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The Ultimate Guide to Customer Self-Service: Benefits, Examples, and Strategies

In this article, we'll discuss what is customer self-service, showcasing different benefits, examples and strategies.
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Emi
Author Emi

Customers are now preferring to take matters into their own hands. It is true, according to Harvard Business Review, it was noticed that 81% of customers take care of the issues or questions they have by themselves before contacting a live representative of a company. This pattern has been noticed across all industries.

Well, if you look at our surroundings and the way we are evolving, everyone wants solutions to their problems quickly without any delay. That is why people are starting to find their own solutions rather than contact a representative.

Looking at customer preferences and opinions, businesses are incorporating customer self-service without fail into their strategies.

Customer self-service is a strategy that is very much needed at this point in time to enhance your customer experience. While many businesses are incorporating it there are a few firms that haven't touched up on this area.

We are here to tell you all about automated customer service. Read on to learn everything.

Self-Service vs. Assisted Service: Which is Better for Your Customers?

Let us see the difference between self-service and assisted, along with their pros and cons.

What Is Self-service and Assisted-service?

When we are talking about self-service in the web world, it is an electronic support that helps customers get information on the queries they have without contacting a business support agent.

Some people might wonder what customer self-service is then. Well, self-service is also popularly known as customer self-service.

Coming to assisted service, as the name mentions, it is the opposite of customer self-service. It is the process where customers take help from business support agents or representatives to finish a task or clear their doubts.

We recommend you to take a look also at these two articles, one about self-service technology and the other about self-service devices.

What Is an Example of Customer Self-Service?

Here are a few customer self-service examples:

What Is an Example of Assisted-Service?

An example of assisted service is a call center. Many businesses have a call center where customers can contact the agents to clarify their doubts and help them with other tasks.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each Approach?

Here is a list of all the pros and cons of automated customer service.

Pros:

  • Lower cost for business
  • Resolves queries faster
  • Efficient and flexible.
  • Customers feel satisfied by solving their own queries.

Cons:

  • Requires constant monitoring and analysis
  • Hard to get customer feedback.

Here is a list of all the pros and cons of assisted services.

Pros:

  • Easy to get customer feedback.
  • More human interaction
  • You can personalize interactions.

Cons:

  • More investment is needed to hire customer agents.
  • Customers have to wait for the agent to answer their queries.
  • On some weekends or holidays, assisted service might not be available for customers to resolve issues.

How to Determine Which Approach Is Best for Your Business and Customers?

Customer self-service and assisted service have their advantages and disadvantages. The real question is which one is better for your customers and business.

Well, the answer depends on what type of business you run. For example, if you run a restaurant, it is better to opt for assisted customer service.

If your is an online business like a retail store, you can incorporate self-help tools such as chatbots into your website.

When choosing the service, consider the following:

  • What do your customers prefer?
  • What type of business do you run?
  • Which method is more beneficial for both of you?

You also have to consider what type of issues your customers usually face and pick the service accordingly. You can even incorporate both services.

For example, you can have an online FAQ or virtual assistance on your website. If your customer is not able to solve their issue by themselves, you can direct them to your assisted customer service (your customer agents)

The Benefits of Customer Self-Service: How it Saves Time and Money

Now that you know what customer self-service is all about, let us dive into the detailed benefits of customer self-service for your business.

Increased Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty

Customer satisfaction and loyalty are interlinked. If your customer is satisfied, they will automatically become loyal to your business.

The way to increase customer satisfaction is to provide them with what they want. What customers want is no delay when they have queries. They want faster issue resolution so that they can carry on with their task or other work.

With online customer support, you can provide that to your customers. Also, as mentioned before, today's customers like self-service over waiting in line for customer agents to respond to them.

When we look at customer engagement rates, by the State of Global Customer Service in 2017, 63% of customers under the age of 35 choose online customer support rather than calling an agent for help. It was also noticed that people between the ages of 24 and 30 do not like waiting in a queue on the phone waiting for a customer support executive to solve their problem. They also do not like writing e-mails to the support department.

