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With the power of information on their fingertips and patience levels at an all time low, 50% of today’s customers want quick solutions and answers to their queries, reveals a global survey conducted by Zendesk. Now the question is, will businesses be able to cope up with the mounting challenge?

The first time companies made customers do certain tasks on their own was more than a decade ago. From penalties for not executing their bank transfers to interactive voice response services, businesses started taking certain tasks off their hands and made customers do it themselves. Fast forward 15 years, the situation has overturned and business that doesn’t have the option of self-service will have to bear the brunt of it.

Consumers now prefer a self-service solution along with the option of personalized service, if they require. This trend is expected to gain more traction over the coming years and beyond as service expectations grow. The following statistics are a live example of this trend-

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With this in mind lets dig deep and understand the real reasons why self-service is the only answer to changing customer service and customer experience landscape:

Quick Solution is Not an Option, But a Necessity

The consumers these days want their queries answered and their issues resolved at the drop of a hat, and they need all of that in pleasant and professional manner. The days of repeating your concern to five different people have long gone. The last thing customers want is to share the same piece of information twice or more. Also, it is no longer ‘OK’ to take 24-hours to respond to an email as most consumers expect to receive a response much sooner than that.

The only way for businesses to meet rising customer expectations is to give them the option of serving themselves. However, that doesn’t mean they will not require personalized services at all. If, for some reason, self-service is unable to deliver the required results, then personal contact is mandatory.

Virtual Assistant is the New Customer Support Agent

Consumers these days rely on Siri, Cortana or other virtual assistants on their smartphones to look for information quickly. These virtual agents deliver relevant and personalized answers to customer queries within seconds. Needless to say, users are now accustomed to using intelligent technologies and expect the same level of service with brands that they deal with.

Customers Expect Support that is Easy, Quick & Convenient

If studies are any indication, then the customers will go to the website to look for quick answers to their queries. They may also engage with useful video content to look for a rapid solution. Helpful videos such as tutorials, self-service “we-can-help-don’t-panic” guidance and video feedbacks are becoming increasingly popular as well as preferred by the users. Video content not only empowers users to resolve their issues on their own, but also encourages them to engage with the product. In this digital age, customers want prompt answers. Accurate, detailed and easy-to-find self-service videos will lead to improved customer experience.

Self-Service is a Win-Win Situation

When self-service was first introduced into customer support model, the businesses were looking for efficiency that involved users performing certain tasks on their own. However, today the self-service concept has reached a different level, meeting different set of expectations and a win-win situation. While the customers benefit from self-service model by improving their relationship with the brand, the organization is able to achieve efficiency and make greater returns by keeping the cost of service low.

According to many surveys, users still prefer to use self-service over speaking with customer service agents on the phone. The use of web-chat and mobile service channels is at an all time high. At the same time, other self-service communication channels such as online forums, communities, etc. have also increased. The customer’s need for accurate, relevant and quick solution makes it necessary for the businesses to meet these service standards if they want to prevent their precious patrons from going to someone who will.

Self-Service Customer Support: Tips to Do It Right

Integrating self-service into your existing customer service strategy is a fairly easy thing to do. Here are a few ways how you can implement customer self-service the right way.

Add an information section on the website

An easy way to allow your customers to self-serve themselves is to have a knowledge base or an FAQ section on your website with information about the issues that customers face in general. You can add a detailed step-by-step process to troubleshoot a particular problem with detailed screenshots/diagrams and share them on the website where every user can access it. You can also add articles, manuals, brochures, and organized documentation of the products and services that you offer so that your customers won’t have to call your agents to get the answer to simple service questions.

Design a comprehensive product training for customers

The training that your customer care representatives receive helps them immensely learn about your products and services. By learning in detail about how your processes and products work, representatives get a detailed understanding of the pain points your business addresses, what roadblocks that your customers face, and how to pitch the right product to match customer expectations. Training workshops greatly help your agents handle every type of customer they come across, and help enhance self-customer service, thus taking customer experience to new heights.

Ensure that the automation features are flexible and intuitive

Automation is essential to deliver exceptional customer service as it saves a significant amount of time for both the customer and the customer care executives. By using automation features like chatbots, you can enable your customers to find what they are looking for without them having to go through the time-consuming process of contacting the representatives and then waiting to get their queries resolved. An important thing to keep in mind when it comes to customer-facing automation is that all the features that are offered need to be adaptable to customer requirements and intuitive. It should also bring forth a flexible platform for self-help customer service in which customers can make inquiries through various channels and receive the answers accordingly.

Incorporate escalation options in the chatbots

Although chatbots are a great way to ensure customers get their queries resolved faster and on their own, it could pose a major problem as most chatbots fail to offer escalation options during the customer interaction. Usually, customers have to make a call to the support line to get in touch with a service representative and escalate their issues if the chatbot couldn’t handle their queries. This isn’t very good for a seamless customer workflow, especially when they need a quick resolution to a particular query. Therefore, integrating escalation options within the chatbot can make your customer self-service more valuable.

<h2>Conclusion</h2>

Modern-day customers aren’t just ready for self-service customer support, they are in fact expecting it from their service providers. The above-mentioned strategies and tips can help you deliver customer self-service options in the right way enabling your customers to resolve their issues on their own without depending on your team of customer care representatives. This will reduce the bulk of the calls that your team handles on a daily basis while keeping your customers happy.