Digital Customer Self-Service and How to Do it Right
Self Service Support

Digital Customer Self-Service and How to Do it Right

Find out everything you need to know about digital self-service and how digital resources make it easier for customers to find solutions in their preferred manner.

Sanjoli Jain

14-09-2021

8 Min

No matter how amazing the customer support teams are, when I am at the customer end or have a query to resolve, I’d actually loathe working with them or asking for help. It is not that they’re bad or my experience with them has not been satisfactory (however, that can be a valid reason for many.) It is just that I think of myself naturally as a problem-solver who likes to figure things out on my own. I’d try hard and take up the challenge to come up with the solution without any help. And I won’t reach out to the customer support teams unless I genuinely believe I can’t solve the problem myself.

It turns out I am not the only one with these traits. In fact, a study by Nuance Enterprise discovered that 67% of customers prefer to use self-service options instead of speaking with a customer support agent or a company representative.

But, the pressure of solving customer problems still lies on the company’s shoulder. And it puts the businesses in a pickle. How do you provide adequate support to your customers when they themselves do not want to talk to your customer service reps?

This is where digital self-service resources come in handy. These digital resources make it easier for customers to find solutions to issues in their preferred manner. In this post, we’ll break down what digital self-service is and how you can implement it on your company’s website. Here’s what we’re going to cover:

What is Digital Self-Service?

Digital self-service is the overarching term for proactive customer self-service. The tactics empower users to resolve issues independently and answer questions through digital channels (chatbots, FAQs, or knowledge bases).

Digital self-service allows internet users to gain autonomy and find out what a user needs. Self-service is being adopted widely across industries, countries, and business units. A firm analyst at Gartner states, “self-service is becoming the norm as customers increasingly expect an effortless experience at scale.” They also predicted that by 2022, around 85% of customer service interaction would be through the self-service medium.

Advantages of Digital Self-Service

I. From Customer’s Perspective:

From_Customers_Perspective

How Customers Desire Changes

Digital self-service meets the needs of internet users, i.e., autonomy and speed. Studies point out that most internet users first look for a way to find information on their own. If they fail to find a valid solution, they turn to the customer service department.

  1. Easily Adaptable

    Another one of the benefits of self-service is that customers can quickly adapt to them and meet their needs. Self-service features like a knowledge base and FAQs are easy to navigate, use and find relevant solutions.

  2. Customers Become Self-reliant

    Usually, customers are dependent on employees for guidance and clarification of doubts and solutions. However, when it comes to digital self-service, the customers become independent. They can take complete control and look for solutions themselves.

  3. Quick and Reliable Solutions

    Self-service solutions are quick and reliable. Customers can solve their problems quickly without help. They do not need to wait for long phone calls anymore.

Looking forward to adopting a digital Self-service tool for your organization? We have the perfect solution that caters to all your needs in a personalized manner.

II. From Business’ Perspective

Business_Benefits_of_Digital_Self-Service

Business Benefits of Digital Self-Service

Implementing self-service solutions becomes relevant when customer service departments face numerous requests at once, to the point where it becomes impossible to tackle them manually. Some other benefits from the companies’ perspective are:

  1. Support Cost Reduction

    The word self-service itself states that it only involves customers doing work for themselves. When the customer finds answers on their own, the support resources needed will go down. Eventually, the expenses dedicated to these resources will go down.

  2. Boosts Social Engagement

    In today’s era, irrespective of your business niche, every brand needs a social media presence. Self-service medium directly communicates with the audiences, and they are easily able to consume information. Brands can boost their social media page engagements by providing information in innovative ways.

  3. Increases Customer Satisfaction & Success

    When appropriately implemented, knowledge management provides satisfactory results to the clients. A knowledge base can also work wonders for pre-sales support. If a customer wants to purchase a product from your brand and has doubts about it, they can simply find the answers themselves. This also means a higher sales rate for your brand.

How to Use Self-Service to Grow Your Business?

So, now that you know the basics of self-service and what it looks like, and how it could help organizations, the next natural question is how you can use self-service in your organization. Take a demo with DeskXpand and find out.

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How Can an Organization Provide Digital Self-service To Its Customers?

Let’s look at some of the methods and tips that organizations can use to provide digital self-service to their customers:

1. Start by Adding a Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is a part of your website that helps customers solve common product issues independently. It can also include answers to all the simple issues and questions in an organized manner. It can also include documentation of your products and services.

The main purpose of these articles should be to provide customers with information that can help them troubleshoot their problems. Your team can provide detailed troubleshooting steps for common problems, common roadblocks faced by customers and share them with every user. Besides, you also need to make sure that your website is navigation-friendly. Your customers must be able to find exactly what they’re looking for.

