As your company grows, the demand on your support team increases as well. Promptly replying to all inbound calls, messages, and emails becomes ever more difficult as agents handle both complex queries and repetitive questions. This makes their job unnecessarily stressful.
To prevent this problem from damaging your customer experience, consider deploying a text-based customer service funnel comprising human, self-serve, and proactive layers of support. The self-serve component of this funnel allows customers to find relevant information on their own and avoid calling your agents. To make this concept a reality, however, you’ll need to create relevant content that helps customers at key moments.
Different types of self-serve content
From FAQs and help articles to troubleshooting tips and knowledge bases, your team can produce a range of different self-serve content pieces. These efforts can drastically reduce call volume as Gartner reveals that 70% of customers use self-service channels in their resolution journey. Unfortunately, only 9% can fully resolve their problems via this channel.
A knowledge base, in particular, is a valuable asset that you should provide to your customers. Consisting of instructions, walkthroughs, video tutorials, and other resources, it educates people and makes it unnecessary to call an agent. Your team will benefit by not having to deal with repetitive inquiries and will focus on complex problems instead.
Making content easy-to-find, context-based, and personalized
Assuming that you have written content that ties back to customer pain points, the next step is to make your self-serve resources easy to find. The first tip is to ensure that your articles satisfy search intent and can be found with a quick online search at the exact moment customers need them. Explore keywords customers search for and use them to optimize your SEO strategy.
Review search analytics from your website and knowledge base, too. The terms people research might inspire you to write additional articles. Say, for example, that you noticed many customers searching for the term ‘Zappier’ on your website. This might show that they want to know whether your app integrates with the popular work automation tool. If you’re still not providing this feature, then write an article informing customers about this and suggesting a workaround. And if people constantly search for specific features, it might be worth informing your product team of that insight.
Whenever possible, try to deliver help content in a relevant context. For instance, if you’re running an outbound campaign, adding help articles that dive into specific features you promote can help solve prospects’ dilemmas. You can also send these articles to customers who already emailed you about their problems.
Personalizing content based on customers’ language, plan type, company size, and other characteristics can also improve its value. You could, for example, ensure that your knowledge base is available in multiple languages. Also, proficient users of your product might have specific needs that you should take into account when planning content production. By taking these factors into considerations, you’ll ensure that the resources you produce reach customers at the moment they need them.
Another way to personalize content is using the wealth of data collected and analyzed by today’s technologies. Large amounts of transactional, conversational, and personal data are likely generated from within your business’s application ecosystem. By categorizing data, such as buying patterns, support issues, languages, and channels, you can build a 360-degree view of your customers and their behavior. Through this information, you can deliver an experience that will resonate with the customer, and they can build a stronger connection to your brand.
Improving employee engagement and customer satisfaction
Delivering relevant content at specific moments along the customer journey will make your text-based support funnel more effective. But your employees, same as your customers, are also on journeys with your organization. Understanding these two journeys and how they intertwine will ensure that not only are customers being served the right experience at the right time, but that an employee is in the right channel at the right time, with the right message.
But many agents can’t fulfill their potential. They are frustrated with disjointed communication technologies that affect their productivity and hinder their ability to help customers. As much as 74% of agents have to switch between different applications and interfaces to solve customer inquiries, which makes both them and customers unhappy. This can lead to serious repercussions for businesses.
Self-serve is an important piece of customer service
Self-serve content is an important part of your customer service strategy. A knowledge base, FAQs sections, and help articles will deflect many inbound inquiries. But they are not a replacement for your contact center and support team that still need to tackle more complex issues.
Your agents should always be ready to help customers that tried but failed to find answers in self-serve resources. And to ensure that these interactions go smoothly, it’s important to equip your agents with advanced unified communication solutions such as those offered by RingCentral.
Our software combines team messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone into a single platform. Employees can access different support channels in a single interface, while data gathering and analytics capabilities provide you with a wealth of insights to further refine your content creation strategies.
If you want to explore how RingCentral’s solutions can help you build stronger relationships with customers and create useful self-serve resources, then click here to learn more about our offering and sign up for a free personal demo.
Originally published Sep 25, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022