Mistakes to avoid when offering self-service customer support

Mistakes to avoid when offering self-service customer support

Opinion ·

A company's success relies on customer satisfaction, which means the happier the customers, the higher the revenue generation. Making your customer happy is not an easy task and it will require new strategies to improve the user experience.

According to a research by Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers prefer a self-help method instead of reaching out to live company representatives. Self-service customer support is essential to resolve end-users problems expediently and save company resources too.

However, companies often use a wide range of tools to offer customers self-service support. When you have different sources that spread through different channels, the effectiveness of your efforts could be compromised. On top of that, there are some tools that are less effective than the others in enhancing customer experience. All this considerations are important when designing your customer support strategy.

What is Self-Service Customer Support?

Customer self-service support enables the customer to complete an action or task independently, without any assistance from the company's employees. Self-service customer support includes different resources or tools that customers can use to find solutions to their problems. These can include chat support, knowledge bases, and electronic records management systems.

To illustrate the concept of self-service customer support, we will present an example. Most gas stations in the United States provide self-service facilities, which require consumers to pump their gas. Gas station owners provide this option because it is reasonable and straightforward, and it also engages its customers with the business. In this process, the gas station saves money by not hiring additional personnel, and the consumer is happier due to the faster service.

Mistakes to avoid in self-service support

Over time, self-service has established itself as a winning strategy to offer excellent customer care while at the same time cutting costs in terms of human resources. Self-service solutions help companies to increase the efficiency of customer service, especially in terms of human resources.

To offer self-service support, however, companies have been using a lot of different tools that are dispersed across different channels and lack effectiveness. These tools include FAQ pages, knowledge bases, mobile apps, community forums, chatbots and call centers.

For instance, having a knowledge base on your website as the main source of self-service support force customers to actively navigate within the knowledge base to find what they are looking for. Having pages and pages of extensive information can be overwhelming, customers do not have time to read all these extensive guides to find a solution to their problems. With a knowledge base, customers are not guided, they are not accompanied and supported by the company. With a knowledge base, customers can access a large amount of information that might not even help.

Mobile app users worldwide are over 6.3 billion, and the numbers are only growing exponentially. More and more companies have started using mobile apps to provide a better customer experience to their clients. The problem with mobile apps is that 91% of customers hate being forced to install apps to use the product or access services. Almost 50% of customers get highly frustrated when asked to download a mobile app to access a service.

Moreover, community forums can become inefficient when consumers ask questions but do not share solutions. Companies should give some sort of incentive to customers to spend time writing about how to solve the problems of other customers. For this reason, this source may not always be an effective source for customers in finding solutions.

Lastly, chatbots could not be the best way to offer self-service support. The reasons for that are multiple. First, to get an answer from the chatbot, the customer needs to be able to properly articulate his or her problem, and this is not the case most of the time. Using a chatbot adds friction to the process for more complex queries as the chatbot is just redirecting customers to a knowledge base, without really adding any value.

Avoid all these mistakes with one solution: LAYERISE

The best way to introduce self-service support is by creating a self-service platform where customers can sign up, find information about the product, ask questions, track the response status, communicate with agents, etc. In these portals, customers can always find support throughout their journey with your product.

Layerise provides you with a self-service platform to ensure that every customer gets the most optimal product experience. Based on your product and your target customers you can personalize the platform to offer a unique user experience.

With Layerise you can create simple, advanced, and powerful guides that your customers can always access. Layerise provides you with all the best tools to educate your customers about the product features and inform them about changes or maintenance activities. The highlights feature allows you to provide visual content using images and videos to educate the customers. On Layerise, you can also keep track of performance insights and customer satisfaction and this will be crucial to improve your content over time.

Layerise helps you in collecting data about your customers. Thanks to the registration through QR code, you will be able to get an in-depth view of your customers based on geographical, demographical, preference, and behavioral variables. Thanks to Layerise, you will be able to track your customer journey and learn how your customers convert.

Thanks to the chat feature, customers can reach you out through the platform to ask for support. Through the chat you can provide customers with real-time customer service support using client's data, e.g., demographics. In fact, when communicating with customers through chat, Layerise shows you on the side all the relevant information about the customer so that it will be easier for your employees to take care of customers’ queries.

On top of that, Layerise also allows you to build automated marketing campaigns based on your audience. Layerise makes your send-outs personal and relevant to increase conversions.

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help you offer an excellent customer experience, get a free call with us now!

Tips to improve self-service support

Simplicity is the bedrock of a solid self-service experience. You need to focus on the seven tips before you frame your self-service strategy:

1. Answer the questions professionally

Customers will not use your online self-help services again if they do not get the answers they are looking for. Use analytical tools to find the most commonly asked questions on the platform and try to answer them with brevity and utmost clarity.

You can also use self-service options such as training videos, tutorials, and technical documentation to answer frequently asked queries.

Customers will generally take the path of least resistance while seeking assistance. If they have to contact you, they want to do it quickly. The objective is to make self-service the path of least resistance. You can only achieve this if you have carefully examined your current customer journey and looked for ways to improve it with self-service.

2. Display information in the most simple way

You must write self-service support materials so that everyone can understand. As no two customers are alike, you should ensure you present information transparently and in simple and non-technical language.