You can provide advanced search algorithms with your knowledge base interface to make navigation easy. You can also use helpdesk software to categorize your knowledge base articles into various categories and sub-labels.

Knowledge-base

DeskXpand Knowledge Base

The primary objective of the knowledge base is its site-wide visibility and 24*7 support availability. You can place an easy-to-use widget so that customers can be redirected to your online library. This way they can access it easily regardless of whatever page they’re on. Check if all the links work fine and customers reach relevant solutions.

2. Provide Flexible Automation Features

Automation is popular in customer service as it saves time for both customers and agents. Companies can provide automation features like chatbots to help customers find information fast, without having to contact the company at all.

Automation can be used for the agents as well. Companies and their customer support departments can set up workflows that automatically send emails to customers for follow-up on open cases. When it comes to customer-facing automation, it is important to ensure that these features are flexible enough. Clients should be able to ask questions in different ways and receive consistent answers for every inquiry.

Example:

Let’s look at the company Blue Diamond. It offers a chatbot that provides unique responses based on conversations it has with the customers. Customers can select a product they have a question about. The interface then presents a list of potential subtopics that may be related to the customer’s needs.

While most chatbots will only perform this, Blue Diamond can field direct questions too. It does not provide you with page links but instead a simple, direct answer to your question similar to the below example:

Blue_Diamond

Source: Blue Diamond

3. Highlight The Most Common Problems

It is important to bring together a comprehensive knowledge base. But, you also have to make sure that it reaches your customers. Many customers often complain that they’re not able to find the right solutions when they need them.

You need to identify the top queries and the categories which the customers search. Once you’ve identified these queries, you need to highlight them. Your customers will then be able to find answers without scrolling too much. You can highlight these popular FAQs separately and link them to the main navigation bar as well.

Lastly, keep your content clean and updated!

4. Make Use of Search Behavior

Despite being so obvious, including easy-to-use search fields is not a very common practice. A survey states that, 63% of consumers agree that they are annoyed by the search field on the self-service knowledge base.

Customers definitely do not want to go through thousands of pages to look for one answer. Plus, they want the answers quickly. The primary point of opting for a self-service feature is to help your customers find answers quickly. Some simple hacks can work and help you avoid unpleasant situation with the customer.

A better solution is to use tags and page tags with keywords. For example, an article named “how to reset your password,” you can use the tag “password reset.” So, whenever a customer will type “password reset” in the search field, it’ll lead to a correct answer.

You can also monitor the searches made by customers and then simply create new content for those keywords.

Business Value and Future of Digital Self-Service

A digital self-service helpdesk or portal provides helpful content and eventually creates a better experience for customers. However, these are not its only benefits. Apart from this and the benefits listed above, it creates a tremendous business value in terms of monetary savings for brands.

“How?” you’d ask. Let’s take a look:

A study by Forrester Research and Oracle quantified the business costs of handling customer support through multiple customer service channels. The results: digital self-service can minimize the support costs by as much as $11 per call!

Approximate_Cost_Per_Customer_Contact

Approximate Cost Per Customer Contact

Now imagine you receive 1,000 calls per week, and you could be saving approximately $0.6 million per year from your support! It may seem far-fetched, but it is true.

Accenture found that companies could save between $1-3 million annually by adding self-service! The cost of investing in a self-service helpdesk is much much lower than the benefits your business will reap from it. In fact, digital self-service is included in DeskXpand’s helpdesk system along with other robust ticketing, omnichannel, and automation features. Would you like to take a demo?

DeskXpand: An Ideal Choice for Businesses

Nearly 80% of American consumers believe that timely and informed help is the most critical aspect of good customer service.

PwC Survey

Despite the statistics mentioned above, most companies fail to deliver a satisfactory experience to meet customer needs. There are multiple reasons behind this. It can be anything from the lack of agents, insufficient resources, or simply unplanned support. This results in unhappy customers, and eventually, affects the company as they lose customers.

Customer self-service portals help you navigate this problem in a cost-effective manner. All you need to do is check on the repetitive customer requests and create a knowledge base or FAQs that answer their queries.

DeskXpand’s service desk ticketing system provides built-in digital self-service features to serve knowledgeable content to your customers. It allows the support admin to group, regroup, categorize, and sub-categorize the self-help articles exactly as customers want.

We are an ISO27001 certified customer support solutions development company with 14+ years of development experience and hundreds of clients across the globe. We can help you build customized products according to your present and future needs. Start building your Digital Self-service portal with us now!

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