The 4th of July is a time where we take a break from the stress of work.
But should this be so?
Independence Day offers us the opportunity to learn and develop our customer service strategy.
Below are 4 key self-service lessons that we should take away from this year’s 4th of July celebrations.
Lesson #1 – In the Name of Our Founding Fathers, Listen to the People
Like the Founding Fathers did when they declared independence in 1776, it’s important for any business to listen to the people and give them what they want.
While many businesses nowadays provide a wide range of support tools including FAQ pages, community forums and tutorials, these tools are not always beneficial to the customer. Listening to critiques and accepting feedback from customers is vital to the success of any business. Include feedback tools into the website itself such as “Was this answer helpful?” at the end of an article, but also make it easy for customers to contact the company directly, ask questions and express concerns.
On self-service, Gartner reports:
“Over the last decade, organizations have disengaged with customers by moving to lower-cost channels such as websites, portals, interactive voice response (IVR) and other forms of self-service so that over 80% of customer service interactions now no longer involve talking to an employee.”
You may also embed a rating button at the bottom of each article to allow customers to easily give more detailed input on the quality and value of the article.
Lesson #2 – Like a Long Parade, it’s All About the Journey
While the desired end result may be apparent, it’s important to keep the customer’s journey in mind when designing a self-service experience.
The knowledge base content and the layout of an online support center should be optimized for the customer’s journey and experience. Envision the pathway the customer would take through self-service and what tools and articles would be helpful to allow them to achieve their ultimate goal.
Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez writes that, “within Web customer service (WCS), the knowledge database needs to be well-structured to allow at least an 85% relevance of responses to questions asked. Organizations that successfully exploit this self-service option have their knowledge databases supported by dedicated knowledge workers who constantly update and fine-tune the knowledge engine to allow an increasingly accurate level of responses.”
Always think from the customer’s point of view and ensure that the product is clear enough for all customers to understand.
Lesson #3 – Just like fireworks, Stand Out Among the Stars
On July 4th, millions of Americans gather outside to observe some amazing fireworks displays.
A visually appealing online platform will draw in consumers, by conveying that the site is simple, professional and user-friendly.
Ensure that all information is presented clearly and easy to understand. When designing a website, use pictures and videos whenever possible to facilitate self-support; do not truncate search results and ensure no forum questions are left unanswered. The brand should have a strong presence in the design of the website, and the site itself should be unique and distinct. Review your site regularly as customer needs change and ensure you are staying up-to-date.
Lesson 4 — Celebrate independence by allowing customers online self-service
According to desk.com, 72 percent of customers prefer self-service to resolve support issues.
On July 4th most business offices shut down to allow employees to partake in the festivities, however, that doesn’t mean customers won’t be using your services or making purchases. Allow customers to celebrate their independence by making self-service tools user-friendly and easily accessible.
Promote self-service when the business is closed and offer a discount for those who do opt to use self-service. Provide real-time feedback on self-service actions, personalizing whenever possible.