Last Updated: December 2023
Today’s digital customers prefer advanced and automated solutions over traditional methods. This trend not only prevails in online shopping but extends to self-service customer support. Studies show that,
62% of the customers are open to the use of AI tools for self-service.
This article will guide you thoroughly with an introduction to the customer self-service portal, its importance, benefits, and examples.
Let’s get started.
What is Customer Self-Service?
It is a self-help system where customers serve themselves by finding answers to their queries or initiating any service request on the portal through chat, forms, knowledge base, etc.
Why is Customer Self-Service necessary?
Say, you are an eCommerce business owner and your customers may want some additional product information while buying or want to initiate a return/refund for a product, then what have you to offer them?
Do they have to call your customer support or email you the request and wait for hours or days for your response?
A big No! Because today’s customers expect fast responses from brands.
55% of consumers say the greatest chatbot benefit is instant response time.
They don’t mind helping themselves with these menial tasks. You just need to incorporate such a self-help widget on your site to satisfy your customers quickly.
88% of customers expect companies to offer an online self-service portal to avoid unnecessary run-around time.
So, it has become necessary for businesses to adopt such AI-integrated technology self-help solutions to provide a better customer experience.
Benefits of Self-Service portal
The number one benefit of a Self-Service portal is that your customers can find answers and solutions on their own instantaneously to solve their problems or make those quick purchase decisions.
84% of consumers consider customer service to be a key factor when deciding whether to make a purchase or not.
It saves your customers valuable time along with yours providing your team with extra time for other complex issues that require personal intervention.
You can avoid repetitive tickets raised for the same customer, repeated calls for simpler issues, piling of calls or email backlogs, huge call-waiting time, etc. as all of these lead to poor customer satisfaction scores.
Superoffice research shows The average cost of a customer conversation or a phone call is $12.
Then consider how much it would cost on the whole if you don’t check on the total load of the call volumes or the total amount of time to clear all those pending tickets.
An in-depth study by Forrester Research and Oracle results found that web self-service can reduce costs by as much as $11 per call!
Hence, In the US, 78% of leaders are investing more in self-service, allowing customers to help themselves with self-help portals and AI-powered chatbots. – shows Freshworks report.
Also, the average cost of customer service per agent per month comes out to $2600 – $3400. In this case, the requirement to add more strength to your customer service team would add more burden on your business expenditure.
Whereas the cost of an efficient helpdesk software per month may cost comparatively economical. These savings would give you more power to invest in other scaling requirements of your business.
Research by Accenture found that by adding self-service, companies could see between $1-3 million in annual savings!
Improves Customer Experience
Customers no longer initiate a call to the customer support center straight away in case of any queries or issues.
73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website in the first place – found Dimension Data. It shows that they prefer self-service rather than contacting human support.
72% of customers complain of poor customer service if they had to repeat explaining problems to the service executives.
Unhappy customers mean increased customer churn rate which affects your brand loyalty greatly as 40% of them believed to spread their displeasure with a brand to others widely.
Hence, it is high time to check these losses by adopting necessary self-help service tools and making your customers instantly happy.
Off-working hours support
You cannot engage your customer service manpower all round the clock or at different places in different time zones. That practically costs huge as well.
Hosting a self-service customer support portal rescues you in such situations by providing answers or letting customers raise tickets automatically during those unmanned hours.
Self-Service tools UI
Your self-help portal should also be easy to use. The customers should find it easy to get their answers in a very few clicks or a simple search. If the navigation through the self-help service is complicated, then you are sure to lose potential customers.
Because studies found that unfortunately, 55% of customers find web self-service portals difficult to use.
Customer Self-Service Examples & Best Practices
You are running an eCommerce store and identifying your customers’ pain points throughout their journey with your brand will help you to identify the right self-help tools that you should add to your customer support system.
FAQ or Help Center
Designing a personalized FAQ or Q&A page proves very effective in giving relevant answers to your customers’ questions relating to your product or service. Just copying and pasting a common FAQ page doesn’t serve the purpose at all.
Tailor-make this section depending on your analysis reports of your customer lifecycle journey with your brand.
Always include a search option for quick finding of the answers/solutions.
Automation in Self-Service
Induction of Automation into your customer support system helps your team largely in a various number of ways.
For example, if a customer had initiated a request on your chat-support system and had called your contact support for an update, your agent will be running between systems to find the ticket itself in the first place.
This situation can be avoided if you use automated helpdesk software that neatly organizes all the customer-related information in one place.
A chat-bot widget had proven to be much effective for an instant resolution to customer queries.
For Example, Helplama Helpdesk offers a customized live-chat widget with the software for your website to help your customers with answers while they are on your site.
AI-draft Email Support
Acknowledging your customers’ self-help emails or sending out follow-up emails are quite essential to constantly engaging your customers. Yet engaging human agents on such mere email tasks is a waste of time and money. AI-drafted email conversations are absolutely sufficient for such tasks.
We are sure that you will be having multiple channels set up for your eCommerce store and available on all devices like laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. In that case, you need to carefully optimize your self-help portal to be compatible with all the devices across channels.
Not just device compatibility, you need to ensure the quality of the self-service portal too by constantly tracking the self-help metrics (NPS, Customer effort score, self-service recontact rate, conversion ratio, and case deflection rate) through feedback and analysis reports. These reports also generate predictive future trends which helps you greatly in optimizing your performance.
Integrating your self-service portal with all of your currently applied eCommerce software is vital for a seamless customer experience across channels.
We recommend you integrate with your cart software (like Shopify, Magento, Woo Commerce), social media channels (like Facebook, Instagram, etc), and eCommerce marketing tools so that all of your customers’ data is synced for delivering effective customer service solutions.
Collaborative support of technology and human
Irrespective of incorporating brilliant technological solutions it is always imperative to add a human touch whenever required for effective resolution.
Say if your customer is finding difficulty in getting a proper solution on your self-help portal, your agent should jump right in and assist the customer promptly to concrete his loyalty towards your brand.
Incorporating Helplama Helpdesk into your self-service system
Using intelligent helpdesk software proves essential for a growing eCommerce business like yours. As you grow and expand your brand, your customer base also widens and so do the support requirements.
Using Helplama Helpdesk software, you can provide a par excellent customer service experience to your customers through self-service tools and contact support assistance. It is also very easy to set up.
As we discussed earlier, the Helplama helpdesk offers live chat and AI-drafted email integrations for an active customer self-service experience. It offers a few more interesting tools for fully managed customer support.
Proactive order support
Stay ahead of your customer and avoid his requirement of approaching your support system beforehand with smart automated delayed order-related notifications.
Allow your customers to self-create return or exchange requests (based on your policies) and also download return labels in just one click.
Single-View Customer Journey
Earlier in this article, we discussed organized tickets for an enhanced customer support experience.
Helplama Helpdesk offers exactly the same with an even more intuitive compilation of the customer’s entire journey in a single window. No more jumping between windows and tickets to gather customer-related history.
Easy one-click integration with leading social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and eCommerce platform, Shopify, for effective cross-channel customer support.
This software not only understands your customer support operations but also understands the importance of inter-departmental coordination in delivering a consistent customer support experience using its Slack integration.
You can also check out here for other interesting customer support features like agent hire, automated agent training, outsourced customer support, phone support, telemarketing support, etc.
You can also try a 15-day Free trial and find out whether it suits your business requirements.
Happy customers are the key to a business’s success. Adopting emerging trends and technology supports you in achieving it faster.
So, just get the ball rolling by inducing the self customer service to reduce your team’s workload while delivering the best customer experience that drives increased customer retention, loyalty, and ROI.