Blog

17/06/2021

Empower your customers with self-service

Self-service is becoming a more prominent feature in today’s customer service. Be it chatbots or knowledge banks, it offers clear benefits to both customers and companies alike.

Today’s customers don’t have time to wait: with a burning question on their mind they want their answers here and now. Even if it’s Saturday night when most customer service centers are closed and customer service agents happily tucked away in their beds.

Enter customer self-service: no wait-times or restrictions on when to contact the business. Allowing customers to self-serve increases flexibility, lowers wait times, and enhances customer satisfaction in the end.

For the business, implementing self service allows the agents to utilize their time on the more difficult cases. It also lowers the amount of cases agents have to work on decreasing the average cost per case. This in turn means more savings and efficiency, which can make a big difference to the running cost of customer service.

Different ways to self-serve

There are different ways self-service can be offered to the customers. The right method or combination of methods depends on the product or service offered, the company and of course the customers.

Knowledge articles

Producing relevant articles for customers to use for self service is a great deflection technique. However, it is worth noting that the articles are only as relevant as you make them so keeping them up to date is an important consideration going forward for the success of self service. Knowledge is a living thing and should be kept alive.

Collaboration

Collaboration is a great case deflection technique. Allowing your customers to collaborate with each other can be a daunting prospect at the start but harnessing your customer community can lower the amount of enquiries created. You can also gain good insight into how your customers use your products and use that information for product development in the future.

Chat and chatbots

Offering chat and chatbot options are very common nowadays – meaning that customers are also used to using those services. At the start, using chatbots with simple use cases can make a big difference for improving productivity. After a while, your bots can harness the power of your existing knowledge base and Salesforce data and serve customers even more extensively before needing to connect the customer to an agent.

Automation

The cost effectiveness does not stop at self service. When using Salesforce’s Experience Cloud it allows you to gather structured case data which enables you to optimize and automate processes that may have not been possible before. This increases productivity even more and frees up the agents to concentrate on the important cases.

Self-service solutions

When designing self-service, there are many different solutions to consider. From our point of view there are three different possibilities:

  • Utilizing an existing customer portal for customer self service. This is generally possible with integrations to Salesforce. The complexity of the integration will determine the amount of work required.
  • Using only Salesforce Experience Cloud. With Experience Cloud you are exposing existing Salesforce processes and functionalities to the customer. This allows for rapid development and quick scalability of the solution with new features and processes that evolve over time.
  • Using both the existing Portal and Experience Cloud. This combination of technology allows you to utilize your current investment and seamlessly take your customer to Experience Cloud.

No matter which methods or solution you choose, enabling customer self-service allows you to develop, analyze and innovate to produce the best customer experience possible. Because at the end of the day, that’s what your customers expect from you.

Read next Is self-service a viable alternative for complex B2B sales? 

Andrew Hainsworth

Service Cloud Practice Lead

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