Your customers have more choice over what products to buy, where to buy them, and how to buy them. What they don’t have is time. In fact, Forrester finds that two-thirds of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.

Customer service organizations have to make self-service easy and effective. It must connect the customer to the right answer or resolution. Self-service should be delivered when the customer is engaged, with a full understanding of their context and in the flow of their actions within the application that they are using.

Self-service interactions should seamlessly transfer to an agent. If this happens, the agent should have a full visibility of the customer journey so that they don’t have to repeat any of the information that has already been communicated. Self-service should also empower customers with knowledge that they are anticipated to need, ensuring success in their journey.

When done well, customer self-service:

  • Impacts the speed of issue resolution and customer satisfaction. Self-service delivers personalized engagement, increases customer satisfaction and reduces operational costs by deflecting common customer inquiries.
  • Increases conversion and revenue. Proactive content, delivered at the right time in a journey, helps educate the customer. It gives them confidence that they are making the right purchase. This decreases buyer’s remorse, which ultimately decreases returns.
  • Drives customer engagement. Users access self-service content for best-practice advice and peer input. Organizations solicit customers for suggestions for new product features and mine used content to understand areas of friction within the product. In combination, these insights help organizations evolve products in line with customer demand.
  • Creates lasting customer success. Self-service content can help onboard customers. It can help increase product education, including new features, deepening the success that customers have with their purchases.

This means that great customer self-service delivers much more than just call deflection. If done properly, it allows you to digitally engage with your customers to empower them with answers and advice that deepen their engagement with the brand — positively influencing their satisfaction, retention, and advocacy.