Introduction of Customer Self-Service Applications
Customer self-service (CSS) usually refers to a specific class of electronic support tools, methods, and strategies that enables end users to interact with the company without requiring interaction with a representative.
These days, customer self-service is a necessity when it comes to providing a positive customer experience and thus, most customers have come to expect a company’s website to have a self-service application.
CSS offers customers 24/7 support with immediate access to information, two metrics that substantially contribute to customer satisfaction. CSS tools and strategies cost much less than a system that includes a live customer service representative.
Types of Customer Service Applications
The concept of CSS is not self-contained and rigid. As stated earlier, CSS is a set of support tools, methods, and strategies. Each component can be used to complement the other in order to combine the benefits into a continuous benefit package for you and your customers. These are:
- CSS portals:- These include web applications such as message boards, forums, and FAQ sections. These are the primary gateway to having customers interact with you on a 24/7 ready basis. CSS portals are effective for circumventing the troubles associated with reaching your company that many customers have. Younger customers also opt for online support before trying to reach a representative.
- Mobile availability:- Mobile use is constantly on the rise and surely enough, a good chunk of internet users do everything on their phones. The inclusion of a mobile app or a mobile version of your website which also makes CSS portals available is key. There must be in consideration certain aspects and design features of the mobile app in order to make it user-friendly, so that the satisfaction may be maintained and taken to new heights.
- Bots:- Many sites deploy a chat bot that makes use of learning algorithms to guide the user to what they are looking for. Pre-programmed responses to frequently asked questions can help customers reach solutions when there aren’t staff available to respond online. As a result, these bots may not always have the right answer but they can definitely point customers in the right direction.
- Kiosks:- Kiosks are a physical addition to your CSS package when you have a physics store that clients can visit. Kiosks are good for short, specific tasks, that an employee can save valuable time carrying out. These tasks include finding an item in a store, checking the price of something, or even the checkout process as possible with self-checkout kiosks.
- Phone systems:- Some customers may prefer calling a customer service department and others do it as a last resort. Either way, if it is possible to make 100% of your customers’ days easy, the chance should be taken. Offering them options between speaking with a representative or using an automate menu system is quick and convenient way to accomplish tasks and is a great way to provide customer support to people who don’t have internet access.
- Webinars:- People these days are inclined towards sufficient research and knowledge about a company’s services and successes before they attempt to make any sort of investment. This is where webinars come into play, they are informational seminars stuffed into an online video which gives your customers a platform from which they may know about your services before making an investment. They also help your customers know how to use a certain product of yours before buying it.
- Social media:- Social media has become a very popular platform for business to get around to interacting with their customers. Facebook and YouTube are widely used by companies for advertisements and provide people knowledge of the products and services that they sell. Social media is also used to provide customer support through live chatting between a customer and a support staff member.
- Annual Maintenance Contract:- An AMC is a modern way of providing services to customers, making it one of the best ways of maintaining customer loyalty. Many businesses provide free of cost or minimal charge AMCs to customers buying their products, such as car and home appliance companies. An AMC can be provided to the customers according to a warranty basis.
Benefits of Effective Customer Service
First of all, providing effective means of customer self-service retains customers.
Customer retention costs far less than customer acquisition and this is possible only if the customer is happy with your services.
You also succeed in keeping the customer away from competitors, and that is always a good thing.
It also helps quite a lot in the way of customer acquisition as customer retention means those customers spread good news about your company through word of mouth and reviews left on your company website and social media pages.
When your services and references are good and reliable, you will start to acquire a steam of new customers at a fraction of the cost.
Save money on advertising, promotions by building a good customer service base, automatically being done by your existing customers. You end getting maximum returns on investment already done, increasing your profitability dramatically.
Employee morale is also positively affected by positive feedback and good profitability. Confidence rises among your employee rises steadily, resulting increased productivity and increased motivation in serving customers.
Last but not least, your strategies and methods of providing customer service can easily become your competitive advantage.
If your employees themselves are building relationships with customer, they will not allow a competitor to enter. This makes your business become sustainable, competitive, and difficult to beat.
Thus, there are tremendous benefits to any business once it starts doling out good customer service. The sooner you build a competitive advantage in this regard, the ever better for your business.