Customers interact with brands so differently today, thanks largely to the internet and mobile devices. Their willingness to self-serve is a case in point, with a recent Forrester post citing that two-thirds of customers saying that valuing their time is “the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.” With this in mind, online self-service is one way that companies can do the right thing for customers and benefit the business.

In line with company aims and needs, most customer service departments want to provide the best help possible, but that doesn’t just mean having employees at the end of the phone, or on chat, in a contact centre. Providing customers with tools that help them to fix problems themselves improves their perception of your business, as well as driving content usability and relevance.

Here are some areas to bear in mind when looking at how your customers can self-serve:

Self-Service designed with the user in mind

Your self-service portal should be easy to locate and offer simple navigation, as well as clear instructions, supporting images and quick access to agent-assisted support, should this be needed. If your self-service is visually appealing and usable, it will enhance customer relationships and increase their satisfaction.

Increased website traffic

Customers with a problem or question will typically search for answers through Google or Bing. With effectively-optimised content your organic website traffic will grow, and by tracking and analysing website visitors you’ll see trends and highlights that guide you in providing even more relevant, consistent and efficient self-service support.

Fewer calls to customer support

As customers successfully self-serve more often they will call, chat or email less with your team. This not only reduces the resources required to directly help them but can also reduce the effort needed to resolve a problem when they do make contact, and this improves their satisfaction with the provided service.

Higher customer satisfaction

Always-available support for your customers online is naturally timely and convenient. Making this easy to use on any device reassures customers that their issues will be easily resolved in the future, which positively impacts customer loyalty.

Given that nearly six out of ten customers that contact customer service tried to self-serve first (Gartner CEB, The Effortless Experience), there is clearly an opportunity for improving how effective self-service portals are. Providing them with successful support through this preferred channel using picture-based tutorials, one-click-fix and remote diagnostics, makes them feel accomplished and positive about their experience. Convenience is key when it comes to self-serve options and it is no surprise that this is a growing priority for many.

Self-service is more than just a project, something created and then left to do its job. It requires constant attention to determine its relevance and improve its effectiveness. By analysing data, improvements will be identified and define a great service to your customers, available around the clock. So much will this be the case that they’ll be impressed by the user-friendly nature of your business.

To find out more about how you can provide an effortless experience for your customers through self-service, get in touch today!

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