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Great self-service is something most companies aspire to provide, in pursuit of an exceptional customer experience. When done well, it increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s also cheaper and relieves the contact center from the burden of answering repetitive calls.

97% of the support leaders TSIA surveyed plan to invest in self-service tools in the next two years. To select the right tools, you first need to have a clear vision of what great self-service means to you and your customer.

High-Impact Self-Service: What Works?

Self-service works when it empowers customers to find information and resolve issues on their own, without picking up a phone or interacting with the contact center. Self-service sites, portals, and communities are successful when they make the experience:

#1: Effortless

The best predictor of self-service success is how much effort it requires of the customer. Great self-service connects the customer with the answer they need fast, with the minimal number of clicks and steps required. 

#2: Everywhere

Successful self-service is everywhere your customer is. It is never more than a single click away, each and every moment of the customer experience. It is delivered seamlessly:

  • In your product/app
  • On your site, in your communities and portals
  • On every device your customers use

 #3: Personal

Great self-service is only possible when each customer is treated as the individual they are. Effortless self-service automatically takes into account all of the information your organization has about them, such as:

  • Profile info and geolocation
  • Products and services purchased
  • Support entitlements and history
  • Community and website activity

 #4: Proactive

Recommending help to customers at key moments in their journey is essential. Effortless self-service proactively delivers helpful knowledge automatically at key moments in the customer journey, such as when they:

  • Use specific features of your product
  • View certain pages on your community or site
  • Start to create a new support case or ticket

How Do You Measure Success?

According to a separate TSIA report, 60% of organizations surveyed now measure self-service success, and 35% measure self-service deflection. These numbers are expected to rise with the increasing importance of self-service. 

If you have not done so, a good way to start gathering and establishing success metrics is to leverage site search usage analytics. These tools provide you with user behavioral data to help you understand what’s working, or not. For example, if your customer found the answers they need while creating a case and abandoned the case-creation process.

Keep Improving

Delivering a great customer experience is a continuous process, not a project that starts and ends after implementation. At a recent customer exchange event we hosted for customer support leaders, the words “journey” and “marathon” popped up frequently when leaders talked about how their organizations are working towards delivering exceptional customer self-service experience.

The level of commitment required cannot be underestimated. Even if you are doing everything right today, it is important to measure success and keep improving.

After establishing your goals and metrics of success, you’ll need to put in place processes to identify self-service content gaps, spot emerging support issues, and maintain content quality, to ensure that the information you offer is always up-to-date and relevant. To learn how you can use analytics to do so, read the TSIA report, “Leveraging Analytics to Boost KM Success.”

Finally, take advantage of machine learning capabilities, to automate manual tasks and make sure that every visitor to your self-service site gets the best information, every time. 

Learn More in Our On-Demand Webinar

We talk more about what makes a winning self-service strategy in our webinar called, Measuring Case Deflection & Self-Service Success” which you can watch On-Demand. In this session, you’ll learn the difference between case deflection and self-service success, and strategies to measure and move the needle by creating a virtuous cycle of improvement. 

Download Now

Jennifer MacIntosh

About Author Jennifer MacIntosh

Jennifer MacIntosh has over 20 years of experience working with high-tech and financial services companies helping them to establish, lead, and grow their Customer Experience and Knowledge Management practices. As VP of Customer Success, Jennifer is an advocate for the customer who leads customer engagement, adoption and value realization of the Coveo solution. She is a certified KCS Practitioner, Trainer and active industry contributor.