Be two sides of the same coin
Self-service is super important.
Before diving in, there are two interrelated ways to look at self-service:
From a customer level, these days people want to help themselves, whether it’s troubleshooting an issue on their own to watching how-to videos. Recent research shows that up to 82% of customers use self-service as a support channel. If you, as a business can’t offer that, your competitors will.
From a business level, it is critical that you offer self-service options because there’s always pressure to reduce costs and increase agent productivity. If you’re providing good self-service to your customers, it can reduce headcount and enable your agents to focus on more complex projects, instead of simple questions.
Save time and money with content
Customers tend to prefer the DIY, quick and low-effort support approaches. It’s what makes self-service extremely beneficial for your business as it can result in improved ticket deflection rates.
The key ingredient to ticket deflection is by creating and curating well-written content with a SEO-friendly knowledge base platform. For great results, make sure your ticketing system has in-depth knowledge base insights, so you can drill down into what customers are searching for, viewing and whether or not they contact support afterward.
If customers do happen to open a support ticket, you can use that data to streamline the process with automatic actions, assuming your support system offers this. These system automations assign tickets to specialized agent groups based on keyword and more importantly, automatically send personalized replies on behalf of the agent.
Automatic actions are a game changer for your self-service. Here’s how: Your customer encounters an issue and goes to your website searching for answers. However, they are unable to find what they’re looking for. They open a support ticket, and within seconds, the customer receives a personalized reply with the correct answer entirely based on pre-defined triggers such as searched keywords, time stamps, ticket labels and more.
With the right system, you can complete this full self-service cycle with automations, provide a better customer support experience while reducing operational costs.
Keep an eye on self-service success
By analyzing the entire self-service funnel of what customers are searching for, viewing and selecting, you can better understand if your self-service options require, for example, help center widgets at every stage of their journey.
Take it a step further by drilling down on your self-service metrics, more specifically, the self-service success score. This is the number of customers using self-service versus opening a support ticket.
This is calculated by the number of customers who attempt to use your knowledge base content to solve an issue divided by the number of customers that contact customer support for help. According to Wix customer support quarterly report, 1 out of 32 customers opened a support ticket. Note, the self-service score varies due to industry type, product complexity and seasonal trends in support traffic. The industry benchmark ranges from 1:30 to 1:40 and the goal is to increase this self-service ratio over time.
Reduce friction by delivering the right answers
You should gain valuable insights from your customer’s self-service activity right from your system’s insights dashboard. This will help with ongoing improvements and modifications.
For instance, it’s obvious to you that the first article a customer searches for in your knowledge base will be the one they select. However, the system’s insights can show the third option in the search results is more prevalent among customers when searching for answers on that specific topic. That’s when you really need to dig deep into the specifics. Ask questions such as: Is it the strength of the article title? Is it the inner content that needs to be modified?
Another key part of improving your self-service is by analyzing what questions customers are searching for most often down to specific articles to make sure customers are finding the exact article and solution.
At Wix, we strategically place help center widgets on our website and within the product based on customer data to better serve them. Let’s say a majority of your customers are asking “Payment” related questions. First and foremost, we can add improvements to existing articles and add new ones, if needed. For higher visibility, we proactively add widgets in the payment pages with all the relevant information right there and then, which could potentially help with conversion.
Turn blind spots into business opportunities
You can’t provide good customer support without a self-service strategy. For us, it’s very clear: If we don’t have relevant content in our internal and external knowledge bases, we see a clear decrease in agent performance, response quality and customer satisfaction.
Once you see the blind spots in your system’s data, you can address these issues quicker and more effectively. The key takeaway here is to always look into your system’s insights dashboard and conduct any additional analysis needed to create a better self-service customer experience for your business.