Improve Your CX by Building Smart Self-Service Solutions

Improve Your CX by Building Smart Customer Self-Service Solutions

When organizations aim to optimize the customer journey, they often have it backward, prioritizing technology over customer understanding. This leads to a lack of compelling customer experience.

Redirecting attention toward understanding customer needs and preferences can yield more impactful experiences that nurture satisfaction, loyalty, and retention and organizations everywhere are turning to instilling smart self-service solutions as a result.

Delivering a Compelling Customer Experience

Customer service poses challenges for both the customers and the agents, especially in meeting the expectations of contemporary consumers who desire personalized, swift resolutions.

By shifting the focus from solely technological advancements to empathetic understanding, companies can better address the evolving demands of their clientele. This entails prioritizing human-centered design principles and leveraging insights gained from comprehensive customer research.

Ultimately, fostering a deeper understanding of customers allows organizations to tailor their offerings and interactions in a manner that resonates more profoundly with their target audience and offers them a greater sense of control. This approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also establishes stronger relationships that endure beyond mere transactions.

Today’s modern consumers expect prompt and personalized experiences delivered on their terms.

Harvard Business Review reports that in various sectors, 81% of customers prefer to resolve their problems themselves before reaching out to an agent for resolution. The nature of their journey during these attempts significantly shapes their overall experience.

Building an Intelligent Customer Self-Service Technology

Customers seek the easiest possible path to a satisfactory resolution—meaning customer self-service. So, how are you going to help your customers help themselves? Here are a few tips to improve CX by building and providing an intelligent self-service solution:

Help Your Customers Help Themselves Through Smart Customer Self-Service Solutions

 1. Leverage Digital Self-Service Solutions

Many digital customer self-service options, such as FAQ pages or keyword-based searches, require customers to find their own answers and interpret them in their own context, akin to consulting a librarian who guides you to sources rather than providing direct answers.

This approach often yields vague answers that can prove frustrating for a customer looking for very specific resolutions to their problem. Therefore, these kinds of self-service tools are far from ideal for brands.

However, advanced self-service solutions employ AI-powered chatbots that engage in interactive dialogues to grasp the intent and context behind customer queries, offering accurate and personalized responses.

Unlike librarians, chatbots function more like concierges. Additionally, chatbots leverage natural language processing (NLP) to discern nuances in inquiries, providing tailored assistance. Moreover, they enhance personalization by integrating data from various systems, such as membership details or purchase history.

This amalgamation of AI and personalized data allows chatbots to offer precise, on-demand solutions, freeing up resources for brands to tackle more complex issues while ensuring a superior customer experience.

2. Deploy Bots Broadly Across Websites

Avoid relegating chatbots to the Contact Us page of your website. Support should be readily accessible where the customer is making decisions. Businesses should ensure that interactive assistance is easily discoverable on any page where customers may have inquiries, such as product pages or the shopping cart. Experiences should be designed from the customer’s perspective rather than the company’s.

Furthermore, self-service can be proactive. Chatbots can initiate contact and offer support if the customer’s online behavior calls for it. For instance, if a customer is trying to return an item they purchased, the chatbot could proactively help by providing a summary of the company’s return/exchange policies or initiating a conversation to address their concerns regarding returns.

3. Integrate Self-Service into Mobile Apps

Self-service should not merely replicate the mobile website but should be an integral and carefully planned aspect of your mobile app. Deliberate consideration should be given to the experiences and functionalities customers can access within the app.

Despite having excellent web self-service, many brands struggle to provide satisfactory self-service experiences on their mobile apps, and miss out on a significant opportunity to stand out from their competitors.

Top-tier mobile apps leverage customer location data to tailor the responses to the customers’ queries. Additionally, integrating product scanning capabilities enhances user-friendliness by eliminating the need for customers to search with product names for information.

4. Set Up a Well-Constructed Knowledge Base for Chatbots

For a chatbot to effectively address customer queries, it relies on having access to the current answers, which underscores the importance of a well-constructed knowledge base.

The ideal knowledge base is tailored to contain only relevant information, avoiding unnecessary clutter. It should also prioritize being query-driven, leveraging NLP and conversational capabilities to deliver precise and contextually appropriate responses.

Furthermore, maintaining an up-to-date knowledge base necessitates a user-friendly authoring process, empowering business users to contribute content autonomously without relying on IT resources.

Additionally, integration with existing website content streamlines updates, minimizing duplication of effort across platforms.

5. Make Use of the Same Knowledge Base Across the Organization

Once the knowledge base is refined, its use should extend beyond customer-facing interactions to include live agents and store associates. This approach not only ensures consistency across the customer journey but also accelerates resolution times.

Advanced knowledge management software (KMS) can customize the same topics to various audiences, such as customers, service agents, or store employees, optimizing training investment and enhancing the return on investment in the KMS. It also reduces case handling time.

Having a robust knowledge base prevents team members from repeatedly searching for the same answers, resulting in a smoother and more efficient CX overall.

6. Analyze Customer Queries for Actionable Insights

Analyzing customer inquiries provides invaluable insights into their preferences and needs. A KMS equipped with NLP can categorize these queries into actionable trends, enabling updates to the knowledge base and adjustments to product strategies.

For instance, the system can flag some customer questions that have no answers in the knowledge base. NLP can help analyze and determine the intent behind these queries, facilitating the grouping of similar topics and reducing the workload.

Furthermore, machine learning algorithms can analyze emerging trends and identify content gaps in the knowledge base. This functionality not only sheds light on how customers perceive certain topics but also informs brands about potential areas for new product releases and marketing strategies.

7. Facilitate Frictionless Escalations

Customer escalations are inevitable, even with advanced self-service technology. To mitigate friction in the escalation process, offer customers various escalation options, such as chat, voice call, or video.

Smart customer engagement systems can also proactively identify escalation opportunities, such as detecting specific keywords during interactions and prompting immediate offers for escalation.

Transitioning between service channels should be seamless for customers. Empower agents with comprehensive context from previous customer interactions, enabling them to deliver personalized resolutions. This approach ensures that moving between channels feels like a continuous conversation rather than starting from scratch.

Learn about the significance of an omnichannel CX.

8. Build Communities

Self-service solutions can entail establishing digital hubs where customers assist each other voluntarily. This approach fosters communities where customers share knowledge and address each other’s queries, enhancing engagement and loyalty across various platforms.

Moreover, businesses can extend self-service to external platforms, such as social media, to engage customers effectively. Utilizing techniques like automated responses, chatbots, and FAQs on these channels can streamline customer interactions.

Self-Service Yields Results

Digital customer self-service solutions transcend being merely an email deflection tool. When executed effectively, it becomes a customer-centric enhancement, offering solutions promptly whenever needed. Implementing even a few of the suggestions outlined above can lead to substantial CX improvements.

While most brands acknowledge the significance of delivering quality customer service, many have yet to allocate sufficient resources to enable seamless and intuitive self-service experiences aligned with their overall strategies.

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