Also, 90% of customers expect businesses to have online self-service customer portals.

From these customer self-service statistics, you can understand what customers want. Providing them with a customer portal or customer self-service will only enhance their customer experience and satisfaction.

When their needs are met faster than expected, customers will become loyal to your business.

Cost Savings for Businesses

Running a customer support department costs a lot. You have to pay all the employees, and as your business expands, you will need more customer service agents to help you. All this needs more budget.

With customer self-service or a user-driven service, you will experience reduced customer service costs. Though you will need a few people managing your customer self-service strategies, you will not have to pay as many employees as you need with assisted service for your customer service strategy.

According to Garner reports, an issue solved through automated self-services can cost a business 80 to 100 times less than a live interaction with a customer agent.

Other statistics show that for a B2C company, the cost of a user-driven service is measured in pennies, whereas the average cost of a live interaction is more than $7.

Also, you will be providing your customers with efficient 24/7 availability of customer service at a lower cost.

Improved Efficiency and Productivity

When you invest in self-service technology, you will improve your workflow efficiency and productivity.

With customer self-service, you will not keep your customers waiting for customer agents to answer their queries. At the same time, you will increase your teams' productivity. They will not be answering repetitive questions anymore. Instead of answering repetitive questions and dealing with similar issues every day, they can focus on complex issues and advanced tasks.

Your customer self-service technology will take care of all the customer queries and only involve the agents or your team if your customer is having trouble solving it on their own. Doing this will also reduce your call deflection rate, and there will be higher customer retention.

This will increase your business productivity and efficiency.

Better Scalability and Flexibility

There are many ways through which you can incorporate customer self-service strategies. You can use chatbots, virtual assistance, self-checkout kiosks, and many more. You have many options.

Having many options makes way to be flexible with your strategies. Also, even if your business expands, you do not need to hire more customer service executives to interact with your customers. The self-service technologies will do it for you.

7 Examples of Customer Self-Service That Will Transform Your Business

These customer self-service examples will improve customer engagement and boost your business.

CRM Software

A self-service CRM software is a new system that customers can use it as per their choice and get the needed support from the company's CRM team.

In this process, your business can approach actual customers who are interested in your firm. It will save you time, money, and effort. With this type of software, customers will make an effort, and your business will focus on web contact management.

Help Desk Software

Help desk software will make your work easy. Help Desk software streamlines all your customer conversations across all the channels you use. It keeps them in one place and tracks user requests.

Help desk software will help you communicate with your customers easily without missing out on any query.

Here is how help desk software works:

When your customer reaches out to you through social media, the help desk software will record the incoming issue as a ticket. Every ticket is labeled, prioritized, and assigned to a support agent. Your agent will receive the ticket and get all the prior interactions so that they can reply accordingly, right from the help desk software.

The response will be sent to your customer from where they raised the query. Also, all of this happens very quickly. Your customer does not have to stay on the call and can get the answer they are looking for quickly.

Knowledge Base

A knowledge base is an area where your customer can find all the answers they are looking for without making them hunt for the right information.

This section on the website will help your customer find answers to common product or service issues or any other questions. The section includes organized and detailed documentation of all the services and products the business provides and how to use them.

Overall, a knowledge base is like an FAQ page where your customer can find all the information they are looking for in detail without contacting the customer service agent.

Virtual Assistants

Interactive voice response is an example of virtual assistance. IVR is a technology where it interacts with customers before talking to an agent. You can incorporate automated voice menus and pre-recorded answers to common questions (FAQs) and help customers get their answers.

This technology provides businesses with more opportunities to increase customer satisfaction. With virtual assistance, your customers can interact with the machine whenever they want.

Chatbots

Chatbots can boost your business and increase customer engagement. When it comes to digital self-service chat, bots are the best way to provide answers and engage in conversations.

Chatbots are like online chat support. You can feed your bots with pre-defined answers and provide your customers with answers immediately. You can use chatbots on your website and apps.

