In today’s digitally-focused world, customers are largely going online first to resolve a problem or find information about a product, service, or brand. In response to this, companies are publishing significant volumes of content to meet customers in that part of their journey and give them a good online experience.

However, most online content doesn’t achieve what it is intended to do, often failing both the customer and the brand.

For care content to be effective, it must be well done and well delivered rather than simply put out there. When it fails to help, this makes the agent’s job more difficult because customers arrive to the conversation already frustrated and irritated.

Here are some of the key areas to address in online customer self-service:

Customer expectations aren’t met

When customers go online, they generally do so with the intention of self-serving. If this is difficult to find or use it creates disappointment and frustration, forcing them to call or chat to get to their desired outcome. Studies indicate that this happens in nearly 6 out of every 10 cases (source: Gartner CEB: The Effortless Experience, page 48).

Write for the audience

Online help content is often found at either end of the spectrum, either oversimplified marketing-speak, that seems great but doesn’t inform or assist, or text-heavy engineer-speak that most readers struggle to understand. The “write” (sic) place lies somewhere in the middle where most users will be found.

Look useful

The layout of customer care content can be a real mixed bag. In some cases, marketing objectives are placed above customer needs and aesthetics valued over functionality. In others, text-dominated layout causes customer intimidation the moment the page opens. The goal is to engage the customer and draw them in, meaning that function is better than form, and ease of use trumps heavy detail.

Navigation and search

For the best possible experience, it’s important that navigation and search is as easy and user friendly as possible. Making it easy to find may run counter to Marketing goals but giving appropriate place to support content is one of balance rather than battle. Happy customers are loyal customers.

So, is there a problem?

Well, yes there is. Nearly 60% of customers are asking agents for help after they visited a company’s website. The required steps to improve are simple to identify but challenging to take. In most cases companies don’t have the skills or resources internally to improve their customers’ self-service experience.

For a beautiful outcome, it’s important that a connection is made between the customer service team and the support website to tap into insights from customer contacts. Once this connection is made, digital marketing data and user analysis techniques can be used to create the right online environment and content that helps effectively. Ongoing monitoring and measuring will improve findability, usability, and outcomes – significantly delivering better customer experiences and reducing the need for further contact.

To find out more about how you can enhance your online customer experience, or to discover the benefits of Qelp, get in touch

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