Customers Prefer to Find the Answers Themselves

Part one in a series.

Self-service has become the preferred channel of support.

When you have problems you want answers fast. No one likes navigating through a long list of IVR menu options to finally wait in a queue to speak to an agent. Then, after finally speaking to a random agent who cannot answer your question, you are transferred to another agent and have to explain your problem all over again.

Unfortunately, this customer support experience is not uncommon. It is the reason more and more people are turning to self-service as their preferred method of support, and only phone support as a last resort.

According to Forrester’s latest survey of US online adults:

  • Phone use for customer service has steadily decreased over the past six years, and they predict it will dip even further
  • Use of help or FAQs on a company’s website increased to 81% in 2015 (from 67% in 2012)
  • Online forum/community use jumped to 56% in 2015 (from 31% in 2012)

Give the people what they want

These trends present a huge opportunity for support organizations to increase customer satisfaction by offering multiple self-service options:

  • Mobile and web self-service and FAQs
  • Communities for peer-to-peer support
  • Virtual assistants / chatbots

Self-service also reduces costs by eliminating support calls on commonly asked questions. And agents’ work becomes more interesting and challenging, as they will handle mainly the more complex support issues.

Knowledge is Power

A mature and robust knowledge base is the cornerstone to empowering not only agents but also self-service users to find answers and resolve issues quickly. The knowledge base must continually evolve over time as knowledge authors comprised of agents and subject matter experts create new knowledge articles, edit and improve existing knowledge articles and archive outdated solutions.

Read the other blog posts in this series:

Author: Peter Chmiel

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