The days of doing things via phone calls and person-to-person communication are fading. The current norm is to do most things via the internet. Need a ride? Get one online. Booking a room? Online. Getting hungry? Online. Need customer support? Yes, you guessed it, online. Customer self-service has been growing in popularity for years - and for good reason, too. A self-service portal will allow your customers to get help whenever they need it. Even if you are not available. This empowers customers to always find the help they need, whenever they need it. How does one take full advantage of a self-service portal? We have some major tips below:
It all starts with awareness. Having web-based customer self-service software is fantastic, but it won't do your company/organization any good if your customers don't know about it. Make sure to let your customers know that you have implemented a self-service portal that they can access at any time. Send out a mass email promoting the new portal and maybe even call your largest customers to get them on board quickly. Make sure to include the location of your self-service portal as well as how they can get their credentials. Don't stop there! Educate your customers on the various functions they can perform using the self-service portal. Functions such as: Submitting new tickets, downloading documents, reading up on FAQs, getting notices, making use of forums, searching for solutions, checking the status of open tickets, and more.
Make sure it is useful for your customers. Setting up a self-service portal with a ton of assets for your customers is only really useful if what you are providing is what your customers are looking for. Make sure your team keeps your self-service portal relevant to your customers. Aside from that main point, choose a self-service software that gives your customers the ability to search the portal using a powerful search engine. The self-service portal won't do any good if it's full of relevant information that nobody can find. Choosing the right self-service product will be very beneficial in the long run.
Keep your brand consistent. Just because you are using customer self-service software that wasn't developed by your team, doesn't mean you shouldn't have the ability to customize it to match your brand. Keeping a strong brand presence throughout all of your assets in incredibly important for creating a sense of unity for your customers. Color, logos, and matching to your own website are important things to consider when customizing your customer self-service portal. Keep the branding consistent so that your customers never feel lost and keep their sense of security.
Keep the content on your self-service portal relevant. Outdated downloads, FAQs, and solutions should be removed from your self-service portal so as to not confuse your customers. Make sure your team is up to speed on current product releases and have them stay vigilant about updating solutions as they become available. The last thing you want is an angry customer dealing with an old solution that no longer works. Use analytics to help guide your content. See what content types get the most traffic and focus on those. Keep an eye on forums and customer responses to other custmers. The point of the self-service portal is to allow your customers to help themselves, whenever they please, with the right answers always available.
So there you have it. Some top tips for keeping your self-service portal in top shape. If you don't already have a self-service solution, be sure to check out PhaseWare's self-service product: The Self Service Center (SSC). The SSC has all the features you need to stay consistent, on brand, and relevant. Give your customers 24/7 support.