Top 5 features to Look For in a Customer Support Self-Service Solution

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Swati Kungwani

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: February 17, 2021

Towards a new way of delivering customer support and service!

In the era of technological advancements, we breathe the Internet! The influence of smartphones and fast connectivity is seen in every aspect of our lives. That’s why no business can afford to ignore it. A company’s ultimate success depends on its customer relationship management. Providing excellent customer service is an open-secret to earn customer loyalty. With the increasing options to interact with customers, it’s getting difficult for the companies to streamline their internal processes.

What do the customers want?

A very big question with no definite answer! Unlike the older times, the new-age customers have a higher level of expectations. They want quicker, accurate, convenient and collaborative support. In a nutshell, the modern generation expects an independent and self-controlled service. Making them wait for calls or email responses is a thing of past. It can only lead a company to lose customers to its competitors.

The customers wish to be valued, answered and get their problems fixed at the earliest and in the most satisfactory way. And, this can be really tough for the companies! A survey suggests that 70% of the customers expect a company to have a self-service solution for them. They expect this self-service channel to be a one-stop solution.

What do the companies seek?

The answer is given in one word – Profits! Every organisation runs to earn profits and grow their business. That’s why they depend on their customers’ continued association. A company aims for effective processes and efficient employees to achieve the expected outcome. For a company to realize its business goals, it is necessary to invest in the right direction. It will help their employees to be highly productive.

How can companies balance the customer expectations, employee efficiency, and profit figures?  

As per the Glance report, 91% of customers facing a bad customer experience was not willing to do business with that company again.

It can be quite tricky to manage customers. It can take up a lot of resources, time and efforts to do it. Though it is all worth to focus on customer service, it is wiser to implement cost-effective and result-oriented solutions. Or, we should say, it’s better to allow them to help themselves. ‘Self-Service’ is the ideal way to hit the ball in the right direction. The web and mobile application based self-service allow micromanaging your customers.

Self-service solutions have gained a huge popularity over assisted service. It works in a company’s favor to create self-service channels for their customers. Not only it is useful for the customers but also it eases the load of employees. It gives a greater experience to the customers as they are in full-control to do things on their own. On the other side, these apps free up employee time.

Let us explore the top 5 features of Self-Service Solution-

  • Knowledge Base

Knowledgebase and FAQ section is helpful for a customer looking to fix an issue, seeking a piece of information or help while shopping. Unlike the static questions, a self-service solution must contain a dynamic, content-rich and a comprehensive knowledge base. Based on the analysis of common and repetitive queries, a robust knowledgebase should be available to the customers via the self-service channel. It can also contain step-by-step tutorials and videos to demonstrate certain procedures.

The company should keep updating this knowledge base at regular intervals. The back-office executives should update it using the data collected from interactions. It will reduce the number of direct calls to the support staff. The customers will get a clear help when they want without communicating with the staff. The company can also use this knowledge base can to train their new employees.

  • Account Management

The customers should be able to manage their requests, personal info and track the status. The self-service solution should capture the details and interactions in a centralized manner. It should allow customers to set their preferences, notifications and sharing the information. For instance, a customer should need no help to sign in, password reset, change in address, and change in delivery time or making a special request.

Another important part of account management is the online payment. As the world goes mobile, nobody prefers to stay in queues or go to a particular place to pay their bills. A self-service solution must have a secured payment gateway. It should allow customers to complete their order or pay for their service from the app. They can save their card or bank details and process their order/request seamlessly.

  • Chat Support

Yes, we are talking about self-service, but we should not forget a little human touch doesn’t hurt! In fact, it can make things better. The customers want to do it all on their own. But, there may be instances when they are unable to proceed or they are unsure about a certain query. There comes the role of chat agents or virtual chat assistants. Chatbots have become quite a rage. But, human agents serving confused customers are a better option.

A self-service solution should provide a chat option and other contact points like email, call or redirecting to a website. It will ensure that a customer is attended by all means. Whenever there is a high-level query or issue, they can connect with the executives. Also, as the information is synchronized, the agent will have complete details beforehand. This would ultimately help to address the concern quick.

  • Personalised Promotions

Like a company wants the bespoke software to match their business processes, a customer expects personalized products and offers. A self-service solution should have the capability to collect and use the data. This is to offer personalized services and recommendations. For example, Amazon uses a customer’s order history to suggest a re-purchase or more products buy along. Or, a service company sending a timely reminder for maintenance based on the last service.

Personalised marketing always wins over mass marketing. As the market offers so many options, customers have become choosy. The companies can use self-service solution to understand their needs. And, then offer those services and promotions that they can’t refuse! It will also open doors to upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

  • User Interface and Design

One of the most important things to remember is – a self-service solution should be user-friendly for one and all. A company deals with a wide range of customers. They are having different education and understanding levels. They might use a variety of devices to access the app. For instance, it makes no sense if a customer has to contact the support agent repeatedly to understand the usability of the self-service application. A complex self-service app would only be a waste of money!

The self-service solution should be easily navigable. It should provide options for predictive and guided search. The interface should be crisp and clear for all devices. Also, it should allow single sign-on to use every module and retrieve results. It should also reflect your organisation’s branding to create a lasting impression. Like iTouchVision’s self-service solution provides configurability options to help your customers as well as replicate your workflows.

Self-Service for now and the future!

Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.

Kevin Stirtz

According to Statista’s forecast, the mobile app ecosystem witnessed a tremendous growth. The number of app downloads increased to 197 billion in 2017 compared to 149 billion in 2016. It is going to be fruitful for the companies to accept the change of pace in customer service. The demand for self-service solutions will further increase as more people across the globe get used to the smartphones.

To begin with, an organisation should consider the design and usability of the self-service solution to match their customer base. Next, they should develop a seamlessly integrated platform and make it available for the users. The self-service solution should ease the work of customer support team, empower the customers to help themselves and provide a medium to increase sales and retention.

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Swati Kungwani is the Business Analyst and Content Manager for iTouchVision , a UK-based customer service platform. She specialises in customer experience management and driving new customer initiatives.

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