These days, providing customers with the support they need and want is more important than ever. People expect customer support to be excellent, and they will quickly make their feelings known if it is not. This can hurt your reputation and damage your business's growth.
Aside from ensuring that your support agents provide a high level of support to your customers, you could also benefit from providing self-service support options.
Here is a detailed look at what these are and why they matter:
Why Offer Self-Service?
You might assume that all customers want to speak to a support agent, or at least, communicate with one over email. But many customers actually prefer to search for answers themselves.
If they can find out the answer to their problem in a knowledge base, it can be faster and more convenient than creating a new ticket or calling up your support team. This can, therefore, help improve the customer experience, and encourage them to recommend your business to others.
At the same time, it provides benefits to your business and support agents. Agents often get inundated with requests, and by creating answers to the most common problems and allowing customers to find these online 24/7, this can help to reduce the numbers of requests coming through.
This allows agents to spend more time working on more complex problems and providing a better level of customer service. It also leads to happier employees, which can help to save you money by reducing staff turnover.
So how should you go about providing self-service customer support options? Here are some of the best strategies.
Create a Detailed Knowledge Base
As mentioned, the first thing you should do is create a detailed knowledge base that contains all of the answers to the most common problems. This is a feature that is often included with help desk software. Customers can then type in a question and instantly get matched up with possible solutions.
If you do this, make sure you make the experience as simple as possible. You should make sure it is fast so customers can get answers quickly without having to search for too long, and you should recommend possible answers.
Also, when a customer creates a ticket, you could suggest possible solutions before they send in their question, which might provide the exact answer they are looking for.
The easier your knowledge base is to use, the more customers will use it to find the answers they are seeking, taking more pressure off your support team.
Design a Website Customers Want to Spend Time On
In addition, you should make sure your website is easy to use and as fast as possible. Good website design really matters, and it should also be responsive so that it works on mobile devices too. Your knowledge base will usually be on your website, so it makes sense to ensure that your website is a place where customers will be happy to spend their time.
And, while providing a knowledge base is a great idea, don't make it too difficult for customers to contact you if they really need to. Make your contact information easy to find so they do not become frustrated.
Constantly Update Your Knowledge Base
Once you have your knowledge base up and running, make sure you keep it updated. Your products and solutions are likely to change, so don't let your knowledge base get filled up with outdated information.
You could create a system by which support agents can update knowledge base articles themselves. Or, at least keep a note of things that need to be changed so that someone else can update the content regularly.
Password Reset Option
Another option provided by some helpdesk support systems is to allow customers to reset their passwords themselves. This is a simple process that should not have to involve the help of a support agent.
By allowing customers to do this, and other simple tasks, on their own, you can speed up the process for them and take the pressure off your support agents.
Help Your Customers to Help Themselves
You cannot rely 100 percent on self-service support because there will always be customers who have more complex requests and who cannot find the solutions they need in the knowledge base. But, it makes a lot of sense to provide customers with the option to find the solution for themselves before contacting your support team.
Doing this can take the pressure off your team so they can provide a better service, as well as improving your overall customer support. So start looking for ways that you can implement self-service today.
Lara Fry has been working in the customer service department for a large company for close to a decade. She enjoys trying out new ways to make people feel heard, especially when they're upset, and then writes about this in her articles.