It’s a customer-centric world, and your customers are increasingly turning to self-service options first when they require tech support. In fact, according to Forrester’s North American Technographics Customer Experience Online Survey, a whopping 72% of customers prefer to resolve support issues on their own, rather than picking up the phone or sending an email.
Does this mean your call center is obsolete? No. In a world where customers solve their own support issues, your call center – and your call center systems and software – must be smarter and more efficient than ever.
The game has changed; and now, in addition asking yourself, “How can I prepare my agents to resolve issues more effectively?”, it is essential that you also ask, “How can I best equip my customers to solve issues themselves?”
Boosting customer satisfaction with an effective self-service tech support strategy is as easy as following four simple steps.
- Identify your key use cases.
Start by identifying the most common and easy-to-solve tech support requests. Give your customers tools to solve those simple issues on their own. Are username and password requests inundating your call center? Automate this solution through your website and make sure it is clear and easy to find. Think about how self-service options can reduce the load on your call center and close current service gaps.
Reassure customers that these new self-service options will empower them to make their lives better by solving their problems more quickly. Let them know that you’ve invested in providing self-service support options because you care about their experience.
- Choose your paths wisely.
Once you’ve determined the support issues you’re going to target with self-service, the next step is determining which support path is most effective and useful for your customers. Your online support center should be full of useful information; it’s up to you to define the most appropriate format. Possible self-service support portals include:
- Knowledge Bases include articles and instructions sponsored, written, and posted by your company.
- FAQs are user-friendly lists of questions your customers are likely to ask. Making sure this page is relevant and organized will go a long way towards making your customers happy.
- Communities and Forums enable discussions written and promoted by customers, for customers. Networking with other users is a good way to find a solution to a problem others have already resolved.
- Online Chat agents help customers find the solutions they need in the online support center. Though online chat does require a level of support from agents, it can be more efficient and automated than a traditional call center.
Regardless of format, self-service support is not a “one-size-fits-all-customers” solution. Even if your customer-facing documentation is excellent, it will not resolve all problems for all customers.
- Create a seamless customer experience.
Customers demand a consistent and expedient experience, especially when they’re going through the effort of solving their problems on their own. Call center agents need to know that callers have likely done some degree of self-service support before picking up the phone. Will they be ready to pick up the support experience where the customer left off?
Ensuring that agents have access to key customer, device, and service information, as well as the steps that the customer may have already taken to troubleshoot their particular issue, will go a long way toward providing the best possible customer experience.
- Standardize service delivery.
Support Interaction Optimization (SIO) solutions integrate self-service solutions with guided resolution software tools so that call centers can optimize delivery, minimize training times, and control costs.
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