A study by Aberdeen group found that organizations that implemented customer self-service programs ranked higher as compared to non-users in the below areas:
- Customer Effort Score
- Website Conversion Rate
- Customer Retention
- Average Profit Margin per Customer
- Improvement in Average Cost per Customer Contract
Groundbreaking…isn’t it? Not really. After all, these are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that most companies have in mind when shifting to more of a self-service strategy.
However, in order to achieve this level of success, it is critical for businesses to set up a comprehensive self-service plan with the right blend of technological capabilities. This article highlights the 5 most important capabilities to make your self-service program a success.
The rapid evolution of smartphones has given the power to consumers to decide when and where they want to do business with a company. And just as with any other channel, they want the experience to be seamless and engaging on mobile devices as well. Adopting a mobile-first customer service mindset is essential for companies to gain a competitive edge in the market.
QR codes are one way that companies are using a mobile self-service strategy. Amazon, for example, uses QR codes to help customers process a return directly from their phone. Instead of navigating to their app, finding the product, and the finding the button to return the product, you can just snap the QR code and the application takes you directly to the returns page. Although it may not seem much easier, it removes at least 2 steps for the customer. These small efficiencies all contribute to the cutting-edge user experience that Amazon has built its competitive advantage around.
Another very innovative self-service feature available on mobiles is “Voice Search” that allows users to use Google Search by speaking on a mobile phone. Whether trying to find out the best Chinese restaurant in the area or wanting to know the capital of Finland, voice search has definitely brought an ease for people to find answers to their queries in a matter of seconds.
Out of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day, almost a third of those are voice searches- TheeDesign
Prominent “Search” Functionality
A prominently visible search box is pivotal for customers to easily find their answers through specific keywords and phrases. The search field should be easy-to-use and guide the user to the desired results as no one wants to walk through hundreds of pages to find an answer.
As per a Software Advice survey, 31% of consumers get frustrated if they have to search for something for as little as 5 minutes.
Some best practices to improve “Search” results include:
- Doing a periodic review of all knowledge base articles
- Improving your articles based on customer’s feedback
- Monitoring the searches made by the customers to fill the content gaps for keywords that don’t have matching results
- Keeping the customer’s journey in mind while drafting any article. Make sure the customer finds the solution he is looking for and doesn’t make an exit in between or feel the need to go back to “Search” tab and type the query again.
AI-Powered Customer Experience
AI in customer experience has started demonstrating value throughout the customer journey. Businesses can now automate conversations that they never thought was possible and turn complex processes into effortless self-service experiences for customers. The two major capabilities of AI- Chatbots and Machine Learning give it a massive power to multi-task, offer personalized and automated responses to support queries 24*7 and speed up ticket resolution time by recognizing patterns and learning basic human-like behaviors.
A self-service system integrated with AI can:
- Identify customers’ issues and resolve them before they arrive
- Define the trends and patterns of customer behavior
- Determine the preferences and next possible actions of customers
- Offer suitable solutions to customers’ needs
- Send proactive alerts
- Suggest personalized offers
- Provide real-time support
- Lower customer complaints
The implication of Chatbots in managing customer engagement is undeniable. Historically, Chatbots had the reputation of answering only common queries that were already available via FAQs. But as mentioned in the point above, today’s intelligent Chatbots (thanks to machine learning and improved data) are capable of doing anything from product research, making personalized product recommendations to completing sales transactions.
Companies are now well aware that if they get this functionality right, it will lead to an unprecedented increase in customer loyalty and satisfaction. Given the revolutionary nature of Chatbots, even Facebook integrated it to enable businesses to deliver automated customer support, content and interactive experiences. Moreover customer service Chatbots can work throughout the day without taking breaks, across channels.
So, What would you choose- longer hold times, repetitive phone calls and human errors OR Chatbots to get it right every time?
With the advent of Self-service analytics, business users can analyze a large amount of data effectively and reveal patterns and insights, all without the need of trained data professionals or data scientists. With the help of powerful and easy-to-handle analytics, businesses can identify gaps in order to improve customer experiences. For instance- if multiple users are asking similar questions regarding your payment page, it indicates that the current format is confusing them and needs improvement.
Adoption of these self-service capabilities will help businesses differentiate their customer experiences and reduce cost-to-serve by delivering personalized and consistent experiences ; allowing individuals to complete transactions and solve problems in their moment of need.
Self-Service is the reality of the present. Your customers have already Embraced it and you can’t Deny it.