Customers are resourceful. Most try to find information or solve problems on their own before reaching out for help. How can your service organization give them what they need? Offer a customer self-service portal. It’s an efficient way to boost relationships and outreach.
Customers use your self-service portal to find information, request services, and resolve their issues.
To help customers with their needs, the best self-service portals include:
- A knowledge base with a collection of FAQs, articles, videos, diagrams, how-to guides, and more
- Password reset capabilities
- The ability to log a service request
- Collaborative spaces, like community forums for customers to share information and provide helpful tips
Here are some of the ways your customer self-service portal can benefit your customers and your business.
Customer self-service portals provide detailed answers to commonly-asked questions. They may convey information about products with step-by-step guides, diagrams, and how-to videos. You can also include tips, hints, and other agile practices to help customers understand your products.
Because all the information they need is in one place, customers who use self-service portals are likely to report higher satisfaction and share their positive experiences online or through word of mouth, which boosts your brand’s reputation.
A self-service portal allows you to personalize the customer experience. Address each customer by name whenever they log in. Keep a record of their products or past services and display relevant topics of expertise. Help customers locate what they need using information from past problems. Going forward, you can use your customer data as a cue to create content for your portal that addresses common issues.
Customer self-service portals take care of common and routine questions and concerns. The more customers use your self-service portals, the more adept they become at solving similar or more complex issues in the future. With customers able to resolve so much on their own, service agents can devote their time to customers who require more assistance.
Include an online community in your customer self-service portal where writers, bloggers, and clients share information. Use it as a place to discuss products and functionality, answer questions, and solve problems. External customer service experts may also contribute blog posts or participate in forums.
Many customer self-service portals provide a dedicated social media feed for customer queries so employees can get involved in the process as needed. They take turns communicating solutions or answering questions about the business. The social media feed can also disburse general expertise and product information.
Social interactions strengthen relationships with current customers, attract new ones, and help the business get a better feel for common issues.
When customers are empowered to solve their issues with self-service portals, agents focus on higher-value cases and your company grows and scales service. Some of that growth will come from an increase in site traffic to your knowledge base, which marks your business as an information source and authority. This increases your credibility for current and future customers along with brand visibility.
Self-service is an essential component for any business that is serious about customer support. The good news: Adopting and implementing self-service can be simple.
- Satisfy customers
- Improve brand reputation
- Grow your business