Why Companies Should Invest in Customer Self-Service

Providing customers with responsive and effective customer support is more important than ever. Seventy-eight percent of customers have ended a business relationship because of bad customer service. It is also estimated that it costs a company six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. And that’s just the beginning – there are plenty of reasons why companies should invest in strong customer service:

  • $41 billion is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service [Insight Squared].
  • 40% of customers begin purchasing from a competitor because of their reputation for great customer service [Zendesk].
  • 42% switch because they are put off by rude or unhelpful staff [NewVoice].
  • 32% switch because they are frustrated by speaking to multiple agents [NewVoice].
  • 29% switch because they are annoyed by a lack of staff knowledge [NewVoice].
  • 25% switch because they are tired of being kept on hold [NewVoice].

With such a heavy emphasis placed upon consumer satisfaction, some organizations have found an unusual source to help them consistently deliver excellent customer service: their own customer base. Consumers have become increasingly tech-savvy and expect the brands they do business with to follow suit. According to a study done by Nuance Enterprise, 75% of respondents preferred self-service over contacting a support agent. Further, 91% indicated they would use a knowledge base if it met their needs – and the interest in self-service doesn’t stop there:

  • 51% of customers prefer support through an online knowledge base [Econsultancy].
  • 45% of organizations that offer web or mobile self-service options noticed an increase in website traffic and a reduction in phone inquiries [CRM Magazine].
  • 50% of organizations offering social customer support saw an increase in their customer satisfaction rating [Sword Ciboodle].
  • 68% of organizations are using branded communities to offer customer support [Sword Ciboodle].
  • 55% say easy access to information and support can make them fall in love with a brand [RightNow].

This provides a welcome opportunity for businesses. Self-service support sites enable customers to answer their own questions any time, anywhere. Also, when executed correctly, self-service support can lower costs, improve productivity, and lead to a more personalized and profitable customer experience. However, simply providing self-service support does not guarantee customers will find it beneficial. To ensure your brand provides excellent self-service, three best practices must be implemented:

1. Optimize the results of frequent customer searches. Create a space, such as an online community, where customers can easily access the answers they’re looking for. Build a knowledge base that includes instructional guides or step-by-step videos and encourages visitors to engage in Q&A.
2. Tune your knowledge base. Monitor the keywords being searched or questions being asked and adjust your knowledge base accordingly. The goal is to constantly improve the customer experience through an effective and informative online community.
3. Adjust when necessary. Regularly monitor the top search inquiries of those participating in your community. Swap out or edit content to deliver a more beneficial customer experience.

Today’s customers are extremely self-sufficient when it comes to seeking out answers to product inquiries or support issues. Instead of calling a support line, they are searching the Internet for answers. Investing in self-service support, not only benefits the customer, it enables organizations to decrease support costs and boost levels of overall customer satisfaction.

Share on social

Explore Full AnswerHub Capabilities

Related Articles

Tech Advocates and Marketing Fundamentals

What Is a Tech Advocate and What Does One Do? Before jumping into how to find a tech advocate, let’s just be clear on what a tech advocate is and what marketers expect (hope?) one will do. The marketer typically asks a potential advocate to try the product for a free or minimal charge in…

The Three Drivers That Make This an Amazing Time for Software Developers

Cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms are democratizing technology for developers at a rapid clip. Easy access, do-it-yourself components and drag-and-drop apps have catapulted software development from the domain of techies hunched over code in siloed offices out into the daylight of everyday business, where developers are growing globally and at an ever-increasing scale. This…

51 Mobile Development Terms You Need to Know

For marketers in the mobile tech industry, developer and software jargon can be tricky to learn. Especially if you don’t have a technical background. So, to help non-technical marketers get familiar with the mobile vocab, we’ve put together a list of the most common 51 mobile development terms marketers need to know. And if you want…

Building Brand Engagement With Software Developers

In this article, I’m going to review some of the ways I’ve seen successful developer communities engage with their audience and build a solid, sustainable brand. I’m going to illustrate key points with some high-level examples that I recommend you check out further. I want to point out in advance that I’m not affiliated with any…