Customers today are accustomed to researching products and services quickly and easily prior to making purchase decisions. The ability to find reviews, testimonials, cost and quality comparisons, lifecycle expectations, and other product information is easier than ever.
It is after the sale that customer satisfaction sometimes takes a hit. The reasons for this dip in satisfaction are many, ranging from slow response times to customer queries and inability to resolve product questions in a timely manner to overly complicated steps needed to deploy and use the solution.
The self-service model of customer service can easily make these issues more frustrating for the customer, not less. Without a robust self-service platform that puts the right information in the right hands at the right time, customers might not engage and may ultimately churn.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Built well, a DIY model of customer service can offer a superior level of customer service that mirrors the ease and immediacy of information during the purchase process.
A well-built customer-centric self-help customer service platform has several characteristics that ensure success:
The self-help platform provides contextual search based on intelligent ticket routing, escalation, and distribution rules, and the automated surfacing of related tickets.
Intuitive user interface
The self-help platform requires an intuitive user interface. The smartest knowledge base in the world is no good if the average consumer has difficulty navigating through links to find an answer to their particular question.
Effective learning pathways
Creating a learning experience within the customer’s journey to resolve an issue or a question is a powerful opportunity to build loyalty, reduce churn, and add value to the brand reputation. The more product experts you can create among your customers, the higher their satisfaction will be.
Access to the right information
Access to the right information should be comprehensive. A customer query should generate not only direct answers but also correlated resources. From user manuals to how-to documents to videos and product updates, the customer will get more than answers—they’ll get actionable and highly relevant information.
Natural language search
Truly excellent self-help platforms offer sophisticated search that offers more than keywords or matching citations. Natural-language search empowers self-service customers (and agents) to search for knowledge base documents based on their own words. The system then captures the results according to a complex algorithm that ranks results based on intent.
Better, more accessible content
Capturing real-life customer help content (answers, queries, related articles, and how-tos) and making it available on a self-service site perpetuates and hones the knowledge over time, creating a rich library of resources to site visitors and an unparalleled customer experience.
To get and keep customers, companies need to implement highly intelligent, intuitive, and integrated product help experiences that mimic the ease of shopping and buying online. Readily available content and easy-to-use interfaces that are integrated into an automated customer service portal work to build an unstoppable customer service process that drives more loyalty and increases future revenue.
For more on effective customer service strategies, see 5 Ways Field Service Supports Top-Notch Customer Service.