Also, if you use chatbots that have artificial intelligence, your bots can solve more complex issues on their own, which is an added advantage.

Through chatbots, you can even ask for customer feedback. In a way, it acts like customer feedback software as well. One example of an AI Chatbot would chatlyn.ai.

Self-checkout Kiosks

A self-checkout kiosk is perfect for supermarkets or other retail stores. In simple words, it is best for businesses where customers have to physically checkout.

A self-checkout kiosk is a machine or a self-check device that has a touchscreen display and allows users to purchase products and services without the help of a staff member. They do not have to wait in a long line to check-out.

Online Appointment Scheduling

If your business involves making appointments, then an online appointment scheduling tool will be the best example for you.

An online appointment scheduling software is a solution where customers can schedule and book their appointments through a web-based system. They no longer have to call you to check for available slots and book an appointment.

This strategy will make it easier for you to manage your bookings at the same time. It makes it convenient for your customer.

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Choosing the Right Customer Self-Service Software: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the appropriate customer self-service software is very important because it can make or break your customer engagement rate or experience.

We are here to help you with what factors to consider while choosing software and software you can invest in.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Customer Self-service Software

There are a few factors you must consider while opting for customer self-service software that can enhance your customer empowerment.

  1. Easy to use

The software that you are picking for customer self-service must have a clean and logical interface. For example, if you are investing in a CRM software, your customer should be able to use it without having to learn how to use the self-service tool.

They should be able to navigate easily around the customer portal and find what they need. Pick a software that suits your business and customer needs.

Customer self-service software must have a basic search option along with a few filters. Also, pick software that provides categories of support. It will be easier for your customer to find the information they need.

  1. Functionality

Customer-Service Software should be a one-stop shop for all customer queries. It should be able to reduce customer service friction and enhance your customer experience.

Look for software that can address all queries quickly.

  1. Suitability

The self-service channel selection or software must be suitable for your business. Only then will it be beneficial for you and your customers. Invest in a customer portal that:

  • Saves you money.
  • Integrates well with your existing tools.
  • Reduces the strain on your customer support executives.
  • Saves your time.

These are the main factors that you must look into. You can also check if the software is customizable and if you can personalize it.

Popular Customer Self-service Software Options and Their Features

Here are a few popular customer self-service software:

  • Zendesk

Zendesk provides a robust knowledge base. The software immediately suggests customers with information as they type the query. It organizes content into topics, type of user, and type of content.

Zendesk helps customers find the information they are looking for easily without surfing through various articles.

  • Kommunicate

With Kommunicate you can build NLP-powered bots for mobile and the web for your customers.

The software provides a code-less bot integration, and business owners can easily integrate custom-made bots. The software helps businesses never lose a lead and helps with quick replies. It also provides message templates to make work easy.

  • Help Scout

Help Scout offers various features that help businesses provide their customers with a convenient self-service experience.

The software provides a knowledge base feature and live chat widget, and it even provides a mobile app for teams who require notifications on the go to resolve customer issues.

chatlyn AI stands out from other customer self-service software with its advanced AI capabilities, seamless chatbot integration, and exceptional user experience. Powered by cutting-edge NLP technology, chatlyn AI provides highly accurate and personalized responses, surpassing traditional knowledge base systems. Its intuitive interface and organized content enable customers to find information effortlessly, saving time and increasing satisfaction. With features like a mobile app and live chat widget, chatlyn AI ensures efficient issue resolution across multiple channels.

By choosing chatlyn AI, businesses can enhance their customer service operations, deliver exceptional experiences, and gain a competitive edge.

Best Practices for Implementing and Integrating Customer Self-service Software

There are a few points that you must keep in mind while integrating and implementing any customer self-service software.

