When to Use (or Not Use) Self-Service
Just because self-service will continue to be an important digital tactic for enterprises does not mean that it will be effective to use in every situation. Leaders must consider when it is appropriate to use customer self-service and when it is not.
Gartner recommends identifying and focusing on journeys that are of high value and high volume. Think about when:
• Customers could benefit from other customers’ expertise
• The same questions are being asked repeatedly
• Staff aren’t available to help
• The preferred learning style is “do it yourself”
In these cases, self-service should definitely be leveraged, both for the benefit of the customer and the organization’s customer support team.
On the reverse, here are scenarios when self-service would not be the best means of customer service:
• Highly complicated or unique questions and situations that require human expertise
• Customers that prefer to speak to representatives instead of searching for the answer online
Ultimately, consider how to best leverage self-service in order to scale support so that customer service representatives are using their time and skill more effectively to help customers where it really counts.
From over a decade of expertise in helping global leaders drive excellent self-service experiences for their customers, here are some general best practices our team recommends for a successful self-service portal:
Onboarding and Training
Including self-service does not automatically increase the adoption of a customer portal. If customers are unaware of what self-service functionalities are available or how they will improve their experiences, then they will not find value in these features.
Ensure that customers are educated on the benefit of the self-service portal. Have a kickoff call, specialized training, documentation, and consistent communications to showcase the value of the tool being provided to them.
Valuing the Customer
Self-service does not give businesses the license to simply ignore their customers until it’s time to cross-sell or upsell. Self-service is meant to elevate the existing customer service experience, not replace it. Enabling self-service is simply one more means of equipping your customers and customer service teams must still consider how they can enhance relationships with their customers.
Consumers are moving towards a fully connected world enabled by technology. They demand immediacy, connectivity, and simplicity in every interaction on their buying journey. Companies that are able to provide relevant and agile customer experiences will be the ones that differentiate themselves from their competitors. Deliver the experiences your customers want with an engaging self-service portal.
Self-service will require alignment between IT and Business units. Are IT teams hesitant to switch from live channels to customer self-service? Download this guide to help gain buy-in from IT to craft an effective self-service strategy.