Some common tips are:

Avoid jargon (which can be difficult for foreign customers to understand and difficult to localize) or highly technical vocabulary unless all of your customers are advanced users.

You can use some step-by-step tutorials or instructions that are a great way to break down a lot of material into manageable bits.

Headers and lists are another way to split up information and make it easier for customers to comprehend.

Use images and video to convey information and create clarity.

Remember to provide relevant links to articles you allot in your guides. For example, if you have a blog describing the relevance of your product, you can incorporate it into the guide that explains the DIY (Do It Yourself) method to troubleshoot the problem.

In text - gif virtual assistant

3. Create a proactive self-service solution

Create proactive self-service solutions so that your clients do not have to ask for help in the first place. Earlier, when a consumer used to report an issue, many companies reached out to them via text, email, or phone. Proactive consumer engagement will ensure that they reach out to their client before a problem arises.

Gartner foresees that "By 2025, proactive (outbound) customer engagement interactions will outnumber reactive (inbound) customer engagement interactions."

Follow-up messaging after a grocery delivery is a prominent example of proactive self-service. Customers receive a text or mobile app message inquiring about the delivery, whether anything was missing from their order, and how the ordering experience was. If a consumer has a problem, they can quickly take steps to solve it without looking for help from representatives.

4. Make It Accessible for All

Different customer service methods offer various accessibility benefits. People with visual impairments, for example, may benefit from Toll-Free Numbers, while those who are audibly impaired may not.

Consider the obstacles your clients may experience when seeking assistance as you review your current self-service choices. For example, can your chatbot help people who do not speak English? Does your guide include content in various formats, such as video tutorials and text-based step-by-step directions, to help persons with disabilities?

Ensure that your website is easily adaptable to the mobile version. Smartphones and hand-held devices allow for easy accessibility, as it allows for zoom-in facilities, text-to-speech facilities, etc.

5. You need to promote your self-service options

You must inform your clients about the self-service options available to them and promote them. Promote your self-service customer support through existing channels. For example:

Remind on-hold callers that your resources are available online or that they can communicate with you through your chat feature.
Include links to your FAQ pages in your email newsletters You can also tap social media channels to advertise this. Customers could be informed of these options when they visit your website to purchase something.

6. Get regular feedbacks

To know how well your self-service propositions are working for your customer, you need regular feedback and act on those recommendations. Customers also feel valued when they feel that their suggestions are being heard.

7. Update your self-service support resources from time to time

Like a website or customer support software, self-service is not something you can "set and forget." Continuous efforts are required, including data monitoring and examination for relevance and recency.

Make sure the content is up to date with current versions and revisions, especially for software support. It is a good idea to put the date on support pages so that customers can see if the material they are reading is still relevant.

Benefits of customer self-service

A recent customer survey conducted by Nuance Enterprise reported that 75% of the respondents said self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues. Here are the benefits a company can reap if paid attention to this approach properly.

Lessen your customer frustration

It is no secret that most people are frustrated when they buy something and do not get adequate help when facing any problem. Unfortunately, this can occasionally result in negative reviews and criticism that other customers can see. Having a variety of self-service customer support options is a great way to reduce customer annoyance since it helps customers resolve issues before posting negative feedback.

Furthermore, if customers' concerns are rapidly remedied during the post-sales period, they are less likely to leave your platform and go to your competitor. Your prompt support may transform their dissatisfaction and satisfaction. That is why 86% of buyers are interested in repeat purchases if they had a great customer experience.

Reduce burden from your shoulder

Your customer service team is already overworked. Allowing your customers to self-serve will relieve you of a burden while significantly reducing your agents' effort. As a result, your agents will be able to focus on more critical duties that will add more value to the company.

Profound insights into your customers' requirements

With shifting client demands and requirements, every organization's business strategy is rapidly changing. Your organization can analyze the queries asked through self-service portals and utilize this data to fill in gaps and address customer issues swiftly.

As a result, you can adapt and deliver exemplary post-sales service for your clients with the proper analysis of the questions you receive from the portals. This customer information also allows businesses to stay on top of current and future client needs.

Cost saving

Do you know if it is possible to help your clients while saving money and time? As it is a self-service system, you do not have to hire additional teams to provide customer service. Your existing staff can also be better utilized.

Conclusion

Nowadays, offering self-service is essential for companies to be successful. Thanks to the autonomy to help themselves given to your customers and the associated savings in human resources, self-service solutions have a positive impact on both customers and companies.

However, offering good self-service support is not easy and you need to be careful about the tools you choose to use, and how you decide to use them. The knowledge base, chatbots, and forums could not be the best options. Overall, creating a self-service platform where customers can find everything they need, from instructional videos to a space where they can easily communicate with your customer support staff, seems to be the best option.

Layerise can provide you with a powerful Virtual Assistant that acts as a point of reference for customers whenever they need additional support or information about the product. There, they can find product guides, information about maintenance, chat widget, warranties, etc. On the other side, companies can collect a high amount of data about customers and use them for both improving the customer experience and for marketing purposes with the goal to increase conversion.

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business, book a free call with us now!

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