There aren’t many situations more frustrating than when you’re trying to navigate a site and can’t figure something out, except of course for the most frustrating situation of all; when you have a question about the site and can’t find the answer.
Maybe a button isn’t clear or you want to know if pricing package A includes XYZ feature. We’re conditioned to expect things on the web to be clear and usable. Or we expect to be able to find an answer to our question in an instant–not being able to do so feels like torture.
A 2013 study from KISSmetrics found that you only have about 59 seconds for a visitor on your website to find exactly what they’re looking for–or they’re gone!
This makes it clear that it’s important to provide the right answers and support for your visitors.
But how should you go about doing so?
We recommend providing a self-service support system as the primary resource, with customer support as a secondary option.
This may seem backward from most approaches, where we try to offer personal service at every turn. But it makes sense when you consider it more closely.
The art of self-service
Self-service support can take a number of forms. It may be a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section, a knowledge base, or any other kind of central location with static information about your site or service.
You may cringe thinking about poor experiences using clunky and slowly self-service support systems in the past. But that doesn’t have to be the case. These kinds of systems–when well designed and implemented–provide huge value to the user and also help improve operations of the support staff.
Having customer support and live chat are nice features, but sometimes customers just want to find the answer themselves–it should be quick and simple. It appeals to our natural sense of self efficacy.
More importantly, a customer who is able to successfully find an answer to their question is proof of a system that works. In a perfect world, there’s no need for customer support because everything works and all questions are answered clearly. Requiring support represents some kind of failure in functionality or communication.
The key to success is having a well-organized system of self-service support that is intuitive, easy to search, and pain-free to access.
Improved support all around
Moving beyond the merits of self-service for its own sake, we can also see that having a static support resource helps improve the entire customer experience–even for those who do need to contact a live customer support person.
Having a self-service platform that answers many basic questions for users means that customer support staff will field less inquiries, and those they do field are more likely to be detailed or tied to an individual user’s unique scenario.
By freeing up support staff from the bulk of the requests, they have more time and energy to devote to providing a higher level of service for the inquiries that do require personalized help and attention.
Your customers receive better service–no matter how they get it.
And this is really the best reason to invest in a self-service support system. It’s a smart investment that makes sense–both from a business perspective as well as for the sake of your customers.
Customers get their questions answered more easily, in less time, and in whichever way they prefer.
Better service means happier customers. After all, that’s what really matters.
Ready to take your customer service to the next level? Contact elevio today.
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