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Serve Yourself! Self-service Tips In The Digital Age

7 mins read

Instant gratification, no matter the vertical.

Food. Home repairs. Civic services, local governing bodies, the Police – Consumers have instant channels of communication with all of these bodies through apps, websites, and social media. As a result, solutions are expected to be near instantaneous as well – or you risk appearing to be a corporate dinosaur. Fortunately, though problems appear at breakneck speeds and across channels – solutions have digitally transformed as well. Knowledge Management (KM) has armed companies with the data they need, and the means to interpret it through self-service tips in this digital age resulting in the blossoming of a new powerful tool for Customer Experience (CX), and satisfaction: Self-Service.

Importance of self-service for enterprises

At first, it may not seem intuitive to reduce human interaction if customers are identifying and communicating new problems faster than ever – surely problems would just pile up higher than ever.

But to the contrary, the best Self-Service tips actually help accomplish exactly the opposite. By identifying key problem areas in the mountains of data, companies can craft solutions to the most prominently occurring issues, and offer them to customers as soon as the problem is raised. In this, we see the basic but vital relationship between self-service and Knowledge Management processes, a relationship that has transformed customer service as we know it, forever.

Self-Service can only ever be considered successful should customers end the interaction with their problems solved – not on the basis of the number of channels companies offer. Within this, there exist a number of strategies to boost success rates – and to minimize the man-hours spent by call center executives hunting down solutions to problems. One of these strategies is the Shift Left Approach.

Self-service tips and practical applications

The Shift-Left Approach focuses on shifting the task of problem-solving from support specialists to customers – by giving customers direct access to data and solutions and thus eliminating the need for the agent altogether. Customers have shown to lean towards this approach, as this boosts their ability to Self-Serve, cuts down hours lost chatting with contact center agents, and giving the customer a sense of confidence and loyalty towards the brand.

FAQ’s serve as good examples here as 10 customers with the same question will now get the solution they need instantly – instead of placing 10 calls and occupying 10 executives. Scale this up into the hundreds of thousands, and the immense impact of the shift left approach becomes clear – and this is from just the FAQs alone. This approach further focuses on training employees to better solve problems as well, instead of having to pass them on – allowing them to serve any customers that fall through the self-Service net.

Ticket deflection rate is a useful metric for measuring the success of your self-service systems. Ticket deflection rate detail the rate at which customers are able to solve their problems without raising tickets on relevant support sites. Any ticket saved through alternate channels of communication offering solutions, such as AI chatbots or FAQs, adds to the success of this rate, and companies with high deflection rates are simply enjoying the fruits of a well laid out self-service system.

On the flip side, a low deflection rate often points towards inefficient problem solving – through ineffective training, a lack of problem-solving resources, self-service outlets, etc. Here, knowledge management systems can vastly improve your ability to offer self-service tips, interpreting data to identify the most common problems submitted via tickets, and offering automated channels of solutions to solve customer problems faster, drop agent interactions, and ultimately boost your Ticket deflection rate and cause fewer customers to churn.

Impact of good self service tips on organizational operations

Okay, so let’s say you’ve got a strong knowledge management strategy in place, and your self-service tips capabilities are through the roof, offering customers solutions on their phones, browsers, and applications.

But surveys indicate low scores on customer satisfaction and frustrate customers churning. You’ve got all the data in place, interpreted it correctly, and deployed scalable solutions – but nothing’s working as it should be. Confusing as it may appear at first, the problem likely lies in your User Interface (UI).

All the answers in the world won’t help your users if they’re buried in a myriad labyrinth of data, impossible to find. In knowledge management platforms and self-service, we’ve found a solid nugget of valuable data and service – Intuitive UI simply applies the polish and that’s when it hits full value.

The best UIs begins with research – what do your users want? How often are certain products searched for? What are the most common questions people have? What type of person is likely to visit my page – what are their behaviors? Do they spend time reading FAQs, or are they talking to the AI chatbot first?

These are obviously just a drop in the pond when it comes to the number of thoughts that go into a great UI – and KM forms a great database to aggregate and utilize relevant data. Understand the pathways your user is most likely to take, and use a knowledge base and self-service platform for building an intuitive pathway for him to do so.

Digital media and self-service tips

In a digitally transformed world, new concepts and phenomena are making themselves known. At the forefront of these changes, and high on the list of important is digital parity.
To cut a long story short, innovation and new technology are now the norms, and users are no longer impressed by small picture changes.

They’ve seen the best the digital world has to offer in terms of instant gratification – and will drop your company like hot lead if your standards don’t meet the mark. Any company that isn’t at the top of their digital game is simply going to fall behind the competition that offers more options, more knowledge, and therefore more power to the user.

Final words of wisdom

Self-service tips used to be about cutting costs at contact centers. But with the above transformation well underway, the emphasis has now shifted to self-service to boost Customer Experience (CX) and customer satisfaction. And with a world constantly changing as digital innovations only continue to accelerate, this is only going to become more and more vital with time. A good knowledge management service will keep your self-service capabilities modern, relevant, and adaptable as ever to meet the requirements of a new age user, in a new age world.


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