5 Rules for Giving Customers the Self-Service They Want

Designing optimal customer experiences is one of the essential elements for the success of your customer service. Companies that provide quality customer service have a higher chance of improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, 96% consider customer service as an important factor in their loyalty to a brand, according to Microsoft. Therefore, self-service should not be neglected. Many people prefer to solve relatively simple problems on their own. According to Gartner, 81% of customers try to find a solution by themselves before contacting an agent. Moreover, according to Zendesk, 67% of customers prefer using self-service options to find answers to their questions rather than contacting an agent.

Beyond fulfilling a customer’s need, self-service offers numerous benefits, particularly in terms of time savings and efficiency. Forrester Research reveals that companies that have implemented self-service options have seen a reduction of 25 to 30% in assistance requests. To achieve this, self-service options must be effective, user-friendly, and understandable for everyone.

Here are five rules for creating self-service options that truly benefit your customers.

Make your IVR options relevant

Implementing relevant Interactive Voice Response (IVR) options for self-service can be a complex process. However, when properly configured, IVR is a valuable asset in providing an effective self-service experience for your customers.

Firstly, identify the most frequently asked questions. When customers use an IVR menu, it is imperative that they hear or see options tailored to their situation. To achieve this, group the most common requests by category.

Next, define the IVR options once the categories have been identified. For example, if the most common requests pertain to invoices, offer an IVR option to check the status of an invoice or receive a copy of it. However, ensure that customers can quickly bypass unnecessary options or be connected to an agent if they cannot find the desired answer. By providing menu options that apply to common situations (such as checking an account balance or order status), you will help customers save time.

Therefore, it is essential to design a clear and concise user experience. Ensure that your IVR interface is easy to understand and navigate. IVR options should be presented clearly, with simple instructions for users.

Continuous testing and improvement will allow you to create a more ergonomic IVR system. Identify potential issues faced by your customers and implement necessary improvements. IVR options should be regularly updated to offer an ever-improving user experience.

Train your chatbots regularly

According to a study by Oracle, nearly 80% of consumers prefer chatbots for interacting with customer service. Indeed, a chatbot can quickly answer simple and common questions, reducing wait times for customers and allowing agents to focus on more complex requests, thus enhancing their work. Providing a self-service option through a chatbot offers a faster and more efficient customer service experience while reducing operational costs.

However, for this to be effective, the chatbot must be able to provide smooth and comprehensive responses to customers without them having to repeat themselves. According to Zendesk, 69% of consumers in need of assistance ask more varied questions to chatbots than before. That’s why 78% of them ultimately need to interact with a live agent. To avoid this, your chatbots, like your agents, need to be “trained”.

Keep them updated with current brand information such as sales pricing, new products, and delivery options. They should also have access to real-time customer data that enables them to give accurate assistance. Lastly, analyzing your customers’ conversational patterns can allow chatbots to develop a tone with a similar speech pattern for more natural conversations.

Keep agents on standby

Self-service usually indicates the absence of human agents, but there are times when human intervention may be necessary. While chatbot design continues to grow more sophisticated each day, the truth remains that most brands can benefit from a combined approach of automation and human support. Agents should be available for more complex cases that chatbots cannot handle. Similarly, customers should always have the option to speak to a person quickly if an IVR menu does not provide the support they need.

Update your FAQs

To keep your customers informed, nothing beats a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). According to Forrester Research, approximately 76% of consumers prefer using an FAQ rather than contacting a customer service center to get answers to their questions. Analyze customer feedback and service transcripts to identify recurring questions. This not only saves you time but also money, as your customers and prospects will turn to the FAQ first rather than contacting your support or customer service for information. According to Zendesk, creating an FAQ can reduce incoming customer service requests by up to 42%. This allows your agents to focus on answering high-value questions. Remember to regularly update this list. You can even invite your customers to contribute to the answers within a discussion forum.

Use video tutorials

Visual content appeals to many customers and can be ideal for both marketing and self-service purposes. Help customers find the answers they need by offering video tutorials on your website and even your social media channels. You may demonstrate how products and services work, featuring either real company employees or fun animation. Be sure to offer subtitles for customers who wish to see text as well, and use a voiceover that is easy to understand.Self-service options empower customers and show them that you care about their time. By combining automated service with the dedicated support of your agents, customers can find quick answers with the comfort of the human touch.

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