Self-service in the past was about the compromise between quick results and satisfactory results. Businesses would let customers read their own menu and hesitantly place an order thinking it’s what they want. They can’t have both — the hospitality of a waiter and the ability to place an order quickly. But businesses today have changed their mindset towards self-service, and if not, they should.
Self-service should never be a compromise. You ought to welcome customers with exceptional — not “good enough” — support when they come looking for self-service. And that’s lesson #1 to nudge customers towards self-service adoption. Because if they don’t turn up for self-service, what’s the point?
Tips for Greater Self-service Adoption
- Treat Self-service as an Individual Support System
- Rethink Self-service Purpose and Outcomes
- Lay Out Your Daily Execution Plan
- Make User Experience the Priority
- Leverage Automation Benefits
- Nurture Self-service with Feedback and Failures
1. Treat Self-service as an Individual Support System
Solution providers have expanded the self-service capabilities from an add-on support tool to a standalone resolution channel. The self-service and other traditional channels should differ only in the way they support, and not the quality. But it takes a constant reminder to invest your time and effort in a self-service channel as you would in its counterpart. Today you have exceptional features available to design a self-service experience around convenience and satisfaction, for both business users and customers.
The advent of the remote work era has further skyrocketed the focus on digital self-service. So, don’t implement a default self-service portal to your infrastructure and call it a day. Raise the self-service stakes — complement your self-service system with effective tech additions like automation workflows, integrations, and artificial intelligence.
2. Rethink Self-service Purpose and Outcomes
You need to shift your idea of self-service from a mere cost-saving prospect to a powerful extension of your resolution system. Most companies would define their self-service purpose as “to keep customer interaction minimal” or “save support team’s time”. There lies the fundamental problem. You need to make it easy for your customers to reach you should the issue be too complex for self-service or if they want personal assistance. Every element of your self-service portal should have an escalation option to assure customers that they can choose human support if they want to.
The best purpose would be to use self-service to empower end-users and give customer support agents control over their work. It is not done by interacting less but by interacting only when needed.
3. Lay Out Your Daily Execution Plan
Over 60% of US customers say their go-to channel for simple queries is a self-service tool like a website, digital chat, or mobile app. This means customers will be visiting your self-service portal daily. What’s your action plan? What does your support team need to do on a daily basis to keep self-service going? What are your self-service KPI metrics? The self-help portal needs to be constantly updated with new materials and improvised with customer feedback and pain points. For instance, you could track ticket inflow and add FAQ pages and knowledge articles for commonly recurring questions like password resets.
Without the understanding of daily agendas, your teams would not be able to sustain the self-service growth or improve its capabilities.
4. Make User Experience the Priority
The user experience here refers to both business user and end-user experiences. You could’ve put together a great self-service portal, and your users are likely to be immensely benefited by it. But your users probably won’t start using it, until they get a picture of what’s in it for them. Is it simplifying agent involvement or it complicates it? Is the self-service portal intuitive enough for the end-users to find their way around it? Build effective self-service around these experiences and you would see a considerable increase in user adoption rates.
HappyFox has a very exhaustive customization feature for the support portal and knowledge base. Our users deem customization one of the most helpful features in our self-service offering. Because companies can’t make a knowledge base theirs and make it reflective of their brand persona if they don’t customize it. From changing the header color to match your corporate theme to choosing a content layout so as to suit your KB structure, you can make several useful customizations to your knowledge base and the overall support portal.
To achieve greater self-service adoption, you also need to make the knowledge base more discoverable. HapyFox offers extensive features to SEO-optimize your knowledge base articles and to use intuitive visual aspects to improve the searchability of the self-service user interface.
Improving knowledge base discoverability
Customers need to find your knowledge base for self-service to be successful in the first place. If it’s an ordeal, customers won’t use it. Read more.
5. Leverage Automation Benefits
Merely replacing phone calls with self-service will not improve much in terms of service time, costs, and agent productivity. You need automation to get you there. With regards to self-service, you can derive the most useful automation benefits from AI-powered chatbots and automated ticket management. With chatbots, you are not just covering any non-working hours and website assistance. You are successfully deflecting trivial and common requests your teams have to handle daily. You are also providing quick and quality assistance to your website visitors and potential customers, like letting them book a calendar meeting or receive relevant help information within the chatbot.
These automation ideas can help you improve self-service in terms of reducing workload, improving efficiency, and support cost savings. And it’s not restricted to customer service. HappyFox Assist AI is a conversational ticketing solution that helps you deflect common IT, HR, and Ops issues and resolve them with AI-powered self-service bots within Slack. When you take support where your employees hang out all day, you could save a lot of time and effort.
6. Nurture Self-service with Feedback and Failures
Like any business venture, self-service should be continuously nurtured to see real benefits for your support team and customers. You can run surveys at regular intervals on your self-service elements like knowledge base, chatbot, and support centers to gauge customer satisfaction. Successful self-service is achieved with time.
You will eventually learn what customers prefer self-service for and if you are fulfilling their expectations. Until then, keep learning from your past mistakes and achievements for an improved customer experience.
If You View Self-service as a Last Resort, Your Customers Would too
Self-service is a holy grail for empowered customers. Customers won’t settle for “good enough” self-service anymore, for they know what self-service is capable of. It’s high time to pay attention to self-service and to encourage your customers to do the same. Try HappyFox. We might have just what you need for successful self-service.
A HappyFox customer says,
“Using HappyFox, we can now support our 200+ sites with a staff of three! Enough said.”
Enough said, indeed.