Let Them Go, You Can’t Hold Them Back Anymore – Making Your Customers Independent

So, for those of us who aren’t 13 year old girls, we started off with a reference from the movie Frozen. Now, when I say let your customers go, I mean how to make them more independent. Less hand holding. So you can breathe easier.

 

People would rather solve their own problems. That, as John Oliver would say, is a fact. Whether it’s due to a past bad customer service experience or some other reason is less relevant. Self-service provides customer’s with an immediate solution. It also empowers  your customers because you make them feel smart. That information makes your brand transparent, and therefore honest.

 

Self service goes hand in hand with traditional customer service and social media channels like peanut butter and jelly or ice cream and tears. Author Ritika Puri writes about self-service and describes how it can help any customer solve a problem without wasting time. Self-service gives customers a more immediate sense of satisfaction and reduces costs and resources and for both parties.

 

1. Provide Digital Support Resources and Live Chat

There’s the old saying: if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime. That saying is terrible so here is a new version. Record a show for a friend and he’ll watch it for a day, teach him to DVR and he’ll have television for life. And yes, I realize that they could just order Netflix. Work with me here people.

 

Empowering your customers by providing information and tools to resolve their problems is teaching them how to DVR. Remember, self service does not replace customer service, it’s simply a great complement to it. Your customers can choose whether they want to solve their own problems or call customer service.

 

If you have an online business, you can use videos, screenshots and step by step guides  in order to help customers with questions that don’t require a personal walk-through.

 

Offering live chat as part of you customer service strategy will be a great benefit to your company. You are giving  your customers the opportunity to sign in and out when they please without being tied to a call center hold system.

 

2. Designing Your Website According to UX Principles

Every business has a website. In order to help customers find their way through yours, you have to keep it easy, usable and friendly for new and potential customers. The design and development process of your website should focus around the prospective user to make sure their goals and requirements are met. Build websites that are efficient and easy to use.

 

For more information on how to make your website UX-friendly, click here.

 

3. Making Support Mobile

Think about the growth of the mobile device market. Many people that will access your website use a mobile device rather than a wireless computer. Businesses should use social media services, especially mobile for customer service. People take their smartphones everywhere they go. To make their life easier, they need access to service through their mobile.

So, let your customers be more independent. Let them go, set them free! But before you do, follow the tips above and make sure you set an environment conducive to this.

However, even with self-service options, always stay up to date with customer service questions and problems. That way you will know what your product weaknesses are.

 

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Amy Clark is the Lead Author & Editor of IWantItNow Blog. Amy established the Customer Engagement blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to customer service, support and engagement.
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