Imagine you just bought a brand new guitar and you’re ready to shred. Your amp is on and set high, your cords are all plugged in, you’re ready to jam. You strum an E major chord only to find that it plays an F minor – not good. You just want to noodle over Baba O’Reilly but now you have to call support, explain a whole spiel, and potentially deal with long wait times and some irritating back-and-forth until you can finally realize your inner Sister Rosetta Tharpe. If the guitar metaphor isn’t working for you, this is exactly what it can be like for customers when you don’t offer self-service options.
Self-service is the DIY of the digital epoch. In a time where you can order groceries from your phone, why are you unable to solve your business’ software issues quickly, efficiently, and on your own accord? There’s a reason why many people’s first instinct is to “Youtube or Google it” when something isn’t working, rather than calling a customer service hotline. People want to be empowered to solve problems by themselves – so why are self-service for customer service options often so limited or half-baked for customers and B2B businesses alike?
75% of customers believe it’s important for brands to offer a full self-service option
60% of customers choose self-service as their first action in seeking help
How can you provide the best self-service experience?
Creating and maintaining an ideal self-service for customer support platform takes more than throwing in a few buttons. Above all, a true self-service experience means that customers can actually solve certain problems on their own accord. Too often “self-service” masquerades as a directory system for customers to find a customer support professional to solve their problem for them. Make no mistake, these directory options are fantastic, but they are not self-service.
There are a variety of necessary aspects and capabilities that need to be offered in order to truly offer an ideal self-service experience, but they fall under a few main categories.
Set up an ideal platform
It all starts with your customer support software. If your support software outright prevents or hinders your ability to provide self-service capabilities, you’ve basically already hamstrung your business. However, the majority of ticketing solutions ship with self-service tools, so your business is likely safe there. Regardless though, it’s a good idea to explore what self-service options are available to you, especially if you’re shopping for a customer support system.
Answer the right questions
Self-service tools need to be designed to be customer-centric. They need to answer the questions that customers actually ask, and provide the services and options that they seek, otherwise is it really self-service? The necessary requirements can range from “getting started” articles, how-to guides, or directory-style guiding systems that help customers get where they need to go.
Make sure answers are easy to understand
The self-service options of a ticketing management system can be severely hampered by offering solutions that are not basic. The options need to be easy to understand and navigate, and the answers themselves need to be as clear as possible.
Promote your self service options
Customers can’t use what they don’t even know exists. If a customer can’t easily and quickly find your self-service option, then they’re likely to give up entirely, ensuring a poor customer experience, or just contact your support team directly, negating the entire purpose of the self-service option in the first place.
Despite self-service being often promoted simply as a way of making things easier for customers and deflecting tickets – that’s only self-service on the surface. Offering your customers the capability to empower themselves and feel confident - that’s what makes self-service successful and meaningful.
Looking for even more concrete ways and guidelines to implement great self-service options? Make sure not to miss this webinar!
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