5 min read
Increasingly, people don’t want to talk to sales and service reps anymore. Today’s customers expect easy, convenient, real-time experiences that empower them to make better decisions, build their knowledge of your products and services, and be more self-sufficient. Self-service is the best way to educate, engage, serve, and transact with your customers to create growth and profitability. It brings together knowledge, services, and data to create seamless experiences and it's replacing static product support websites and knowledge bases around the world.
Customers want to quickly and conveniently learn and educate themselves, Self-service is a movement from waiting for customers to call, to putting customers first.so help them.
And self-service doesn’t just benefit your customer, but your company as well—from customer service and marketing, to product development, to sales, and so much more—it brings benefits across every department. So, in this article, we will outline the top reasons why you should be investing in self-service for your customers and for your company.
Not only do your customers want self-service, but in today’s world, they expect it. Zendesk surveyed, and found that 67% of people preferred self-service over speaking to a company representative, and 75% agreed that it was a more convenient way to solve customer service issues.
Leading companies like Apple, Amazon, and Uber have set a high standard for customer experience. These companies don’t just offer a product or service; they make it more straightforward, tailored, and convenient than anyone thought was possible. And they have set this expectation of easy service experiences for the customer through utilizing self-service.
Not to mention, technology is evolving the way we use products and services every day. As the internet, social media, and technology keep progressing, a need for speed has been created. Self-service is faster, easier, and more convenient for the customer and your company. Technology is advancing, your service should as well.
With products becoming more complex and connected, consumers need knowledge and skills to be successful with the products and services they buy and use. Great self-service content does not only help customers get started or troubleshoot an issue, but can empower them to become an expert. Providing educational resources on what you provide is not just something your customers want, but something they need in order to feel great about their purchasing experience with your company.
By properly equipping your customers with the knowledge they need to succeed, you allow them to feel like your company is truly supporting them by understanding their needs and pains. This builds customer trust, which goes a long way in the future success of your company.
Unlike traditional channels, self-service is available 24/7. Anytime your customers need to resolve an issue they are having, search for an answer to a question, or just explore educational resources, it is available to them. They don’t have to wait on hold, wait for a reply to their message, or work around hours of operation. It is fast and it’s always at your customer’s fingertips.
It is possible to personalize your self-service experience and tailor it exactly to individual needs by leveraging the user’s context. Well-designed customer self-service can provide relevant solutions, escalation options, and processes based on who your customers are, what products they own, and any problems or questions they have. It can support the customer at any point during their journey: product selection, getting started, technical issues, troubleshooting, transactions they seek to perform, product registration, warranties, parts, returns, etc.
This ability to personalize customer experience increases positive customer feedback, and product recommendations, which in turn, increases brand awareness, adoption, retention, expansion, customer satisfaction (CSAT), average order value (AOV), and customer lifetime value (CLV) while decreasing contact levels and customer acquisition costs (CAC). ServiceTarget clients see an average 45% increase in CSAT after adopting self-service.
One of the primary benefits of self-service is that it reduces contact volumes and overall support costs. When customers can easily and conveniently find answers to their questions on their own, not only will they be happier with products and services, but the volume of contacts will start to decline.
Creating a self-service knowledge base from scratch might sound like a colossal task. But investing in it might be one of the biggest assets that your organization will create. It has the ability to bring together the collective knowledge that various teams and individuals have and share it when and where that knowledge is needed most—to your customers, partners, and employees.
Self-service is smart. It isn’t a static system, but a dynamic one. It learns from collective data and analytics and improves. It continuously evolves with your product, customer, and business needs by receiving real-time customer feed-back and driving cost-saving and operational efficiencies.
Generally, when your company grows, your contact costs increase proportionally as well. But with successful self-service, over time, your service costs will increase at a much slower rate than that of your company's growth. Identifying effective self-service metrics, like contacts per order or contacts per subscriber, influences how your company can continue to expand without the excessive costs that would traditionally be included with such growth.
Investing in building a knowledgeable foundation for your company, will over time, develop into a substantial source of valuable information. By leveraging customer feedback, you can continue improving your knowledge base relevance and closing any content gaps.
Self-service doesn’t just improve the customer experience, but your team’s experience as well. It saves time by reducing recurring questions and issues and improving ticket resolution time. Companies that adopted ServiceTarget see an average 28% reduction in support tickets, a 62% reduction in time to first response, and a 36% reduction in repeat questions after implementing self-service.
When customers are empowered with relevant self-service content and processes, repetitive and avoidable contacts are prevented, as the customers are able to find what they need before contacting. This frees up the customer service team to focus on the complex issues that require more time and effort.
Self-service increases organizational efficiency. Having an educational knowledge base for your employees to utilize creates less room for error, improving resolution rates. When everyone has access to an updated and curated knowledge base, organizational information can flow through your company without internal back and forth. Employees can quickly find the answers they need and confidently share them with customers.
Empowering customers to self-serve their simple questions and issues improves agent productivity and allows customer support to become more efficient. Other branches of the company, like marketing or sales, will be freed up to focus on their main objectives, rather than responding to customer frustrations.
As self-service improves the functionality of your company, it relieves the overload of work that has been placed on customer service teams. To put it into perspective, imagine:
This is crazy. And it’s not just your service team, but sales, marketing, and product development as well, who are being flooded with the repercussions of these contacts.
That’s why a focus on self-service is inevitable. It’s relieving your teams by increasing job satisfaction and reducing pressure. With the decreased room for error, it rescues support agents and anyone communicating with the customer. ServiceTarget clients also see an average 69% reduction in new employee onboarding time, streamlining the way employees operate.
Anytime your team has an update, they can quickly create or update a new piece of content, journey, article, customer experience, or anything else they need, and publish it. You just type it up, hit publish once, and any customer who needs it now, or in the future, can help themselves.
The globalizing and localizing of self-service content is critical to providing consistent information across your variety of customer’s native languages, supporting unique regional differences in products and services, and even communicating cultural values. Achieving this scalability without self-service is nearly impossible, requiring entirely manual labor at a high price tag. But, self-service makes this feasible. It allows companies to expand their service experiences to match their company growth across brands, regions, and languages.
With self-service, rather than flooding your overwhelmed service department, customers can instead flood your website for tips, answers, educational resources, and any relief to pains they may have. Once it’s deployed, you will have a website rich with effective knowledge base content and personalized flows to ensure every customer can find exactly what they are searching for. This enriched social engagement on your website, rather than your service department, will boost your SEO and help you appear more in search engines, spreading awareness of your company’s brand.
Succeeding with self-service means succeeding in all of the things above, most notably, your customer’s experience, your team’s experience, and your company’s ability to expand through saving time and money by becoming more efficient. These are the things that will allow you to stand out from your competitors. Offering a uniquely personalized self-serving experience, that is available 24/7 to your customers, empowers them to be successful with your company, which will encourage them to choose you again in the future. And when your customers can be successful, your company can too.
Now that you know why you should be adopting it, check out some examples of leading companies doing self-service right, and learn how to increase awareness for your self-service so it can truly work all of these wonders for your company.
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