  1. Figure out where your biggest problem is and incorporate your software to address those issues as a priority.
  2. When implementing customer self-service software, ensure that it is a part of your omnichannel support.
  3. Ensure that the transition from your self-service strategy to assisted customer service is smooth. It should also be easy for your customers to navigate the transition.
  4. Start by incorporating a knowledge base and then develop from there. A knowledge base is the best way to start customer self-service. Also, ensure that you regularly update it.
  5. Conduct regular checkups on your self-service software.

Introducing chatlyn AI: Lightning-Fast Customer Self-Service Powered by ChatGPT

There is a self-service software that can change the game of your business, and that is chatlyn.

chatlyn is an AI-powered customer engagement platform that assists you in automating client communication, optimizing engagement, and reducing workload to accelerate customer satisfaction and boost your revenue.

We at chatlyn have introduced a new feature which is an AI-powered customer self-service software. It uses artificial intelligence to provide you and your business with lightning-fast responses to your customer queries. Your customers will not have to wait anymore to get the information they want anymore with chatlyn.

Let us jump into how our platform can help you.

With chatlyn AI you can easily upload your knowledge base links or documents without any hassle. The chatbot widget will automatically and immediately answer any type of first-level support questions your customers have asked. Our chatbot works across various channels, such as your website, messaging apps, and social media.

To top it all, chatlyn AI is powered by ChatGPT, the best and also known as the state-of-the-art language model. When you implement our platform to your strategies, you will be able to provide highly accurate answers to your customers, as ChatGPT helps in understanding natural language.

You will have no regrets with chatlyn AI, our platform frees up your customer service executives to handle more important and complex issues while we will provide your customers with the support they need.

chatlyn also provides an analytics dashboard where you can gain valuable insights into your customer behavior and inquiries. This will help you understand what changes and improvements you have to make to your customer self-service strategy.

As we mentioned before, chatlyn is a game-changing solution, you can provide quick responses to your customers without human interactions.

Implement chatlyn to improve your customer self-service and enhance your customer experience.

How to Improve Customer Self-Service: Best Practices and Strategies

Here are a few ways on how to improve customer self-service. These methods will take your self-service strategies to the next level.

Analyze Customer Feedback

You must take customer feedback very seriously. Their feedback will help you understand how well your customer self-service strategy is working and where you have to improve.

Collect all your customer feedback and analyze it. This way, it will be easier for you to provide them with a better and more meaningful customer experience. You can design your self-service according to the feedback, and you can retain your customer satisfaction rate.

Customers are ultimately the end-users of the self-serve, and their feedback can help you understand how effective your self-serve is.

Optimize Self-service Channels

Your self-service channels need to be optimized to the best level. Constantly update your channels and expand them with more information. The more information, the best customer satisfaction.

Your customer portals should be the place that has all the updated information your customer wants without fail.

Simplify Self-service Processes

The self-service process must always be easy. The reason why customers opt for self-service is because it is easier for them to find the information they need instead of contacting an agent. If the self-service process is not simple, your customers will be dissatisfied.

Keep the process simple. For example, if you have online appointment scheduling software, keep the interface easy to use and simple. Provide information that is important and nothing unnecessary.

Train Employees in Self-service

Train your employees on how to design your self-service software or strategies. For example, your product managers or self-service content development team must always be ready with more content. If you have a chatbot, the questions should be updated regularly according to what the customers are frequently asking.

Old content must be updated, and your multimedia content should be top-notch.

Leverage AI and Automation

Automation and AI are the future. Utilizing these will make the experience even more customized and personalized. For example, chatlyn is an AI-powered solution. Implementing chatlyn will make your workflow efficient, and your customers will be able to get quick responses.

Monitor Self-service Metrics

Once you have used your self-service solution, it is always better to monitor the metrics and see what kind of issues are arising. See what kind of issues led to an incomplete customer query.

Metrics will give you a clear idea of what your customer wants. For example, with chatlyn's analytics dashboard, you will be able to see your customer's behavior and their queries. Similarly, checking the metrics will also tell you what new questions are arising.

With self-service performance measurements, you will also know if the solution you are using is living up to your business goals.

