Effective customer self-service is becoming a critical element to developing a positive, powerful customer experience that is often a point of competitive differentiation for a business today. But besides the known and widely discussed value of lowering support costs, what is the true value of self-service for a business? What are the overall benefits of having an effective customer self-service strategy?
Here are three valuable benefits and business outcomes driven by self-service:
Customer empowerment means lower churn and higher conversions
Customers increasingly prefer self-service over assisted-service channels, allowing them to help themselves wherever and whenever they want to, rather than having to pick up the phone or even travel to a business location to see a representative. Website self-service has the potential to make your customers feel empowered, capable, confident, and able to move forward under their own steam.
When customers are able to get instant, relevant answers to their questions they are less likely to abandon and more likely to purchase! It’s the perfect recipe for loyal, repeat customers and higher conversions!
Lower support costs means increased efficiency for support agents
When self-service is properly implemented and effective at educating customers and also deflecting support tickets, a company has little recurring cost to maintain the self-service offering. Forrester estimates on average, a customer service phone call costs a company $12 and up, a live chat costs $5, an email costs $2.50, but customer self-service on a website costs a mere $0.10 per incident. (Yes, a dime!)
That’s because website self-service never takes any time from your customer service team. Especially with AnswerDash, where questions are answered one-time only and the Q&A is added to the AnswerDash tab for all future visitors to find answers through self-service. Without having to answer the same questions over and over, customer service agents are freed to focus on more meaningful, high-value customer conversations.
Higher engagement means stronger insights into customer behavior
Most self-service technologies today are grossly underutilized not because of a content-problem, but because of an experience problem. Through our research at AnswerDash, we have found that on average 0.1% of customers will actually click on the “Help” link on your website or web app (what we call a “help island,” more about those here). In comparison, 5-15% of customers will click the AnswerDash Q&A tab to get instant self-service answers at their point-of-action on your site. That’s 50 to 150 times more usage than a “help” link and also 50 to 150 times more insight into what your visitors are actually thinking on your website and why!
Are customers reading your Q&A? Are they finding the answers helpful? Are most of the new questions coming from a particular page or area of your site? With the answers to these questions you can begin to improve your user experience and make meaningful changes to your site. (Learn more about the power of AnswerDash analytics here.) It’s like mind reading, really!
As the customer experience evolves, we’ll see customer service shifting from a cost-center to a profit center… with self-service leading the way!