The customer support technology we know and are used to has undergone a sea of changes in the last few years. Many studies have indicated at the possibility of customer support organizations actually functioning without any human support by the year 2017. These studies reveal that by 2017, customer self-service would start driving customer interest in these support organizations.
Benefits of customer self- service
Customer self-service can be considered as a win-win situation for support organizations as well as the end customer. In the case of the latter, self-service will allow customers to gain access to answers faster and allow them to seek this information whenever they want. In the case of organizations, customer self-service will reduce the number of instances the customer needs to be handled directly by someone from the support team.
Limitations of customer self-service
Customer self-service has its limitations as well. Self-servicing will depend to a large extent on the nature of the call and its urgency. Many customers who start with self-service still prefer to talk to a representative in order to avail a more personal approach in dealing with an issue.
Customer self-servicing does not offer an emotional attachment in the way a real life representative would. Customers usually prefer to speak directly with a representative when they are not happy with the options being offered to them. Failing to connect them to a representative at this juncture could lead to loss of faith, with the customer even walking away in search of a better service.
Future of Customer Self-Service Support: Do’s and Don’ts Support Organizations need to follow
Customer self-service can be truly customer centric when it allows customers to find solutions to their problems as well as help them fix these problems in the shortest time possible. In short, it should not focus entirely on providing solutions alone, but should also place equal focus on imparting the knowledge of how to make these solutions work. As such, here are some Dos and Don’ts support organizations would need to follow when adopting the customer self-service model.
- Keeping knowledge base articles up to date
This will allow the data base to remain up to date with new issues as well as new solutions for existing issues. Setting an expiry date on the knowledge base will urge the organization to constantly return and update the base with accurate and up to date information.
- Adding rating buttons for customer service support
The organization needs to know whether the answers it provides are the ones customers are looking for. As such, a rating button added to the bottom of each article in the knowledge base will allow customers to rate it as well as the organization on the efficiency of the data provided.
- Adding quick escalation paths
A customer will look for the quickest way to reach a support agent if he encounters a serious issue that cannot be solved without help. Therefore, adding quick escalation paths in the articles will help individuals reach agents in quicker and more efficient manner.
- Optimizing support center for all devices
There are millions of devices out there from mobile phones and smartphones to tablets, computers and laptops that will access a support center. The support center would therefore need to optimize its support and provide a consistent multichannel option to cater to all of these devices without any issues.
- Making information hard to find
Customers visit a support organization in order to search for information. Depending on the urgency of the situation, they can become increasingly frustrated if the needed information is hard to find. A support organization would therefore need to give equal importance to major customer issues as well as minor queries.
- Ignoring customer feedback
While customer self-service reduces the need for an agent to interact directly with the customer, it should not be used as an excuse to avoid direct contact constantly. Ignoring customer feedback on important services and functions would only lead to a failed system as overlooked complaints and issues lead to bigger problems in the future.
Customer self-service is being considered as the next best trend in the customer support industry. It can simplify the process of getting issues solved by having customers use self-help tools to deal with minor issues while speaking to customer support agents only in the case of major, irreparable problems.