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Customer Self-Service: What is It, Examples, and Tips

The heart of any business is customers. But not just customers, but happy customers. Who are they? Satisfied clients are loyal ones that will stay with you and make your business profitable. But here comes the main challenge. How to make your customers satisfied and just... happy? The answer is simple - customer self-service.

As we all know, today, consumers are very demanding. They want their issues to be solved instantly, just right now and not an hour later. They expect a company to listen to each of their needs promptly, and if you won't — they will leave.

Luckily, there is a solution for this problem called customer self-service. In our article, we will speak of the five most common types of customer self-service and describe the benefits they can bring to your business. Just keep on reading.

What is Customer Self-Service

Self-customer service is the ability to provide support to the customers without involving a support agent. To put it simply, clients bypass human assistance and find the solution themselves.

Today, such a type of support is a must to provide a positive and seamless customer experience. What's more, 70% of buyers expect to see online customer self-service on a company's website.

The most widespread customer self-service examples are FAQs, knowledge base, chatbots, IVR, and online forums or portals. However, that is not a complete list of them. In our article, we will tell you about the five most common self-service channels and how they can help you boost your business.

Customer self-service options

Here are the most common customer self-service examples to describe.

What is a customer self-service portal

If your customers have issues with your product or service, the chances are high that the other clients have already had a similar problem. What's more, people tend to trust other people's experiences more than your support agents, no matter whether your agents understand your service and how it works better. That is why a community forum or portal is one of the self-service options for customers to receive the needed help from their peers.

Knowledge base and FAQ

The knowledge base is a collection of completely free information on your product. It may include different types of data: video tutorials, articles, user guides, graphics, and other content to help your customers troubleshoot their problems.

Frequently asked questions or simply FAQ is a valuable section, as it gives brief answers to the most asked questions. However, your knowledge base and FAQ section need to be accessible and searchable so that customers can easily find what they need.

Mobile app

It is crucial to have a mobile app in the digital era we live in. The truth is that people do not want to make calls and speak with customer representatives anymore. And mobile apps can help your customers find the needed answers on the go. Just make sure your app is well-organized and user-friendly for self-service customer support.

Chatbots plus AI

Chatbot, the computer software with AI onboard that simulates human conversation, is a must in today's world. Why? Just because your customers may lack patience and time to search for the solution to their problem.

Did you know that from more than 70% of customers who search online to find the answer to their question, only half of them are ready to spend more than 10 minutes on that search? In this case, chatbots can easily engage with your customers and answer whatever question they have.

Automated phone systems

Not every customer is willing to talk to a customer representative to solve their problem. That is why you have to offer them an alternative like an automated menu system. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can quickly assist them in accessing the needed information.

Self customer service faq

Benefits of customer self-service: Why Should Provide?

Reduced customer frustration

It is no secret that most customers get frustrated when purchasing a product and do not know how to use it. Sometimes this results in negative reviews and feedback, which other customers can see. Having different types of customer self-service is a great way to get rid of customer frustration as it gives a customer an easy way to solve their problems before they decide to provide you with negative feedback.

Besides, if customers' issues are solved fast, they won't even think of giving your bad reviews, and thus their frustration won't become severe. What is more, instant help can transform their initial frustration into satisfaction. And that is what you are looking for, aren't you?

Reduced support workload

Your customer support service and your agents have lots of work. That is why allowing your customers to self-serve takes a burden from your shoulders, as well as reduces your agents' workload drastically. In turn, your agents can focus on more important tasks that bring more value to the business.

Instead of calling your agents all day long, customers can check the status of their requests on the self customer service portal. This will save your agents' time on tackling the same issues over and over again, which can significantly reduce their productivity along with morale.

Reduce spending

Do you know what will help you meet your customers' expectations while saving your money and time? Sure, that is a self-service system, again. Unfortunately, your customers don't pay you for each interaction; however, you need to pay salaries to your agents for their time. An excellent self-service system can help you kill two birds with one stone and create a more satisfied clientele and a time-effective workforce.

Tips for Implementing Customer Self-Service

Update your content from time to time

Content is the most valued in customer service as it helps you unload your sales team and show responses to common customer questions. As a result, no one imagines good self-help customer service without articles, videos, screenshots, etc. So, we suggest providing a content review to track any changes in your product or service specifications, interface, and more. Consequently, regular refreshes mean you are active and have a better customer experience without mismatch.

Use multimedia as often as you can

A well-known fact that videos, images, and audio are the best way for perception for most people. So, there's no need for a long explanation of why you need to add videos to your articles. By the way, it is another option for clients to learn how to use your product or service.

Make your self customer service easy to use

Put yourself in your buyer's shoes or create a short questionnaire for clients to know what roadblocks they faced while searching for a solution. Also, create a simple yet appealing help center, forum, or customer self-service software for better customer satisfaction.

Create mobile-friendly self-service customer support

Fit your self-service portal to any device for buyers to resolve their issues on the go. It seems obvious, however, according to Statista 54% of all traffic comes from mobile devices. Wow! Do you still have any doubts about that?

Emphasize the most common requests

At first, identify the most common reasons your buyers contact customer service representatives. Then, put the links to similar articles everywhere possible. In particular, share your article on home pages, product descriptions, or directly inside the product as we did. Case in point, Growthdot adds links to the most popular articles directly in the Email Tracking app, as shown on the screenshot below.

Customer Self Service ET

Another example is a Welcome page of the Proactive Campaigns app, which was made for quick access to the Knowledge base and video library.

Customer self service PC

Best Customer Self-Service Examples

If you are using Zendesk, you can opt for Zendesk Suite, an ultimate software for customer self-service. It has everything you need for efficient work:

  • AI-based chatbots;
  • The ability for fast messaging;
  • A fully-integrated help center.

With Zendesk Suite, your customers will be able to find answers to any question they may have easily. It also helps improve the productivity of your workforce with a comfortable agent workspace where they can easily trace and prioritize the customers' requests.

Zendesk Suite is customizable software that allows you to create user-friendly portals and receive analytics to help you properly update your self-service tools. But, of course, if you can't customize Zendesk yourself to use it at its full potential, you can always ask for the professional help from experts in the field.

Summing Up

Today's market offers plenty of self-service tools for businesses that can help you make your customers happy and loyal. What is more, you can find the optimal fit for almost any support channel you use — mobile apps help those who prefer mobile space, knowledge bases, and FAQs take care of web users. Chatbots can be an ideal fit for social media. IVR system will efficiently deal with those who like calling and need round-the-clock support.

What is more, when used together, these self-help technologies can allow your customers to find the necessary information fast and however, they like. They also help save costs by dedicating your workforce to more critical tasks. All these make self-service tools worth exploring and adding to your business strategy. So, if you still haven't tried them out, now it is about time.

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