Nowadays, customers are pressed for time. Hectic work schedules and household tasks barely leaves them with any time. This, in turn has increased their dependence on technology to expedite tasks for them. Smartphones, social media, mapping apps etc. have become their favourite tools which adds to their convenience. With these tools, customers can perform several tasks and conduct transactions in a matter of few clicks, thus saving their time and effort.
Automated or self-service support is a similar kind of a solution that has created a new doorway for customers to escape long queues, lengthy hold times, and sluggish checkout processes. The service essentially allows customers to resolve their problems on their own by using the information provided by the company. The channel has worked so well that 72 percent of the consumers in US stated during a Forrester survey that they prefer to use self-service to get answers to their queries rather than calling or emailing the help desk of a company.
Yet, there are companies which have not been able to enhance the self-service experience for customers despite recognizing the potential of this channel. To help such businesses provide quality self-service options and enhance customer experience, here are four useful tips:
To identify and avoid malfunctions in an automated or self-service support system, it is essential to test the service before launching it for the wider audience. The user acceptance testing (UAT) can prove critical in this regard. It will enable enterprises to gauge whether their self-service system is fit-for-purpose, free from all issues and functioning the way it should be. Additionally, testing will enable businesses to discover whether the new self-service channel can really improve customer satisfaction level and bridge gaps in current service. It will also help businesses understand what exactly customers are expecting from the self-service system. For instance, do they expect an easy way out to reach customer service representatives, when they get stuck? Or do they need pictorial instructions along with content to use the service?
If customers can easily access required information and get support in less time, it will tempt them to use self-service option more often. However, this is only possible if your self-service channels are tailored to meet the needs of customers. To accomplish this task, make sure that the system is easy to use, understand and navigate. It should offer clear product or service information and pricing. Where applicable it should also allow customers to track their order updates, so they would not have to rush back to the help desk every now and then. Also, there is no harm in presenting additional information of related products and services, as some curious customers want to know more. Companies can also learn from the best practices of other businesses that are offering self-service to streamline processes better.
Adding visual support aids or video tutorials can prove really helpful for customers using self-service. A research by 3M Corporation shows that human beings process visual data 60,000 times more quickly as compared to written information. Furthermore, numerous studies have conveyed that about 65 percent of people are visual learners. Hence, companies offering self-service options, should seriously consider adding video tutorials because customers can develop better understanding of complex issues when they have the power to play, stop and pause the video as per their liking. Similarly, adding a knowledge base to your self-service channel can also enhance customer self-service experience. A knowledge base can include frequently asked questions (FAQs) and canned responses. It is essential to regularly update the knowledge base so that customers can see the service as reliable and accurate.
No matter how user-friendly, reliable, accurate and informative your self-service channel maybe, if it does not speak the customer’s language, people are not going to use it. Thus, when you design a self-service option, give language choice to consumers. Businesses should do this by keeping demographics of a region in view. For instance, if you are planning to offer self-service in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, then offering just English and Arabic language alone will not do the job. Configure your self-service system to multiple languages to create convenience for a wide range of customers.
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