Creating a Customer Self-Service Culture: Tips and Techniques for Success

Customer self-service is an area that has to be touched by every single business, irrespective of what industry they belong to. Let us understand why it is important for your business to be customer-centric.

Importance of a Customer-centric Culture

B2C businesses run because of customers. If there are no customers, there are no profits, and the business will fail. We will live in a time where there are multiple options for one type of product or service. It has become easier for customers to move to another store of business if they feel dissatisfied with the services.

To retain your customers, you need to incorporate a customer-centric culture. It is very hard and more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to maintain existing customers. That is why it becomes even more important to become customer-centric.

Also, since we live in a digital era, if you do not meet the needs of your customer, the word can spread very fast, affecting your business.

It is always better to be customer-centric as it is a powerful culture, and you will be able to retain customers and increase your repeat purchase rate. You will also be able to build meaningful relationships with your customers.

Best Practices for Creating a Customer Self-service Culture

Customer self-service culture can improve your customer experience.

Here are a few practices that you can incorporate to create a better customer self-service culture.

  1. Start choosing a customer self-service that is suitable for your business and your customers.
  2. Create a customer self-service roadmap to plan out how you want to implement the solution.
  3. Before you implement other strategies, create a knowledge base on priorities. Also, constantly update your knowledge base, FAQs, and your multimedia.
  4. Monitor how your customer self-service solutions are performing.

Now, here are a few practices that you, as a business owner, have to follow to create a great culture. Remember, business owners have the greatest impact on the company's culture and policies.

  1. Hire the right customer self-service team.
  2. Listen to your customers, collect feedback, and analyze it. Your customers must be a part of your goals and vision.
  3. Build a customer-centric focus into sales and marketing.
  4. Train your customer-self service team regularly.
  5. Define your customer self-service quality and goals.

Overall, to build a customer self-service culture, as a business owner, you and your team must be on the same page, which is to provide what your customer wants. When everyone is on the same page, you will be able to build a safe and productive customer self-service culture.

Case Studies of Successful Customer Self-service Cultures

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor has one of the best knowledge bases. Their knowledge base is very easy to navigate and provides a seamless customer experience.

What makes their knowledge base the best is that it has a search bar, categories that are color-coded, and each one links to related support documents.

Customers can find everything they need in one place, right from account management to how to create and send. When the interface is well designed and maintained, customers will feel satisfied and will not move to another service because they are finding answers to all their needs in one place without contacting the company.

Bradesco

Bradesco is a Brazalian bank. The bank noticed that their customers complained about the long waiting times for their central office. With the help of IBM Watson, the bank created a chatbot. The chatbot was trained in Portuguese and could analyze more than 10,000 customer questions.

The chatbot was able to quickly answer customer queries with 96% accuracy within 10 months. The bank was able to reduce waiting times from 10 minutes to a few seconds.

Now, the bot can answer 283,000 questions a month with an accuracy of 95%. It is trained on 62 products as well. Implementing a chatbot helped bank agents focus on complex issues.

Sephora

Here is another case study of avirtual assistance solution. Sephora wanted to provide a store-like experience to their online customers as well. They replicated the experience on their Sephora website in South East Asia.

The company analyzed their website and understood what their customers searched for the most. The company turned their observation into a solution by providing their customers with an omnichannel customer service approach.

The company also implemented a chatbot on Whatsapp. The chatbot provided customers with a personalized consultation. It also helped customers reserve products for store pick up.

The chatbot was an all-in-one solution, and that is the reason customers loved it. It even provided them with information regarding returns and the availability of products. Customers can get all the information regarding the products they want from the website anytime and anywhere.

With the implementation of a chatbot, Sephora was able to earn around 30K in revenue every month.

Contact Us Now!

When you implement customer self-service into your strategies, you will not regret it. We at chatlyn AI aim to provide you with the best self-service solutions. You will be able to experience a great ROI and provide your customers with the best experience and engagement.

Contact us now and we will take you through all the details. You will have no regrets about chatlyn. 

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