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The next best customer care is self-service

Issac Thomas

April 5, 202310 min read

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81% of customers resolve their issues themselves before contacting an agent, as per a Harvard study. Why go through the hassle of going through a customer care call when you can fix the problem yourself?

Due to this very reason, self-service customer support has become a favorite option among customers. Moreover, service leaders agree 40% of customer complaints could be resolved through self-service options.

Not every customer is looking for an agent to resolve their issues; neither does every problem need an agent's intervention. Get an insight into the channels your customers prefer and guide them toward solutions by building an online customer self-service system as a part of your customer service strategy.

The best customer care is no care

More than 95% of customers will reach out to your competitors after just one bad experience. Knowing the art of serving your customers can help elevate your brand to cult status.

When does it happen?

When your customer doesn't have to call you ever due to problems with your product or service, sounds visionary. With the right technology and tools, you can achieve it.

That’s what Amazon did. They realized customers would await their package eagerly once they placed their order. So, instead of keeping their customers restless, Amazon enabled their users to track their packages. They went beyond and would proactively send customers timely updates on where the order was to ensure the customer stayed informed and calm.

If you want to serve customers like Amazon does, process the vast amount of customer data. Analyze it to figure out possible issues and engage proactively with your customers to eliminate them before they even reach out to you.

Have your ears on your audience's pulse and ensure you don’t skip a heartbeat.

How do you do that?

Leverage AI-powered social listening to discover what your customers and prospects are saying about your products and services. In their conversations, find out the scope for improvement, market trend and other customer pain points.

Customers prefer self-service

The next best customer care is a self-service experience where customers can easily help themselves. People prefer solving their issues independently — as long as doing so is simple — rather than engaging with a customer call service representative.

Have you ever been late and had a self-service kiosk save you from missing your flight?

Self-service kiosks speed up the process before boarding a flight, making life at the airport easy. Customers don't have to stand in long queues, and the staff doesn't have to spend their time doing basic tasks. It’s a win-win.

Many organizations are deploying self-service tools to reduce their cost per contact.

According to Forrester, chatting with a live agent costs $6-12 per interaction, whereas automated interactions cost a mere 25 cents. Your ROI lies in customer satisfaction and agent productivity.

Organizations don’t want their agents to be bogged down by routine queries. The customer gets a set of tools and resources to resolve a particular set of queries through customer self service software.

But what does self-service mean in the context of customer journey and experience?

What does customer self-service mean?

Self-service is an intelligent, quick, efficient, and primarily autonomous service system made to help customers with their queries without the intervention of a human agent.

Kiosks, as mentioned above, are one of the best customer self-service examples. Customers could carry out processes without human intervention at the airport. These solutions are the foundation of modern chatbots, which offer customers instant responses.

Customer Experience is broken. Learn how to bridge CX gaps using AI and automation

Why is customer self-service important?

Living in times when an IVR system with its exhaustive menu would frustrate a customer. Imagine you call customer care and need an instant response.

Instead, you hear press 1, press 2 and press 3. Your first thought would be, “Can I get a solution here? Why are they wasting my time?”

As we said, customers require tools and information to resolve their queries. When they get in touch with you, they want a faster response.

Build a customer self-service strategy to create a proactive customer care experience!

45% of companies that included self-service in their CX strategy saw fewer call inquiries and happier agents. You cut contact center costs and provide better CX.

What are you waiting for, then? Introduce Kiosks and let your customers catch their flight on time! There are organizations who have already started doing that.

Why should you provide customer self-service?

Deploying self-service tools in your customer service strategy leads to three major benefits :-

1. Low cost per contact and high CSAT

If a customer self-service platform is not deployed, this is how the journey of a query looks:

  1. The customer visits a website and goes to the support page.

  2. The customer would call customer care.

  3. The customer waits for the call to get answered.

  4. The customer explains their problem to the agent.

  5. The call gets transferred to the related department.

  6. The customer repeats their query again.

When every query goes through such a long process, it adds to the support costs and decreases your CSAT due to the delayed resolution of queries.

When you deploy a self-help center, you shorten the resolution journey and it looks like this:

  1. The customer visits the website.

  2. A chatbot responds and asks if they need any help.

  3. Customer enters their query.

  4. The chatbot forwards a relevant knowledge base article to resolve the issue.

Fewer steps, and instant resolution. Isn’t it fantastic! Your CSAT spikes up and the best part is you don’t need an agent, leading to a reduction in cost per contact.

2. Lesser resolution time, better CX

The right answer to a customer query is only a part of customer service. The timing of the resolution matters too!

Gartner found that 70% of customers use self-service channels at some stage of their resolution journey. Resolutions that involve time-consuming live interactions (even at just one step in the resolution journey) can cost businesses 80 to 100 times more than a self-service fix.

Self-serve tools in a customer self service platform leverage natural language processing (NLP) to analyze customer queries and understand their intent. It, in turn, helps them provide the best results instantly. This leads to lesser resolution time as your customers don’t have to depend on agent activity.

