Ten Best Practices for DIY Customer Service

Ten Best Practices for DIY Customer Service – Impact Blog!

Today, more than ever, con­sumers are ask­ing for and using Do-It-Yourself (DIY) cus­tomer ser­vice options. It’s a trend fueled by a per­fect storm of mobile tech­nol­ogy, 24÷7÷365 con­nec­tion, and busy lives. We avoid lines and hate to be “put on hold”. We want to check our accounts, buy prod­ucts, and find answers to ques­tions in a mat­ter of sec­onds, any­where, anytime.

 

DIY cus­tomer ser­vice is the nat­ural exten­sion of our con­nected cul­ture.  Stud­ies show that 75% of con­sumers say self-service is a good idea, while 67% actu­ally pre­fer it over speak­ing to an agent. 91% say they would use an online knowl­edge base if it were easy to find, con­ve­nient to use and applic­a­ble to their needs. But more impor­tant, almost half of US con­sumers say they are likely to aban­don a pur­chase if they can’t find quick answers to their ques­tions. For exam­ple, when it comes to travel, research indi­cates the top rea­sons trav­el­ers opt out of on an online book­ing trans­ac­tion include the inabil­ity to make a spe­cific request online and frus­tra­tion with site performance.

 

Great DIY Cus­tomer Ser­vice: Easy to Find, Con­ve­nient and Applicable

So what makes good “self-service” when it comes to serv­ing your cus­tomers? Here are 10 best prac­tices to con­sider when devel­op­ing your options.

 

  1. Antic­i­pate cus­tomer wants and needs. Ask ques­tions and lis­ten. Take sur­veys and make changes. Fol­low social media and watch for trends. Walk in your cus­tomers’ shoes and look at your busi­ness they way they see it. It’s the only way to find out what’s work­ing, what’s not, and what would make cus­tomers more satisfied.

 

  1. Make your Web search func­tion easy to nav­i­gate. Whether peo­ple want to find a pick-up loca­tion, store hours, loan appli­ca­tion, bank­ing forms, return pol­icy, check-out time—you name it—they should be able to locate your search func­tion quickly and track down the infor­ma­tion eas­ily, even with rea­son­able typos!

 

  1. Know how your cus­tomers like to do busi­ness. Are they avid social media users? Do they use mobile aps (a major­ity of con­sumers now do!) Are they tech­ni­cally savvy? Or do they pre­fer human con­tact? What­ever DIY options you offer, be sure it works for your customers.

 

  1. 4.     Pro­vide online answers to com­mon ques­tions (FAQs). Accord­ing to a For­rester Research report, 72% of US online con­sumers pre­fer to use a company’s web­site to get answers, rather than phone or email. Your recorded mes­sage can help direct callers online instead of hold­ing for a live operator.

 

  1. Make the expe­ri­ence effort­less. They want to make a return? Pro­vide easy access to the return label, ship­ping address and any required forms, along with a phone num­ber or chat option for fur­ther ques­tions. Hotel guests arriv­ing late? Pro­vide a mobile auto-check-in option along with a list of late-night restau­rants and trans­porta­tion ser­vices near the hotel.

 

  1. Con­sis­tently mon­i­tor com­mon search entries—words and phrases—that cus­tomers are using. Track which ques­tions come up the most. How many pages are they search­ing before mak­ing a pur­chase? This will help you know if your online infor­ma­tion is hit­ting the mark and what can be done to stream­line search options.

 

  1. Make self-service is a choice, not a require­ment. Never cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion where the cus­tomer ser­vice agent says, “you have to do that online”. And always build escape routes into your DIY process. Always make it clear where the user can link for a live chat or call to speak with a human. We’ve all heard of those fright­ful, end­less auto-response phone loops, so give cus­tomers a way out when they need it.

 

  1. Tar­get a Win-Win approach. Orig­i­nally, the self-service trend was intended to save busi­nesses money. That’s OK, but DIY cus­tomer ser­vice options will be most finan­cially suc­cess­ful when they actu­ally improve the cus­tomer experience.

 

  1. Keep It Sim­ple. If any process is too com­pli­cated or takes too long, con­sumers will become frus­trated and most likely go else­where. This goes for IVR phone inter­ac­tions, as well. If it takes more than three or four steps, you’re going to lose the sale. Don’t make con­sumers keep track of mul­ti­ple choices and instruc­tions on their way to a sim­ple solution.

 

  1. Always have a human avail­able. Some­times the ques­tion just doesn’t fit the DIY model. Or a link is bro­ken. What­ever the rea­son, knowl­edge­able, well-trained cus­tomer ser­vice agents should always be avail­able to serve your customers.

 

DIY plays an impor­tant role in a com­pre­hen­sive cus­tomer ser­vice pro­gram. So, get to know your cus­tomers and help them find answers to their ques­tions in a way that best meets their lifestyle. It’s your ticket to even greater cus­tomer loy­alty!

Leave a Reply