The current pandemic brought unparalleled growth to e-Commerce. With the competition of numerous new online stores going live every day, the e-Commerce industry was pushed to become more mature. This is exemplified by the way that e-shops stepped up their game to meet the demands and win over an also more mature e-Consumer.
A seasoned e-customer often buys online and therefore values a speedy and smooth purchase process, which includes all necessary interactions that lead to it.
But he also values transparency. Transparency is also key to all the new customers who went online because of the confinement and need reassurance to deposit their trust in e-businesses.
This is where customer self-service comes into play to shine, and that’s why it is a key consumer service industry trend in 2021.
What is customer care self-service?
The purpose of customer self-service is to make the customer journey smoother and more organic by removing unnecessary layers of friction – human interaction and waiting times.
It includes all the information and tools that allow your customer to find information by himself. Be it answers to questions that he already has, or providing relevant information in advance to anticipating questions he may have.
This information can exist in the form of text, forums, visuals help or interactive tools that you make available through your website, and is generally called “knowledge base”.
Main advantages of customer self-service
- Save time and resources of your customer support team on simple and repetitive questions that make up for 90% of your tickets.
- Save your customer time by offering around-the-clock help and access to immediate answers.
- Inspire trust by having all information clearly stated and available.
- Offer better human support by freeing up your team and giving them the time to focus on more specific and demanding customer issues and provide faster answers.
- Increase the time spent on site and brand awareness by giving your customers relevant content to explore and get to know you better.
8 customer self-service trends for 2021
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). They answer your customers’ main questions and are the backbone of your customer self-service.
- Policies (e.g. privacy, shipping and return). They provide transparency and inspire trust.
- Guides (e.g. payment guides) and Tutorials (e.g. How to assemble an item). They help your customers every step of the way to avoid friction.
- Community Forums. Get your customers involved and share their experiences.
- Chatbots. Provide instant answers to simpler questions without the need for a live agent.
- Order status check and Order Tracker. Essential to manage your customers’ expectations.
- Password Recovery. To provide the most basic account support quickly.
- Store Finder. Save your customers’ time and help them find what they need.
Self-service should be part of every online business customer service strategy, but keep in mind that your end goal is to improve your customer experience.
Going around searching for info or a way to reach a human on your website can be frustrating and have a negative impact. Instead of removing friction you’ll be adding to it.
Either because your customer can’t find the answer to his question, or he prefers to talk to a person, or simply because it is nearly impossible to cover all possible questions, you need to ensure that:
- The information is easily found in intuitive places.
- It’s clearly stated and easy to understand.
- It’s still easy to reach a human support agent.
This is how you prepare your customer service for the upcoming years and ensure the sustainability of your business – fewer resources on customer service for a better customer experience.