According to a Forrester study, about 73% of customers prefer to search online for product-related answers before calling a brand’s customer support hotline. So, why not tap into this opportunity and educate your customers by using customer self-service?
Like any other employee, customer support agents experience stress when their workload increases, especially when there’s repetitive problems to resolve. And when the demand for support hits the ceiling (such as during peak times or the holidays), customers will get impatient, irate, and may drop the phone at moment’s notice, sometimes without even reaching an agent. Including customer self-service in your customer support strategies can save these kinds of hassle for both parties while guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
The pros of customer self-service
Customer self-service helps reduce your operational costs because your agents don’t have to fix smaller problems, letting them focus on more pressing calls. Your customers can just access a knowledgebase or an FAQ page to get the answers they need. For example, they don’t need to ask an agent to learn find out what their current bank balance is; a smart IVR system or a mobile app can handle it.
Your customers also wouldn’t have to wait on the other end of a phone call if they need support. The aforementioned Forrester research said that consumers generally define a great customer experience with the efficiency and accuracy of the customer service. It’s when they receive help whenever they need it. With customer self-service, they can get answers anytime, anywhere—it’s a 24-hour customer service.
The cons of customer self-service
Any repository of knowledge needs to be updated, whether it’s a dictionary or an encyclopedia. Same goes with a customer self-service. With innovation comes new bugs and glitches. A self-service tool, such as a knowledgebase, needs to have the latest information.
Self-service also lacks personal touch. Textual communication doesn’t carry any kind of emotion. Thus, this type of customer service only offers solutions, without consideration of one’s irascibility or agitation.
Lastly, customer self-help features need to deliver its promises of resolution. A badly implemented self-service technology can cause missed opportunities and customer dissatisfaction. Remember that customers don’t want to have to call your support lines to fix their problems.
The main point of a customer self-service is to equip your customers with the knowledge to fix their problems on their own. It shouldn’t be a reason to avoid your customers. Failing to help your customers can easily turn them off, badly affecting your reputation as a brand and losing sales opportunities and customers. So make sure that your self-service technology is fully functional and can solve your customers’ most basic problems.