Good Self-Service Support Leads to Significant Support Cost Reductions

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Customer support has traditionally been characterized by an overflow of questions and queries to support agents, via telephone or email. This places an immense burden on customer support agents, since run-of-the-mill queries are forwarded to support agents when they could be answered by intelligent self-service software. There are many hidden pitfalls to neglecting the value of self-service. These include, but are not limited to, the astronomical costs of maintaining a large, overworked and clunky customer service operation. By streamlining operations, customer support agents can be better equipped to deal with the exigencies of unique customer queries. Repetitive questions can be answered by the customer support software. This is best achieved by integrating self-service and live agents.

How Does Self-Service Reduce Costs?

The misconception that self-service is nothing more than deflection persists in the customer support community. However, it’s important to point out that self-service is not an attempt to shift the customers away from customer support agents – rather it is an efficient means of prioritizing the customer’s queries on the customer’s terms. Customer self-service is about empowering the customer to question, comment and provide feedback in the most convenient way possible. There are 3 means of providing self-support including: Web self-service, mobile self-service and social self-service. Unlike traditional forms of customer support, these channels of communication accommodate customers on their terms.

Whether customers are shopping on their PCs, mobiles or looking for quick & easy solutions via Facebook and other social media channels, self-service reigns supreme. Cost savings come in the form of real money savings for the company that no longer needs to employ scores of customer support agents to field each and every customer query. But there are many other cost savings in the form of approximately 60% less chat conversations that can now be answered by way of automatic resolutions. Time spent responding to standard questions is money wasted, especially in the presence of intelligent self-service software. Effective customer support software is capable of escalating valuable queries direct to agents by way of e-mail or live chat. Typically, an integrated ticket system facilitates the transfer of high-value customer queries to support agents for speedy resolution. Since fewer agents are required in the presence of intelligent self-service support, agents can be better trained, their turnover rate can be diminished and trainings costs will be reduced.

Sales Increase as Customer Satisfaction Increases

The death knell for any e-commerce site is shopping cart abandonment. This is often significantly higher in the absence of effective self-service support. The cost of losing customers due to inefficient customer support is substantial. This is otherwise known as the opportunity cost of ineffective support. By providing customers and businesses with intelligent self-service options, shopping cart abandonment can be substantially reduced. This immediately raises revenues and it is visible in the overall ROI. The goal throughout is to improve the efficiency of the support ticket system. By increasing online engagement and providing better self-service, businesses can bolster their sales, enhance their relationship with their customers and enjoy a greater degree of customer loyalty.

The knowledge base support system is essentially the CPU of the entire self-service operation. By having a central command station for all queries, responses and ticket management, e-commerce business owners can easily analyse data, respond quickly to customers, and boost their online presence. The costs of delaying action – especially when information is readily available – can be detrimental. These are a few of the ways that effective self-service can result in dramatic cost savings.

Roy Goffer
Roy Goffer is nanoRep's Director of Marketing. He has over 10 years of experience in B2B marketing and a strong passion for online marketing and website optimization. Roy writes about online customer experience from both the marketing and customer service angles. nanoRep is an online customer service solution that improves customer experience through intelligent engagement and BI, which increases conversion rates, satisfaction and loyalty as well as lowers customer support costs and abandonment. Twitter: @roygoffer

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