You Just Rolled Out a Self-Service System. Now What? - Self Service Central
 

You Just Rolled Out a Self-Service System. Now What?

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With advantages like lower customer support costs and shorter employee time investment, many companies are discovering the benefits of online customer self-service.

Many companies still believe that customer support agents are irreplaceable.

Gartner analysts admit that in certain circumstances agents are necessary: “However, self-service works well only for specific record types (mainly how-to requests, FAQs and password resets), so organizations should understand that implementing self-service will reduce volume only for those call types.”

With real-time expert advice and their ability to handle more complicated questions, they bring a human touch to a support situation. That makes them the preferred method of interaction with many customers.

How then do we get customers to adopt self-service as their preferred method of support? The trick is finding a balance between empowering customers to be more independent online, while assuring them that someone is available to help them when needed. If some of your customers are still a little reluctant to adopt your self-service system, a few of these tips might help get them started.

 

Make sure your knowledgebase is sophisticated and accessible

For online customer self-service to be useful and successful, it is crucial to have an in depth knowledgebase that can handle the majority of your customers’ questions. Depending on how much information is available in your knowledgebase customers will be able to find answers when they are navigating your self-service system.

The accuracy of self-service responses is the most crucial aspect of customer support when you move your interactions from phone to web based. Be sure to keep the knowledgebase in sight at all times when a customer is looking for help. It might be useful to remind users to check the knowledgebase before contacting phone support.

Gartner analysts stress the importance of keeping this information up to date: “Ongoing efforts also include the maintenance of the knowledge base where articles need continuous updating. Articles that do not fix the problem or that are difficult to understand do not lend themselves well to the credibility that IT self-service portals need to establish. Also, the wider the range of services supported, the more difficult it becomes to keep these knowledge articles up to date.”

Empower your customers while they navigate through your website to use self-service 

Interesting initiatives will help engage the customers and empower them to adopt your self service solutions. Have a “love your computer” week where you highlight a new part of the self-service system every day over the course of the week. You can post videos showing how easy it is to use self-service and share testimonials from other users about their experience. Encourage your customer service reps to help build up customers’ confidence by guiding users to solutions. This way customers will feel as though they have a person to speak to while they are learning a better way to use your site.

Automate parts of the support

Relieve your online agents of some of their responsibilities with automated support. This can include on-page guides and site tours that provide interactive guidance without having to use an agent. It can also include videos and screen captures, which are very helpful for users who are more visually perceptive. Videos and screen captures are great ways for guiding users through more complex procedures as well as add a more personal touch to online support.

With technology boosting number of avenues to access support, customers are increasingly using online self- service to get help and support. In fact, according to NICE’s survey of 1,200 people from the USA, Great Britain and Australia, at least 28% of responders say they use online self-service systems at least once a week. It does not mean that over the phone customer service will die out completely but web interaction is most certainly the way of the future, especially for younger generations. It is all about empowering your customers to adopt your service portal resulting in increased customer satisfaction as well as saving your company’s valuable time and money.

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