How to Promote Self-Service to Your Customers
Most businesses maintain some sort of customer self-service tools, whether it’s a chatbot or guide bot framework or a collection of knowledge base articles. Chances are your business maintains some sort of a self-service option, but does your business do a good job of promoting that to your customers?
Self-service provides customers the opportunity to solve a question on their own without directly involving your customer support team or help desk ticketing software. In this way, not only does self-service empower customers, but it empowers your customer service team by lessening the burden of frequent repeat tasks and questions.
A common example of self-service is the self-checkout at a grocery store, but self-service is really just like the internet in a nutshell. When your sink starts leaking, is it your first instinct to call someone to come fix it, or to fix it yourself? And if you want to fix it yourself but aren‘t too familiar with the complexities of plumbing, how are you going to figure out how to fix it?
Most people will probably Google it (or Bing it, if you’re into that sort of thing), read or watch a tutorial (thanks WikiHow) and ultimately do it themselves. This process doesn’t involve any plumbers and the customer, you, can do it on your own time – not to mention you might have learned something about the magic and/or curse of DIY projects.
However the disconnect between DIY-passion and technological-dependence here is that most people in the world today have developed an instinctual system for relying on search engines and the goodwill of WikiHow writers and YouTube samaritans. On the flip side, how do your customers know where and how to find answers or solve issues with your products?
Many businesses fail to properly promote their self-service options and so they go unused. To make it worse, if these channels appear to be useless, they might be scrapped and thus leave businesses in the digital dark ages.
Don't stay in the digital dark ages – provide easy to find and operate self-service options
Useful avenues to promote self-service options
Today, a self-service tool needs to be designed for the customer, with the customer’s wants and needs valued above all else. That said, it’s rather difficult to have a customer-first approach if the customer doesn’t even know about self-service options in the first place – so how can your business promote it?
Does your business’s website have a live chat or chatbot feature? If not, your business is definitely worse for wear. Live chat is a great self-service option in itself, and by utilizing guide bots, customers can quickly find what they are looking for.
Live chat solutions aren’t only a great way to engage with customers and prospects alike, but it’s also a great method for raising awareness of other self-service offerings. When a chat box pops open and provides information on how a customer can find your knowledge base or self-service options, your business is helping them help themselves.
The best way to raise awareness these days, is to tell people where they already are. By posting on social media, such as your business’s LinkedIn or Twitter, you can easily communicate to customers (and prospects) about your self-service offerings. Want to really drive the point home? Pin the post so all visitors to your page see it immediately.
Build a banner on your webpage that explicitly promotes your business’s self-service options. Complete this with hyperlinks and obvious avenues on how to reach the knowledge base or FAQ pages, such as clearly defined and categorized menus. Too often these pages are obstructed or hidden behind numerous dropdown menus and submenus. Make it clear and make it simple. The easier it is for your visitors to be aware of your self-service options (and be able to reach them without getting a migraine) the better.
Additions on customer outreach channels
How does your business typically communicate with customers? Customer comms are a brilliant way to promote your self-service options. Even if it’s not related to the purpose of the communication, it helps to throw in a tagline building awareness for self-service. Whether it’s a “be sure to check out our FAQ here” or “don’t forget to try out our rigorous self-service super bot,” it’s always a smart idea to find areas for helpful additions.
Be persistent! Oftentimes it takes numerous connections for a person to make the neural link and commit something to action or memory. The more avenues your business pursues, the greater the likelihood of greater engagement and more satisfied customers.