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FAQ Software: Helping Customers Help Themselves

The changes to the business world ushered in by the Internet have not been small. Ecommerce completely revolutionized how people learn about and purchase items, and social media is still in the process of redefining how businesses communicate with their customers. Another rising trend, and one that is expected to become even more important in the next few years, is self-service customer service. Here we’ll explore the growing demand for self-service options, what self-service entails, and how FAQ software can help companies provide efficient self-service for their customers.

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The trend toward more self-service customer service

According to Forrester, the channels through which people communicate with companies is changing. Although voice is still the primary way customers seek support, there have been double-digit increases in web-based engagement: a 12% increase in web self-service, a 24% increase in online chat, and a 25% increase in online community usage.

 

  • Here are some other statistics that reinforce the customer self-service trend: 83% of consumers would be more likely to recommend a company that “offered easy-to-use and consistent self-service via their mobile device” (Amdocs).
  • 75% of consumers think self-service customer service is convenient (Nuance).
  • 67% of consumers would rather use self-service than speak to a customer service representative (Nuance).

 

Already two-thirds of consumers want self-service options, and as digital technologies continue to make their way into more areas of our lives, these numbers are likely to go up—today’s consumers want their questions answered and their problems solved, and they want it now.
What exactly is self-service?

There is a huge difference between self-checkout at the grocery store or self-service online purchasing and the kind of self-service customer service we’re talking about here. Self-service shopping depersonalizes transactions by automating the interactions between company and consumer. In contrast, self-service customer service provides a personalized experience by allowing customers to find the information they need, when they need it, and through whatever modality they choose.

 

Self-service options for customer service involves online FAQs, documents, videos and tutorials, user manuals, and even community forums where customers can get answers from other customers. The common denominator is that consumers can do all of this without having to interact directly with anyone at the company. Think about self-service is as providing a way for customers to independently learn about your company and your products. The goal really is to help your customers help themselves.

 

How to provide self-service

The best way to provide self-service options for your customers is by using FAQ software to organize, store, and grant selective access to your organizational knowledgebase. This software allows you to create a centralized repository of highly searchable knowledge resources that your customers can use to find information quickly, without having to wait on hold on the phone or until your customer service department has a chance to answer their email. Using a FAQ software system, you can organize your knowledge resources, control access to them, and track how your customers are using them.

 

Note that providing self-service doesn’t entirely take your customer service agents out of the picture—they are still involved in moderating forum discussions, dealing with issues that can’t be handled by customers independently, and of course providing service to customers who prefer to talk to someone on the phone or via online chat. What it does do is provide a new front line, if you will, one that can both reduce your number of customer service tickets and provide increased customer satisfaction.

 

Customers want self-service options. Beyond that, they are starting to expect that these options will be available. Why not give them what they want? Start exploring the features and functions of FAQ software today.

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