a self-service component built in with a 'Suggested Solutions' feature. This makes it easy to add Knowledge Base content to tickets without leaving the page because relevant content will automatically be suggested based on the information found within the ticket. Utilizing Suggested Solutions is a great way toreduce customer service costs.
5) Self-service can be a great way to communicate directly with customers – More and more, self-service is promoting direct conversations with customersat the start of their issue resolution process. With solutions such as chat and forums, self-service can be a great place for customers to learn not only from agents but also fellow customers on how to solve their issues. However, there will always be times when a customer simply can’t find an answer to a question through self-service. Don’t let them leave the site in frustration, it’s important to provide options (such as a live chat button) directly within the self-service content that will connect them with a real person to solve their issue.
In short, the unique capabilities of customer self-service may surprise you. The content you can display to customers is highly configurable and can be customized to support multiple brands if appropriate. In addition, the content is easy to publish online and can be set up for referencing directly within tickets. Lastly, self-service is excellent for facilitating conversations with customers who can’t find an answer to their question quickly. Modern self-service is here to stay and will continue to be a focal point in future service solutions, so making the most of your capabilities in this area is an excellent way to differentiate yourself from your competition.
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