AI is available 24/7, giving instant responses to customer queries. So, unless a problem is too complex, you don’t need to put a customer on hold, leading to better CX.

3. Happier agents = profitable contact center

74% of contact center agents said that their experiences impact CX as well. It means there is a correlation between employee and customer experience.

Now, you might ask, what is the relationship between self-service and agent experience?

Well, when customer self-service software handles a significant amount of routine queries, it means fewer of those reach contact center agents.

Agents work on more meaningful and complex customer queries when basic problems are filtered out.

Customer service doesn’t look monotonous, and the agents feel more engaged and satisfied. When the agents are happier, they give their best, leading to more delighted customers and profitable contact centers.

A four-step approach to use conversational AI bots for boosting CSAT

Examples of how companies are using self-service channels effectively:

Organizations across the globe have been deploying self-service tools to help their customers resolve their queries. Here are three major self-serve tools companies are leveraging to make CX experiences better.

1. Conversational AI and chatbots

Chatbots help customers with self-service options. Users get instant answers without any intervention from human agents. These chatbots leverage the power of Natural Language Processing (NLP) to develop a self-service ecosystem for customers.

Example: Sprinklr

Image showcasing a conversational AI chatbot as Acme wireless assistant helping a customer.

2. Voice bot

A bot is an automated solution made to interact with users as a conversational partner and is capable of resolving more than 70% of customer queries.

Bots handle simple questions through chat navigating customers to FAQs and knowledge bases. They perform simple and repetitive tasks efficiently.

Example: Sprinklr

Voice Assistant in Spanish - here

Image showcasing a conversation between a voice assistant and a customer.

3. Knowledge base

A knowledge base is nothing but having a library of content assets that address customer queries explaining your product and offerings and how to use them. Spotify has one of the best knowledge bases among brands.

Not only is it visually appealing, but its UI is straightforward. A user gets a prominent search bar with some top questions directly visible in the section. Questions are broken down into navigable buckets with links to specific topics.

Because most users use Spotify on their smartphones, having such a simple and accessible UI is necessary. Spotify understands its users and uses this knowledge to serve its customers better.

Example: Spotify

Image showcasing knowledge base of Spotify.

Apart from deploying self-service tools, companies are leveraging content marketing and community building to help their customers through these three ways.

a) Product training videos

Videos are an integral part of customer self-service. They are one of the most preferred content types as they are easy to consume. Customer support teams are understanding how impactful videos could be in building customer engagement.

To build a personal touch across the customer life cycle, and assist users with getting the best out of your product, product training videos need to be a part of your self-service strategy.

Example: Adobe

 Image showcasing Adobe's creative cloud tutorials.

b) FAQ page

Certain questions are asked by customers repeatedly. Bring them together and create a frequently asked questions and answers page. You save time, and resources doing so and amplify the customer experience in the process as they get the info they need from just one source.

Example: Youtube

Image showcasing FAQs on Youtube

YouTube's FAQ page is clean, fresh, simple to use and provides access to the most commonly asked "help" topics.

c) Community forum

Community forums assist like-minded people to come together and engage on different topics. In fact, if you want to build a brand, build a community.

People using your products and services can interact with each other regularly. And experienced users can help customers who are using your products for the first time.

Example: Google

Image showcasing Google account help community

Source

With so many self-serve tools, does that mean voice calls are losing their importance? Let’s find out.

Voice care should complement your self-service

Email, live chat, chatbots, and an ever-expanding array of social media platforms offer efficient alternatives to voice conversations.

Interestingly, these are becoming your customers’ preferred channels — not only for initiating customer service queries but also for resolving them.

Meanwhile, the existing contact center market remains dominated mainly by legacy voice-based vendors that prioritize the IVR call center and are incentivized to ignore this fundamental truth: your customers do not want to call you.

But still, voice calls are on top of the hierarchy of customer support. They are necessary, especially while resolving more complex issues. Remember, when a customer picks up the phone for assistance, chances are high that they’ve already reached out to you over other channels first.

You need to ensure that customer interactions with your voice team are personalized and reflect prior or concurrent interactions on other channels — and that your agents are empowered to solve issues in the first voice interaction.

You will always want to talk to an agent while facing complex queries. And there are certainly some customers for whom voice remains their preferred channel, irrespective of the issue. Meeting modern customer expectations means meeting all of your customer’s expectations and not just prioritizing one preference at the expense of others.

Discover how Sprinklr Voice offers everything you need in a contact center solution. With it, leverage the benefits of customer self-service portals like ACD, IVR, speech analytics, automated quality and workforce management. Al. You also get the advantages of a unified contact center solution to build a seamless agent and customer experience.

The best contact center strategies will evolve holistically, encompassing new technological advances and diverse customer preferences. They will use a single unified contact center solution to support different customer channels.

Customers keep switching between channels during their resolution journey. As an organization, you must ensure you deliver a seamless omnichannel customer experience every time they reach out to you.

Start your free trial of Sprinklr Service

Find out how Sprinklr helps businesses deliver a premium experience on 13+ channels, using foundational AI so you can listen, route, resolve, and measure — across the customer experience.

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