Reduce Costs and Agent Workload with Self-Service Portals  

Sprinklr Team

May 20, 20243 min read

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In the fast-paced digital world, businesses are perpetually looking  for innovative solutions to boost customer satisfaction (CSAT), streamline internal processes and strengthen partnerships. A meaningful change in this quest? Self-service tools – a transformative player in both customer support and internal operations that yields substantial gains in the form of reduced support costs and contact volumes.  

Table of Contents

What are self-service tools?

Self-service tools empower users to find information, resolve issues and perform tasks independently. By reducing dependency on traditional support channels, these tools grant users' autonomy, enabling them to address their needs promptly. As businesses increasingly recognize their potential, the evolution of self-service tools becomes pivotal in fostering a proactive and efficient service environment.

Understanding traditional customer support vs. Self- support

  • Traditional customer support: Long back, people relied on voice calls and call centersto get help though long wait times could be frustrating. Email support was another common avenue, offering a way to ask questions in writing, but responses sometimes took a while. FAQs on websites and product brochures answered frequently asked questions but were limited in coverage and scope.. While these traditional methods were useful, they had limitations in adapting to user needs and lacked engagement value. 
     

  • Self support: In contrast, the present landscape of customer support is rooted in dynamic self-service tools that mark a departure from traditional methods. Chatbots, guided workflows and integrated platforms have become instrumental in providing seamless and efficient assistance. These tools empower users to find quick, personalized solutions independently, reducing the dependency on direct interactions.  

The evolution towards self-service tools signifies a shift towards a more user-centric approach, offering quicker agentless responses. . This modern approach overcomes most of the constraints associated with traditional customer support methods, namely long wait times, overworked agents and high support costs. 

Prevalent self-support tools and applications

While there is a wide array of self-service tools and portals to pick from, a typical enterprise business can cater to most use cases using the tools listed below. However, the benefits are lost if each of these tools are implemented as multiple disparate point solutions that has users jumping from one window to the next to navigate. Users benefit from a unified interfac with free-flowing data and seamless architecture. With that said, here is a list of prevalent self-support tools available to enterprise users, customers, partners and internal teams: 

  1. Conversational AI: Conversational AI is an automated, AI-powered virtual assistant that can engage with customers, providing personalized interactions and swift issue resolutions. These intelligent bots provide users with instant responses, enhancing the overall support experience and contributing to user satisfaction via efficient and interactive assistance. 

  2. Appointment Booking: Appointment booking allows users to schedule interaction with a live agent at a time of their choosing, providing them with a seamless and user-friendly experience. This prevents loss of potential leads outside business hours and also helps decrease customer frustration. 

    02. Appointment Booking

  3. Customer-facing guided workflows: It is an interactive, step-by-step workflow that empowers customers to resolve their queries independently, reducing the need for dialing support. These workflows offer multiple features -  gathering customer information, initiating real-time API calls to CRMs, facilitating communication via SMS/WhatsApp/Email, scheduling callbacks and booking appointments. 

    03. Customer-Facing Guided Workflows

  4. Information cards on live chat: Using information cards, you can display your latest news and information directly on the live chat application, ensuring quick information delivery. It enhances user understanding and contributes to a more engaging and effective support experience. 

    04. Information Cards On Live chat

  5. Status cards: Status cards can be used to deliver real-time updates on system status of certain key resources that are interacted with frequently. By showing the status of this resource directly via a card, user experience improves and needless calls to support reduce. 

    05. Status Cards

  6. Knowledge Base: Knowledge base is a powerful tool for providing users with access to the most relevant articles, based on their browsing/shopping/interaction history with your business. Advanced self-service solution providers Sprinklr use AI modeling to dynamically identify and display related articles, helping users to quickly find the information they need without having to search, reducing the need for direct support and enhancing overall satisfaction. 

    06. Knowledge Base

  7. Auto-suggest FAQs: They enhance user interaction by  pre-empting the user’squeries intelligently, delivering instant and relevant options for the user to check. This feature ensures users find the information they need promptly, leading to a smoother and more efficient support journey. 

    07. Auto-Suggest FAQs

Why use self-service Tools and for whom

With self-service tools, the focus extends beyond mere troubleshooting to crafting holistic solutions for diverse user groups. Let us see how these tools redefine support across various user segments: 

1. Benefits for users/customers:

  • Seamless 24/7 accessibility: Virtual assistants or other self-service toolscater to global customers in different time zones, allowing them to seek help or information whenever it suits them best. Whether troubleshooting an issue in the early morning or scheduling an appointment late at night, self-service tools empower customers to take control of their interactions at their convenience. 

  • Instant resolutions: Tools like virtual assistants (powered by conversational AI) and knowledge base surface immediate responses to routine questions of customers, delivering instant gratification. Users can access required information without relying on a human agent, which easesthe overall burden on support teams. 

  • Appointment management: Booking and managing appointments become seamless for Customers sincetheappointment booking tool is readily accessible and easy to use. 

