4 Benefits and 3 Challenges of Self-Service Customer Support - Talkdesk - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Self-service customer support has been a major part of the recent transformation of the company-customer relationship. The modern customer expects a personalized experience when they reach out to businesses. This not only means that they want companies to know their account details, it also means that they want companies to be available on the channel that is most convenient to them at any given time.
For this reason, many forward-thinking businesses are investing in omnichannel customer service strategies. The beauty of omnichannel is that companies can choose which channels they think will best meet their customers’ needs. Self-service is a common support channel found in omnichannel strategies for a variety of reasons.
The go-to self-service channel is the company website. Self-service can take many forms. For B2C companies, FAQ sections may suffice. Other businesses may invest in developing a Knowledge Base. Another route that might be more appropriate for B2B companies would be a self-service portal.
In this post we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of self-service customer support from both the company and customer perspective.
The Company Perspective
For any service channel to be effective, it must have buy-in from the business end. Here are a few of the considerations companies may have before investing in self-service:
1. Reduces costs of maintaining a contact center
There are very few instances in which self-service acts as a standalone customer support offering. In general, it is used in conjunction with other customer support channels. Implementing self-service eases the ticket burden of other channels because it enables customers to resolve their issues on their own.
The beauty of self-service portals is that they do not require a team of trained agents. Once they are established, they simply need to be maintained. This means that companies need fewer agents to provide the same quality of service. That can represent significant savings.
2. Enables customer service representatives to specialize
Self-service customer support is excellent at handling simple problems. This means that customers who have more complex problems reach out via different channels. Customer support agents can therefore invest more time and energy in helping the customers who have more advanced needs.
1. Requires regular updates
The purpose of self-service is to provide quick and easy answers. Those who seek out these answers are likely to be annoyed if there is missing or incorrect information in the database. This means that self-service interfaces must be regularly updated. Companies must invest in hiring a team to do these updates.
2. Lacks a personal touch
For many consumers, customer support is their main interaction with companies after the sale is made. For this reason, customer service has become a loyalty battleground, with each company trying to outserve the others. When customers leverage self-service, it is not as easy to “wow” them. The best strategy is effortlessness and that may not lead to the same positive word-of-mouth that delight does.
The Customer Perspective
For any channel strategy to work, it must be supported and used by customers. Self-service has its share of upsides and downside that companies should weigh before implementing it.
Self-service is inherently user-friendly because it eliminates the middleman. It allows customers to find and consume information at their own pace. It can be great for explanations that require huge amounts of text or extensive images.
2. Always available
Since self-service offerings don’t require staff (other than for maintenance, as mentioned above), they are accessible at any time. This gives customers the ability to engage with support at any time that suits them.
Poorly implemented self-service customer support can be tremendously irritating. If not done well, self-service portals may be difficult to navigate or even provide the wrong answers. They may be full of confusing language or dead ends. Worst of all, frustration from customers may mount if they feel they do not have other options for handling their problems.
The choice to implement a self-service policy is significant in the life of your business. If done correctly, it can be a great step towards embracing omnichannel service and meeting the demands of the always-connected consumer.
Publish Date: August 9, 2016 5:00 AM
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