Do consumers want to talk to live customer service agents? That’s an ongoing debate. You’ll actually hear arguments on both sides of the aisle. Customers generally are self-reliant problem solvers who are increasingly looking for quick, do-it-themselves ways to get a question answered or resolve an issue.
If there’s a stat to reinforce this, it’s your company’s customer retention rate. For those already offering self-service help, track your customer loyalty and note your rates between those who self-service and those who don’t. You’re likely to see higher retention rates among customers who have chosen to easily and quickly resolve their issues without having to speak with a customer service representative. If you have yet to take the self-service plunge, it might be time to rethink your customer service strategy.
Trust us, your agents and customers will thank you. Here’s how you can master the art of self-service.
Effectively Utilize the Content You’ve Created
Companies can spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours fine tuning their customer service knowledge base, that is help center articles, FAQs, manuals and the like. While this content is like gold, no customer wants to sift through pages upon pages of text to find the answer they are looking for. So, how can you share your content in a more effective way? For one, you can simplify what you present by keeping your questions and answers short and to the point. Customer service chatbots and automation platforms that place customers in the problem solving drivers’ seat are among other best methods businesses of all kinds can deploy. In these self-service models, your existing content actually serves as the backbone.
Leading next-generation chatbots can help your business unleash the power of your public knowledge base. By indexing and learning all of your organization’s most important knowledge assets, chatbots are able to deliver customers with a better self-service experience. Best-in-class chatbots are even powered by artificial intelligence allowing them to learn from each customer interaction—be it via chatbot or customer service agent—to present customers with the precise and accurate information they need. In many cases, customers never even have to talk to a live agent, making the customer happier, saving your company money and freeing up your customer service agents to handle the most complex issues.
Identify and Fill in Your Knowledge-based Gaps
It’s critical for businesses to pinpoint any pain points that exist in their knowledge bases. This includes knowing where customers are getting hung up on looking through content or abandoning self-service options because they can’t easily find what they are looking for. One way to zero in on these gaps is to have your customer service agents do a root cause analysis on each ticket they receive. By tracking the issues customers run into with self-service and recording the steps agents take to solve the issue can help your business fill in any information gaps to help the next customer self-service a similar need. You can also take a look at the content customers are viewing the most. If you are finding that your articles with a high rate of customer views have low ratings or are among the root causes of customer calls, you know the content is ineffective and it’s time for a rewrite. Machine-learning chatbots can also come into play here.
The longer next-gen chatbots are working within your self-service framework, the more they listen to and learn from not only their interaction with customers but also those of your customer service agents. Over time, they’re able to find your customers even better answers to continually asked questions. As the accuracy of solving issues and answering queries goes up, so too will your customer self-service rate. Constantly learning from interactions, this next-generation of chatbots can help detect crucial gaps in your user’s knowledge base so you can remediate and improve upon them. With the integration of self-service technologies to optimize your customer service experience, you can help customers more quickly resolve issues and customer support teams better understand the needs of your customer base.
Tracking the Customer Service Metrics that Really Matter
When it comes to your self-service experience, you’re going to want to track your success. What metrics, or key performance indicators (KPIs) should you measure? And how can you get your hands on the data? First, the metrics. We discussed the first above: It’s your customer loyalty (or retention) rate. Then, there are a few you’ll want to zero in on including your company’s: self-service rate, call volume trends, overall support volume and customer satisfaction score (CSAT). Your self-service rate is a great indicator of the instant resolutions customers achieve by self-servicing an issue. The higher your rate, the more effective your content and self-service capabilities. Looking at your call volume trends and overall support volume you should be able to draw a direct correlation between a reduction in call volume and the positive results customers gain through their self-service. With customers saving time by quickly solving issues and finding answers to their questions, you should see a rise in your CSAT.
Integrated with dashboards, next-generation chatbots allow you to measure, track and manage all your KPIs in real-time and often in the form of graphics and charts giving you full visibility into your KPIs.
When it comes to your business’s self-service experience, you want to ensure your customers are able to access the information they need and when they most need it. With the help of next-gen chatbots this becomes a reality. Intelligent chatbots can resolve an increasing number of issues, and even in the event that they can’t, they are smart enough to intelligently pass the customer over to a chat or phone agent along with added context to reduce handle time and improve the experience. By investing in an intelligent chatbot, you’ll be able to deliver your customers with an effective, self-service experience that allows them to resolve issues quickly and independently, not only freeing up their time, but also your customer service agents to tackle the biggest challenges.