Over the last few years, self-service support has quickly moved on from the new kid on the block it once was, to being almost a necessity for most companies.
In fact years ago, in one of our own blog articles, we cited that 40% of customers will first look for a self-service support option before moving on other avenues like live chat or email.
Since then, as more and more customers get used to self-service being a support option, that number has shot up. According to Harvard Business Review, this number is now 81% of users, more than double the amount it was just 4 years ago.
Why the drastic uptick? The answer is quite simple, with good self service, everybody wins (check out our article on what it means to truly have good self-service here).
Before we get a bit deeper into things, lets go into what exactly is self-service.
Quite simply, any interaction that is customer initiated and entirely customer driven, where your support team never has to jump in; that’s self-service support.
So how do customers benefit? A number of different ways, but primarily through reduced wait times. With self-service, your knowledge is available 24/7 for users to access, there is no longer a need to contact someone and wait for a response, everything is available, instantly, at all times.
This means customers can learn at their own pace and are more empowered, not just to answer questions when they arise, but to learn about your product through videos and guides promoted in your content, and all the better if you can suggest content to the user based on what they’re up to and keep things contextual.
This of course also comes along with benefits for you internally, and these benefits mirror the ones users receive. For example, there’s no longer a need to run a live chat which can be notoriously resource heavy and expensive to man, especially if you would like it 24/7; your self service now fills that need.
Secondly, less support will be incoming to your team (up to 71% less support in some cases!) which has two great benefits. With less incoming support your team has more time to concentrate on other tasks, like for example making sure documents are up to date and constantly evolving to make sure content is always helping customers to maximum effect.
This also means that when support queries do arrive, they’ll be of a higher quality. All those low level questions (think, “how do i reset my password?”) will be intuitively answered by your self-service system, and so your support team will only need to step in when required for things like bugs and edge-cases when help is actually required.
With all these benefits to both sides of the equation, it's no surprise that self-service support as seen the growth that it has, and why it continues to grow into the new normal.