Customer Self-Service - Getting It Right

Customer self-service has become ubiquitous in our lives. Many of us use self-checkout kiosks at grocery stores, pump our own petrol (not much choice there) and use online banking all the time. Johan Jacobs, a former research director with Gartner, provides tips on how to businesses can get it right in his short eBook published by Moxie called "Self-Service Your Customers Will Love".

Understanding self-service

Johan starts by asking us to clearly differentiate between the transactional aspect of self-service and the support aspect of self-service. Johan rightly points out where self-service support is needed the most - for customers who know about the self-service option and have used it once or twice [or about to use it for the first time]. In the grocery store scenario, it would be walking up to the self-checkout kiosk, and not wanting to look like a Luddite when something "goes wrong". A friendly human on standby can be quite reassuring and helpful.

Supporting self-service

Whether in the physical or digital realm (or both), there's many times when we try to fix something ourselves, spend hours on search engines, only to come up empty-handed and frustrated. Self-service doesn't have to be like this, at least when it comes to your business.

"Self-Service Your Customers Will Love" says ditch the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for the following:

  • How-To Videos - Guide the customer visually with voice prompts and clear steps to achieve their goals.
  • Web Chat - Text engagement with live customer support.
  • Email Response Management - Auto-prepare the responses but have service representatives review and edit before sending it to the customer.
  • Collaborative Browsing - Use screen sharing live with a customer to resolve problems and have a person-to-person interactive experience.
  • Social Customer Service - Support customers via Facebook, Twitter, forums and other social media networks.
  • Peer-To-Peer Communities - Sometimes your best customers are your best customer support agents. Use well-moderated forums and crowdsourced knowledgebases.
  • SMS & Apps - Integrate SMS, apps and mobile-friendly websites seamlessly, providing relevant links to guide and support self-service use.

Finally, at every stage of a customer's journey through your product, service, app or website, ensure that it's easy and simple to get help - and offer them multiple ways to do so. Customers may prefer some methods over others and in differing circumstances.

Team Wired can help you navigate the potential minefield of implementing seamless customer self-service and support across your enterprise. Speak to us today - we can help to create and maintain the best experience for your customers.

Photo credit: Flickr/oatsy40. Research credit: Self-Service Your Customers Will Love, Johan Jacobs, GoMoxie.Com