self-service support

Four steps to offering a great support center experience

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Today’s customers really like to find their own answers. In fact, according to Forrester Research, a whopping 72% of customers would rather use self-service to resolve their support issues than pick up the phone or send an email. Building a support center is also an effective and cost-efficient way for growing businesses to help customers — but you have to do it right. Here are four steps to delivering an amazing support center experience for your customers.

 

1. Include the right content.

Your support center is only useful if it has the answers your customers need. To make sure it is relevant, label cases in your customer support app so you know when multiple customers are looking for the same information. And monitor what people search for most often. Commonly-used support center tools include FAQs, a knowledge base with detailed product information, community bulletin boards, and videos with step-by-step instructions. Decide what content will best help your customers solve the problems, and then build it.

2. Tell customers where it is.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but if your support center is going to be successful, customers need to know it’s there. This can be a challenge for established companies who are launching a new support site and need to transition customers over. Start by adding self-service call-to-actions. You can also add links to support center to your corporate site, and within your product. And consider using a customer support app that includes a case deflection feature, so when a customer submits a question through your support site’s web form, it instantly suggests relevant support articles based off terms in the subject.

3. Keep your content fresh and relevant.

Your support portal is never really “finished.” To make sure it is always working as hard as it can, you need to continuously improve your articles. Run reports so you can see which ones are viewed most often so you know which ones to prioritise. You should plan regular, periodic reviews of all of your content (including graphics and video) and set expiration dates so you are forced to revisit everything you create. You can also ensure content stays fresh by giving customers the opportunity to rate it, so they can tell you what they like and what could be better.

4. Be sure to reflect your brand.

It’s important to deliver a consistent message across all of your sites to create a coherent brand experience. A 2010 study found that 85% of consumers expect a seamless integration across all channels. In order to make customers feel like they are “in their element” and comfortable with your support center experience, be sure to use the same header and footer as your corporate site and that the domain and subdomain are consistent (for example: www.company.com and support.company.com). Uniformity is key to building out the brand.

It’s also important to have a style guide to ensure consistency across all of your sites, including feature names, capitalisations, and formatting, as well as your tone and voice. You don’t have to write your own style guide from scratch — you can save a lot of time by finding public ones.

 

The steps mentioned above will get you started on the right track to build an amazing support center experience. By maximising the amount of help resources easily available on your site, you will keep the customer satisfied when they need it the most.

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