What is Customer Automated Self-Service?
Customers can address their own issues without a support agent's assistance through a procedure known as customer self-service. Customers use self-service options to research and troubleshoot issues rather than working with a company's customer service representatives.
This is an important feature to include in your company's customer service offering as it can provide your customers with quick and easy solutions. IVR (Interactive Voice Response), online forums, in-product self-help, AI bots, and knowledge base are some of the powerful self-service channels available to businesses.
Why Provide Customer Self-Service?
Customer self-service is quickly replacing traditional customer service methods. This is because self-service options provide customers with quicker solutions that they can find on their own time. Customers can use your company's resources to look up answers to simple support questions rather than picking up the phone and waiting on hold.
Your customer service team, on the other hand, benefits from not having to handle repetitive or similar cases. This relieves stress on your incoming request queues and frees up more time for agents to solve complex or one-of-a-kind customer problems. Customers with more serious issues and immediate needs can now receive the attention they require because your agents are no longer required to spend time answering simple questions.
Innovative B2B Automated Self-Service Technologies
1. A/B Testing
One of the simplest ways to use an automated self-service approach is to run an A/B test. This means running two versions of a website or product with different features and seeing which one performs better. It's easy to do because you just need to make sure that each version has a unique URL. There are many tools available online to conduct A/B tests. The test results can then be used to perform data analysis and gather information about user activity on your website. Insights from A/B tests will help you make smart improvements to your business that are proven to increase customer experience.
2. Lead Generation
Another simple example of a self-service approach is lead generation. If you're looking to generate leads, then you should consider using an automated self-service approach. Many online tools allow you to collect contact information and other details of visitors to your site. Based on that, leads are scored and the next action is determined. Knowing when and how your customers interact with your brand online allows you to create a 1:1 customer journey.
3. Customer Retention
The third type of self-service approach is customer retention. Identify who and what with sentiment analysis. A straightforward query such as, "Am I answering your question?" or "Do you feel that I'm giving you the response you're seeking?" can start a conversation about what's not working properly. Questions like these prevent customers from simply disengaging before their issue is solved. By asking questions that dig just a bit deeper in real-time, customers are more likely to leave the interaction more satisfied. Artificial Intelligence looks at all interactions and calls out churn before something happens.
4. Customer Feedback
Are you able to harness feedback and sentiment from every customer interaction? In general, companies focus on feedback from:
Customers who are in touch
Customers who fill in the survey
With AI sentiment analysis, you can now focus not only on a section of customers but all customers and all interactions. AI-powered methods focus on pattern detection and Machine Learning algorithms to automatically categorize unstructured feedback. If done manually, this task can be tedious and time-consuming. You can easily find ways to work and perk up those weak areas of your business based on AI's efficient categorization of feedback.
5. Omnichannel Experience
If you're looking for ways to improve your business, then you need to start thinking about how you can make yourself more accessible to your customers. One of the easiest ways to do this is by offering self-service options. These options allow customers to contact you directly without having to go through a middleman. The options can be provided to partners and distributors. Even though only phone and email was used before, now we see that B2B companies are using AI bot on the website, within the application, Slack, Teams, and WhatsApp to provide proactive support.
6. Knowledge Base On the Website
Another self-service approach is Knowledge Base. It is a section of your website that assists customers in resolving common product issues and answering basic service inquiries. It includes organized documentation of your products and services, as well as articles that can assist customers in troubleshooting their issues. This way, your team can document and share detailed troubleshooting steps for common customer issues. FAQ section is a common example of a knowledge base in a website.
7. In-Product Help
A chatbot can enable your customers to self-serve more efficiently by offering solutions to their issues and questions from your knowledge base. A community forum is a place where users can ask questions, get answers from other users, and search for previously asked questions. Companies can run a community forum as part of their knowledge base or as a separate section of their website. By hosting a conversation with your customers, you can connect with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers and get candid feedback about your product.
B2B Customer Self-Service: How To Do It Right?
It is complicated and challenging for B2B companies to be successful with customer self-service options, a feature that has been very productive for B2C companies. The key is to test your systems and processes across channels to make sure that whatever your customers must do in order to utilize your automated self-service tools is easy, straightforward, and quick. Your customers' problems are already complicated; the solutions shouldn't be either.
No matter how much or what you automate, nothing can replace human interaction when your customer wants one. Hence, be accessible. You can plan for successful outcomes and prepare responses in advance by anticipating problems your customers may encounter. You can make everything available for customers to utilize as and when they need it, including your online FAQs, help videos, tutorials, manuals, and more.
For more insights into customer support, check this out.