The data doesn’t lie: most customers aren’t calling into contact centers for tech support. In fact, eight out of 10 customers prefer to resolve a service issue independently. That means that for companies looking to provide a competitive customer experience (CX), customer self-service should be front of mind.
But how much does customer self-service actually matter to telecom and broadband customers? And will it really make that much of an impact on CX? Below, we go over what customer self-service is, why companies need to implement it and how customer self-service creates a better customer experience.
What is customer self-service?
Customer self-service refers to support options that empower customers to resolve tech or service issues independently.
However, self-service isn’t just providing lengthy, text-based manuals or FAQ pages. Customer self-service may include a variety of tools such as chatbots, videos, conversational AI and interactive tutorials.
Why companies need to implement customer self-service
Providing customer self-service is key to staying competitive in increasingly crowded broadband and telecom markets. According to Statista, 88% of customers expect companies to offer self-service options. And 77% of customers will view your business more favorably if customer self-service is available.
How customer self-service creates a better customer experience
Customer self-service is vital to meeting customers' high expectations of broadband and telecom companies. When done right, it's an essential tool for improving the customer experience. Below are five ways self-service creates a better customer experience.
Immediate issue resolution
One of the most critical ways self-service enhances CX is by providing instant resolution to tech support or service issues. Customer expectations are higher than ever, and they don’t want to wait long to speak to a contact center agent.
Research on Gen Z shows that most zoomers hang up the phone after waiting less than a minute. And research by HubSpot shows that two-thirds of customers expect a response to service inquiries in five minutes or less.
These high expectations can prove challenging for telecom and broadband businesses. However, this is where providing customer self-service can help provide the access to fast, instant support your customers crave. A good self-service solution empowers customers to independently resolve issues with apps or devices.
Additionally, customers can access the support they need 24/7. If their smart home device is disconnected from the internet, they don’t have to wait until the next business day to speak to a contact center agent. This minimizes downtime for customers, allowing them to get back to their gaming, streaming or remote job quickly.
Empower customers and give them control of the tech support experience
More customers across generations are turning to self-service options as their first choice for resolving tech support issues. A strong self-service experience helps fulfill this desire to resolve service challenges independently.
Providing self-serve support empowers customers to troubleshoot issues with confidence. Self-service tutorials optimized for learning help educate customers and drive digital adoption, positively reinforcing turning to self-service options before calling your contact center.
In addition, agents can help reinforce these positive behavior changes during service calls by sending customers links to resources that answer their specific questions. This can be a helpful reminder to customers about the availability of self-service options and can alter behaviors by encouraging customers to use these options before calling in for support.
Self-service also improves the customer experience by allowing customers to troubleshoot through multiple channels. Traditionally, customers have had to call your contact center and wait on hold. But long wait times are an increasing source of frustration for customers.
Additionally, phone calls aren’t always a customer’s preferred way of receiving tech support. Many customers increasingly turn to digital channels as their preferred means of receiving tech support. 38% of customers prefer using digital channels to access customer service. That number is even higher for Gen Zers. Only 17% of Gen Zers want to call your contact center for tech support.
Self-service allows customers to receive support via their preferred channel and ensures a consistent experience, whether they receive support via email or SMS. Or whether they’re accessing resources through their phone or laptop computer.
Additionally, customer self-service support further improves accessibility by allowing customers to access support in their preferred language. For example, a customer in New York might prefer self-service resources in English, while a customer in Montréal would probably prefer French.
Self-service can also improve accessibility to customers who have disabilities. According to the World Health Organization, one in six people worldwide has a disability. A lack of accessible service resources risks accidentally alienating one in six customers.
Save time and money
Customer self-service is a win-win for both customers and businesses. A good self-service experience improves overall business efficiencies and service delivery.
According to the National Customer Rage survey, the number one customer frustration is listening to lengthy, automated phone prompts before being able to speak with customer service. When a customer’s phone, tablet or internet isn’t working, they don’t want to wait a long time to get the help they need. Self-service can help circumvent this issue.
By providing excellent customer self-service, customers can instantly access the support they need. This, in turn, can decrease customer frustration and rage.
Additionally, as more customers use self-service, companies reduce contact center wait times for those with more complex tech support inquiries. For example, one tier-one operator sent 25,000 app answers to its customers via SMS and email. This means 25,000 fewer people in its contact center’s queue, which is far more efficient and cost-effective for delivering fast, effective customer service.
Improve customer relationships and increase retention
Good customer self-service delivers an experience that makes customers want to stay. Customer expectations are high; if businesses don't deliver, they'll go elsewhere. 96% of customers will leave after just one bad service experience.
Delivering an exceptional self-serve experience helps your business reduce churn by improving your company's relationship with your customers. Self-service helps your customers get back to using their devices fast. And research by Forbes shows that quick, simple solutions increase customer loyalty.
If your company provides immediate access to accurate information that enables customers to troubleshoot tech issues successfully, your brand can build trust and reduce customer churn. In turn, the increase in customer satisfaction will also improve your net promoter score (NPS).
Zoomers largely prefer using customer self-service over talking with a contact center agent. This generation has over $360 billion in spending power. Implementing a self-service solution improves their customer experience and allows your company to tap into new revenue opportunities.
Tips for providing an exceptional customer self-service experience
Customer self-service plays a crucial role in improving the customer experience. But the key is to do self-service correctly. Over two-thirds of customers say companies don’t provide enough resources to allow them to resolve their customer service issues.
So, how can you create an optimal customer experience that stands out? Here are a few guidelines for providing the best customer self-service:
- Create a seamless customer onboarding experience
- Ensure your self-service resources are WCAG 2.0 compliant
- Regularly update your self-service content for accuracy
- Consider using videos or interactive tutorials
- Make it easy for customers to locate self-service options
Use self-service to improve CX
Providing an exceptional customer service experience is critical to customer retention. Customer self-service is becoming an increasingly vital part of CX strategy. By using self-serve support, you can streamline the customer experience by allowing them access to fast, simple tech support from anywhere, day or night.
Are you looking for a self-serve solution that cuts contact center wait times and helps you scale support? As a leader in omnichannel customer support, Ozmo self-serve is trusted by Verizon, Google, Freedom Mobile and more. Discover the future of self-service today!