Important Self Service Support Tips

Well, I’ve talked in some detail about how great self service is, and how the fears most people had of it were ultimately not to be heeded. I think I did a good job being an apologist for this concept, and I know for a fact many of my esteemed colleagues did the same, with gusto. It seems that my people have been heard, because there has been an explosion of interest in self service, and now people are eager to learn how to properly implement self service support.

Well, I’ve actually talked about the diverse and capable kinds of self service support could be tapped if the model were adopted, but that was never the point of it at the time, and I wasn’t very descriptive, I admit. So, today, I’m going to talk about this at a little length, and show you how easy this is to actually do.

That’s right, not only is this as powerful and effective as they say, it’s also remarkably easy to undertake, if you do it the right way.

First of all, let’s talk UX for just a second, in that you need to make sure that your support and customer-side CRM design is intuitive navigationally, layout-wise, and in aesthetics. This actually really counts, because setting the proper mood in the customer will make them less prone to frustration, intimidation or any number of less than constructive preconceptions.

But let’s leave the science of that to UX people, and focus on what the requirements are for actually implementing the self service itself. You need a system that is intuitive, and easy to use. It needs to be very easy to learn, and it needs to empower them without letting them make destructive mistakes.

So, you need a system with good databases, a great training base, strong security but deep functionality. Well, that’s either going to have to be a ton of miniature subsystems integrated by a proprietary master program, which there are many box kits for designing, or you have a faster alternative.

There are several of these new systems out there now, but I’m going to use WalkMe as my example. It was the first and it’s probably still the best one of these. Anyhow, these programs were originally (and still are) meant to be teaching tools, though they’ve been discovered to be capable of much more.

WalkMe, the original of these, was designed to be a live, content-aware integration for other services. It has a custom GUI which you can drag and drop edit, as do most of these. They tend to require little to no programming skill to set up, being very user-friendly.

What they were meant to do was operate pages, and allow the user to operate them, and teach as well as track their learning, through being right there watching.

However, the moment we began playing with these, we saw that finally, if inadvertently, the solution to the self service conundrum had arrived. These programs do exactly what I said earlier, was needed. In stead of having a proprietary one built by IT, you can just use this, and it’s self-aware enough to take care of itself and customers at least eighty percent of the time.

These programs, which are used everywhere, are what makes self service support truly possible. You have your choices in these, and you can also make boxkits into these, if you have a good coding staff and are intrigued enough by the idea to try.

Still, it’s probably going to be easier to use one of these teaching systems in the long run.

is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe