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Improve your customer service strategy with a self-service portal

Generally, companies focus solely on having online agents who can answer messages and calls. However, that’s not all you can do to provide exemplary customer service. One easy-to-implement and effective option is self-service. Read on to learn more about what self-service is and how it can help you improve your customer service strategy. 

 

Why offer self-service options

According to Harvard Business, across all industries, 81% of customers try to solve problems themselves before contacting a representative. Customers expect instant service and instant answers, so they prefer to use options that don’t involve waiting. They also don’t want to have to explain their problem to an agent and risk not being understood.  

Self-service not only increases customer satisfaction. It also decreases the time and resource costs of the traditional customer service model. Your agents can focus on addressing larger issues while your customers can easily find answers in your knowledge base or FAQs.  

 

Which self-service options can I implement?

Interactive portal and knowledge base

The customer service portal is a section of your website designed to contain various self-service options. It contains contact, ticketing and Knowledge Base options.  

self-serviceA KB is an online library containing detailed information about products and services. In addition to manuals, guides, tutorials and everything a customer needs to know about your company. 92% of customers surveyed say they would use a knowledge base for self-service if it were available. 

It is important that the portal is interactive and intuitive, as well as search engine optimized (SEO). This can be achieved by implementing search bars, tips on usage, categories, keywords and audiovisual material. You also can’t forget to optimize your portal for use on mobile devices.  

77% of consumers say they have used a self-service portal. (Microsoft) It’s a sign that numerous customers may drop out when they don’t find a functional portal or knowledge base when they visit your site.  

Sections within a self-service portal may include:

  • Articles/Blog

Articles are one of the first self-service options on any website. They are a very important part of showing your customers the different facets and uses of your products or services. They allow you to develop more extensive topics and offer details about specific problems. Not only that, but they are also a very important element to help your customers find you on the web. 

self-serviceMany customers enter their questions directly into search engines, without going to your portal first. Even if they are already aware of your brand and use your products. So developing optimized articles will not only help you provide better customer service, but can increase your company’s visibility and prevent your customers from leaving with a competitor.  

  • FAQ

Frequently asked questions or FAQ are an informative tool whose content is always concise and easy to read. The questions contained in a FAQ are based on the most frequent needs of your customers or the most common questions received by your customer service agents.  

They are an essential part of self-service, as there is nothing more appealing to a customer than seeing their specific question in a list of frequently asked questions. In fact, FAQ development is expected to be one of the first tasks to be performed when a business starts, along with mission and vision. 

  • Forums

83% of people surveyed say they would use an online community for self-service if it were available. Customers in general feel a strong affinity for others who have the same experiences as they do. They prefer to share their problems with someone they perceive to be “on the same level.”

Having a self-service forum section can also give you insight into your customers’ needs. It allows you to have visibility into what they are saying about you and your brand and what your strengths are.  

  • Chatbots with AI

Some problems cannot be solved easily if a customer has no knowledge of “what” to look for. However, self-service is present when artificial intelligence is in charge of bringing the customer perspective on their problem.  

A customer can open a chatbot with AI and answer quick questions interactively to arrive at a specific solution, or receive item suggestions. It can also offer guidance on which customer service department can assist you. Even generate tickets and requests from within the chat itself.  

 

Manage your customer service portal with an intuitive tool

You don’t need to pay for a web designer to build a customer service portal on your website from scratch. With Freshdesk it is possible to implement such a portal with all the above-mentioned self-service options through an intuitive, code-free platform. Generate articles for your knowledge base, create new topics for your forum and manage your FAQ easily. Allow your customers to open tickets and generate requests so that your agents can handle them in an organized way on the same platform.  

Ready to optimize your customer service strategy? Ask our experts at GB Advisors how you can use Freshdesk to make it happen. 

 

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