People Are Hungry For Online Customer Service Self-Service

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Many companies are successfully using customer service self-service options to win customers and improve the customer service experience.

A recent customer experience report performed by Cisco brought up the fact that an automated personalization is the key to winning customers’ trust and willingness to shop with you. According to the report, self-service, automation and an Omnichannel shopping experience are all viewed by the customers as a trade-in for them providing personal use information.

One third of global customers use more than one channel while shopping, the study highlights.

In addition, 23% of the customers surveyed were found to make in-store purchases based on their former online research, with 11% of shoppers purchasing the product online only after they saw it in store. The report also highlights the fact that the majority of customers (52%) prefer self-checkout as a time-saving method, as opposed to the classical in-line waiting found in physical stores.

Almost half of all customers use their smartphone for in-store product research.

Another key finding relates to the product availability, with 43% of the customers preferring to use their own smartphones for in-store research, while the other 57% resorted to the touch screens available for informational purposes. Furthermore, the majority of customers (61%) were deemed as willing to shop from a completely automated store, one which relies solely on vending machines and virtual customer service.

Two thirds of the surveyed customers were found to be willing to accept location-based services on their phone for a more personalized experience, while another 58% was deemed as willing to shop from a store offering self-service means as opposed to one which doesn’t.

Therefore, as time passes by, customers become more willing to do everything by themselves. They don’t want to have to deal with people anymore; people who may or may not be able help them. Such approach wastes their time, especially if they can do certain things themselves. So if new studies are showing that there is a need for self service, a business should be eager to find new ways of implementing it.

Here are the most popular ways in which web-based companies can implement self-service:

1. Better customer service with Live Chat

A wide share of customers have been deemed as more willing to shop from websites which feature live support. Furthermore, the concierge approach in regard to customer interaction provides a sales person with the ability to look over customers’ shoulder as they shop, giving them proper advice when requested and answering any important queries they might have about your product.

A further benefit of live chat on a website is the ability to constantly pull in new visitors. They also engage and provide an interactive medium which provide the customer with the solution he is looking for. Such environment increases the chance for the dealer to actually sell his product, depending on the agent’s responses.

Due to the enhanced touch of live chat software, customers are more willing to return to the site. Also, based on recent surveys, they are also willing to recommend the product/service to their friends as long as the purchase goes smooth from start to the finish. The most popular live chat solutions are represented by LivePerson and IntelliResponse, both being easy to integrate with your current website.

2. Website guidance systems for a better customer experience

As the recent Cisco Report indicates, users are more willing to finish their transaction as long as they are assisted by technology, and not necessarily by an actual person. This way they can do things at their own paced and they are not forced to pick a certain product, as recommended by the rep. Website guidance systems such as WalkMe have greatly increased in popularity lately, with more and more businesses taking advantage of the consumers’ willingness to adapt to the modern era.

What WalkMe does is to softly guide users toward accomplishing their objectives, through interactive stickies displayed as they continue their online venture. Therefore, the user experience is significantly enhanced, visitors benefiting from a more lively and pleasant environment, which also leads them to the solution they desire. This is done automatically, a third party being not required in the process.

3. FAQ’s and help sections to deliver better self-service customer service

For businesses who own simple online products, a FAQ section can prove of great aid. The role of such section is to address the most common issues of the customers, or the ones which are possible to arise. As opposed to the Help section, FAQ’s do not need to be extensive, as they need to be easily browsed. A Help section is imposed for more complex products, which require advanced knowledge and where multiple questions are more likely to arise at once.

For a FAQ or Help section to be fully effective, it must be combined with another type of self-service technology, such as an automated guidance system. This way users will receive a more specific response to their queries without being required to browse through the entire database. Such process also enhances the afferent user experience.

The customer service self-service revolution

In conclusion, self service is becoming more popular day after day, with customers wanting the freedom to make their own choice. Businesses can take advantage of this new environment by implementing the above mentioned solutions, as well as taking customers’ preferences into account when delivering their product.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!

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