Self-service solutions are taking the world by storm
In a digital environment, self-service offerings allow customers to bypass interacting with an agent and get the crucial, ultra-fast response time they desire. Today’s customers can navigate digital environments and access various features on their own. Do not forget that younger generations are increasingly comfortable with self-service tools, so not having one feels like a lack of capability. This is good news for modern businesses – but only if you know how to use self-service properly.
Today, we will give you an inside look at the basics of customer self-service and why it’s such an important investment for modern businesses.
What is Self-Service? The Basics
Customer Self-Service is a solution that enables today’s businesses to “help their customers help themselves”. Self-service assists customers without the need to call in a specialist or representative. Self-service solutions can be an excellent investment for both businesses and customers.
Self-service solutions are ideal because about 40% of customers prefer to solve a problem themselves rather than contacting a human representative. At the same time, self-service solutions ensure that your employees can focus on the most complex problems that really need their help, rather than dealing with repetitive or easy-to-solve issues.
Types of self-services range from simple FAQ pages to comprehensive troubleshooting and automatic problem detection tools. Some of the most common options are:
- FAQ pages and help centers: a FAQ page is a “frequently asked questions” area on your site where visitors can find information about their most common problems. A FAQ page usually provides brief solutions to simple problems, while a help center is more comprehensive. A help center or knowledge base often includes articles and videos to help customers with advice on how to proceed. will often include articles and videos guiding customers through “how-to” advice.
- Community forum: a community forum is an environment where you can ask questions and get advice from customers in the same community. It is more of a peer-to-peer service environment than a self-service solution. Sometimes the forums also have administrators from the company who can help with specific problems.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: Chatbots and virtual assistants are an increasingly common part of the self-service environment and can help customers answer their questions when human employees are unavailable. These solutions often respond to trigger words and key phrases in a customer’s question or provide a set of answers to common problems, similar to FAQ.
- Self-care troubleshooting: for customers who frequently have issues with things like telecom tools or digital services, a self-help troubleshooting solution can be a valuable investment. Imagine being able to log in to an online portal and instantly use a system to find the root cause of a problem – without having to speak to an employee. That’s what a troubleshooting system can provide.
- Solution automation: just like AI, automation is becoming more common in self-service solutions. An automated system can allow users to troubleshoot and find the root cause of issues automatically, allowing them to send more effective service requests to the human team when an immediate solution is not available.
Why is Customer Self-Service So Valuable?
Customer self-service provides instant access to all the common problems your customers might have with your product or service. Customers are demanding these solutions more than ever, with 92% of people using search engines to find information online. In addition, a consumer survey found that 75% of respondents find self-service a convenient way to meet their needs for support and advice.
- Make you more available: Self-service solutions are always available when your customers need them. This way, you can ensure that you are always available when your customers are looking for help. No human team could provide the same level of 24/7 service. In an environment where customer experience is the key differentiator for any brand, it’s critical that you are available whenever and wherever your customers need you.
- Reduce stress for support agents: While the need for human support staff will not disappear with the advent of self-service solutions, it does mean that staff will have to deal with fewer repeat questions and common problems. By managing a handful of your most common issues through self-service solutions, you can ensure your team is always available to support the customers who need it most.
- Reduce expenses: Customer self-service helps your cash flow in two ways. First, you have the advantage of not having to pay as many employees to manage your customer service strategy. You will still need some customer service solutions with human employees, but you should be able to reduce the number of contractors and round-the-clock employees you need to hire.
- Improve ROI: Because your customers have the ability to solve their own problems, they are more likely to fall in love with the benefits of your features. This allows you to benefit from satisfied, returning customers for as long as possible. You can even monitor which problems your customers are struggling with the most and make sure you have new solutions ready for them.
- Enhance customer experience: Customers want to feel empowered and supported in the modern world. By providing access to self-service solutions, you ensure that you can give them the kind of experience they want. Your self-service solution offers you a new way to impress your customers and potentially increase your sales
Since many modern self-service solutions provide access to AI tools and systems for capturing customer data, they can also improve your chances of understanding your customers and their unique journeys.
Implementing your Self-Service Solution
Launching your own self-service solution can be a daunting prospect at first. Some companies start small, with a simple FAQ solution where customers can find answers to their questions by browsing text or videos. Increasingly, many brands are also investing in chatbots and virtual agents, as they are extremely affordable and easy to use.
Keep this in mind when choosing your self-service strategy:
- Think about your target audience: What kind of technology are they familiar with? What kind of solutions can they access from your competitors?
- Look at your capabilities: Do you have what it takes to oversee a chatbot or digital troubleshooting system, or do you need someone to host the solution for you?
- Work with the right partner: Find a partner who can build a customer service solution that’s specific to your brand.
If you want to introduce self-service solutions for your customers, you should first make sure that you work with the right provider. A good self-service solutions provider will be able to assess your current customer base and give you insight into the types of solutions that will really work for businesses like yours. As your customer needs evolve, you’ll also need a provider that can give you access to a more flexible and scalable self-service environment.
When you implement self-service technology, remember that you also need a system to track your customers’ responses to the tools. You need to track metrics like NPS and customer satisfaction to determine if your self-service solutions are having the right impact on your audience. Gathering direct feedback from customers through surveys and testimonials can also be extremely useful.
Are You Ready to Embrace Self-Service?
Self-service is a growing trend in the customer experience landscape – and one that is not likely to go away anytime soon. For businesses of all sizes, from small brands to large enterprises, self-service offerings can strengthen engagement with your target audience and pave the way to more sales and increased revenue.
The key to success, as with any digital transformation strategy, is to make sure you have access to the right tools and guidance to make your plan a success. Discuss your self-service expectations and needs with a company that understands businesses like yours. At Bulb Tech, we can help you develop the ultimate customer service solution – from self-service solutions to automation. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.