  • Information retrieval: The knowledge base serves as a comprehensive repository, providing detailed insights into products, services and updates. For bite-sized information, information cards are helpful and for status updates, status cards come in handy. 

  • Enhanced engagement:  Self-service tools are easy to navigate and customer-friendly, which adds to their engagement value.  Familiar layout and architecture put new users at ease immediately and ensures every interaction is not just transactional but an enriching experience.

2. Benefits for internal employees:

  • Enhanced operational efficiency: Self-service tools like guided workflows   deliver seamless incident management and leave requests, reducing administrative overhead. Employees can raise incident tickets, apply for leave and seamlessly review approval requests within the chat platform. Intuitive in-chat guidance helps them navigate processes with ease, minimizing errors and shortening resolution times.  

  • Improved workplace engagement: The chat platform can besa dynamic space with real-time event displays, recognition walls and information cards, fostering employee engagement and a positive work culture. The platform also enables employees to  submit ideas, contribute to recognition walls and stay informed about upcoming events through information cards. 

  • Multi-channel connectivity: Connect with support staff through various channels, offering flexibility and efficiency in communication tailored to the nature and urgency of queries. Multi-channel connectivity also allows employees to connect with support staff through their preferred modes, such as chat, video calls, voice calls or WhatsApp. 

  • Real-time updates/reminders: Staff can learn aboutkey resources, pending tasks and the latest features through real-time updates and reminders. They also stay abreast about the status/health of key resources, sending reminders on pending tasks and providing  information on in-house portal features, employee benefits and the CEO's vision. These measures enhance overall employee satisfaction and contribute to a positive organizational culture.

3. Benefits for partner ecosystems:

  • Boosted revenue streams 

    1. Self-service tools, particularly Conversational AI, intelligently engage potential customers in real-time. With personalized interactions, these tools create a positive experience that enhances the likelihood of conversion. 

    2. Customer-facing guided flows, appointment booking and information cards empower customers to explore products or services independently, which leads to a more informed and confident decision-making process and assured conversions 

    3. Information cards and knowledge base functionalities democratize valuable insights, product information, relevant articles, status updates and FAQs among your customers. Informed customers are more likely to convert as they navigate the sales journey with clarity and confidence. 

  • Reduced workload and enhanced efficiency: 

    1. Self-service tools like Conversational AI and guided workflows  automate repetitive partner queries, resulting in increased efficiency. 

    2. You can address routine issues before they escalate into a flood of tickets. By tackling problems proactively, partners can prevent the accumulation of support tickets, ensuring a more manageable workload for agents. 

    3. Automated responses and self-guided tools contribute to a decrease in the average handling time. As routine queries are resolved swiftly, human agents can focus on more complex issues, leading to a more efficient use of their time and a reduction in overall workload. 

  • Cost optimization and resource efficiency: 

    1. The automation provided by self-help tools means partners can operate withleaner customer service teams. 24/7 availability of virtual assistants decreases the need for a large, round-the-clock support team, leading to significant cost savings in labor expenses. 

    2. Quick and automated resolution means less time spent by agents on each interaction. This efficiency translates to lower labor costs per inquiry, allowing partners to handle a higher volume of customer interactions without a proportional increase in staffing. 

    3. Beyond labor costs, self-service tools reduce the need for extensive training, onboarding and ongoing management of a large support team. Streamlined processes and automated solutions inherently lead to a more cost-effective operation. 

  • Enhanced customer loyalty 

    1. By ensuring end customers have access to efficient solutions, partners experience increased satisfaction and loyalty, contributing to a harmonious and collaborative partner ecosystem. 

    2. By facilitating easy and streamlined interactions, partners can address customer queries promptly, ensuring a positive customer experience that positively resonates within the entire partner ecosystem. 

  • Elevated partner satisfaction 

    1. Self-service tools are easy to implement, ensuring partners experience swift onboarding and witness tangible results in short time. 

    2. Partners leveraging self-service portals immediately notice the positive impact on their customer interactions. These tools enhance customer interactions, provide timely solutions and create a heightened level of customer satisfaction, thus solidifying the partner's reputation as a responsive and customer-centric service provider. 

    3. With adaptive features and real-time insights, partners can respond promptly to changing customer needs, ensuring sustained satisfaction. 

Wrapping up 

Self-service portals are at the helm of the digital support transformation, leading the way to enhanced customer, employee and partner satisfaction along with serious cost and efficiency gains.  

The underlying need for a SaaS platform that brings together self-help tools is clear, highlighting the importance of establishing a smooth and collaborative environment across different business functions. A platform that smoothly combines various self-help tools, giving customers, employees and partners a unified solution for comprehensive support and delightful experience. 

Sprinklr Service is one such customer-first platform, built atop a proprietary AI engine that pre-empts self-support needs of users with matchless accuracy. From white labeling self-service portals to their search engine optimization, Sprinklr does it all. Curious? Register for a free demo of the platform today. 

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