For customer-centric brands, the primary goal is to foster customer relationships by serving them the way they want to be served and to keep up with the changing preferences for engagement. Tech-savvy customers today first go to self-serve options, but brands cannot simply rely on the standard, non-responsive website to satisfy their customers’ urge to self-serve. They must first understand why their customers want to serve themselves, then equip their self-service options with features that meet those needs. So why do customers prefer online self-service?
- Convenience: 75% say self-service is a convenient way to address their customer service issues. They can do it any time they want and take as long as they need. In a time when smartphone owners perform the majority of their daily tasks on their phone while relaxing on the couch, self-service is the go-to experience 24 hours a day.
Brands can meet the expectation of convenience by making the self-help option highly visible, and even proactively present the self-serve availability upon entry of the website or app.
- Efficiency: They don't want to wait in queue to be connected to a person nor take the time to explain what they are trying to accomplish and the related context. They want to get online, quickly find what they want, click-click and they're done.
Truly efficient self-service tools should be intuitive and proactive in providing only the content that the customer wants. And when the customer has a unique situation that requires live human interaction, they should be seamlessly transitioned to a knowledgeable live chat agent who sees the customer's interaction history thus far, therefore not burdening the customer with repeating the issue.
- Control: Customers feel empowered when they can handle it themselves. They don't want to have to rely on other people. 67% of customers would rather self-serve than speak to a representative. Also, these self-sufficient consumers like the knowledge they gain by finding out for themselves, adding to that feeling of control.
In order to ensure that desired feeling, brands need to make their self-service tool easy to use and navigate. They also need to listen to their customers and learn from their feedback; usability improvements that are implemented because the brand is open to the voice of their customers go a long way in putting the customer in the driver's seat.
Online self-service is only convenient, efficient, and empowering when the self-service tools are optimized to easily answer common questions, no matter how they are asked, and when they operate in connection with live support when needed. Giving customers the kind of support they want not only benefits the customer, it delivers a greater ROI for brands.