Before the digital age, the key to keeping customers happy was “service with a smile.” Nowadays, customers are more likely to skip the human interaction and opt for self-service, finding solutions from their phones and laptops. When they’re successful, 65% say they feel good about themselves and the company they’re doing business with, according to research from Aspect.
Today, providing seamless self-service is fundamental to a great customer experience. Nearly 3 out of 4 customers actually prefer solving issues themselves. And besides that, self-service can be hugely beneficial to a company. It reduces customers’ reliance on human support, which frees your team up to focus on other priorities. Let’s dig into the benefits.
5 Major Benefits of Self-Service
Giving customers direct access to self-service resources is a smart move for many reasons.
1. Customers enjoy more convenience.
Most self-service resources, like a customer knowledge base, are available 24/7. Customers can access info online, anytime, from wherever they are. If they have a question at 3am on Saturday, they have a place to go. That empowers customers to use your products and services more often, because they know they a route to help is there if they need it.
2. It eases your team’s workload.
Each time a customer solves an issue on their own, it’s one less question your customer support team has to handle. Over time, that adds up. Customers turn to self-service resources more and more and scale back their reliance on email, phone, and chat support.
3. Customer support can pivot to a proactive mentality.
When your support team is freed up from handling basic issues, they have space to focus on delivering major value in other ways. For example, they can feed the case deflection machine by creating new self-service resources or spend more time helping at-risk customers who need extra attention.
4. Customers get more personalized service.
Regardless of how great your self-service resources are, customers will always have questions. But as more customers seek out answers themselves and case volume decreases, those customers in need benefit too. Support can give them high-quality, personalized service that sets them up for success.
5. Customer satisfaction increases, as do your profits.
As self-service resources grow and support quality increases, customers receive better support and get issues solved faster. That ultimately drives customer satisfaction, which positively impacts your bottom line. McKinsey found that companies with above-average customer satisfaction scores see four times as much growth as those with below-average scores.
It seems like a no-brainer. Lower support costs + happier customers = better business. But many companies struggle to prioritize self-service because resources are slim or they’re not convinced it’s worth the time and effort. Will customers even use these tools? How will we know they’re working?
What they don’t realize is that a self-service program can grow gradually. And launching one doesn’t have to be a massive project. Offering a basic customer knowledge base is a great start. Next week, we’ll discuss the qualities of an effective knowledge base and share some tips on launching or improving your existing one.
For now, take some time to look at how your customers are engaging with you now. If your agents find themselves continually answering the same basic questions or directing customers to articles that need a refresh, it’s probably time to focus on your self-service strategy. When it’s done well, support can focus on laying the foundation for healthier customer relationships rather than fighting fires.