The way customers engage with businesses is evolving dramatically. Customers today no longer want to sit on the phone listening to hold music or talk to a newbie agent who doesn't seem to know much of anything. They want answers now — not tomorrow. They expect your company to address their every need as quickly and efficiently as possible.
That's why an increasing number of today's customers are relying on self-service more often than speaking with a support agent on the phone. In fact, Forrester research revealed that 76 percent of customers opt for online or mobile self-service support over phone support. Here's why:
1. Zero Hassle (AND Zero-Touch Resolution)
Self-service enables your organization to resolve customers' issues without any interaction with a support agent. When customers can quickly resolve their own problems or answer their own questions, they become more familiar with your company’s products or services. They also experience less friction, as they do not need to contact support or wait for a response.
Note: Self-service is no longer a choice but rather a necessity for providing an excellent customer experience. In fact, it has become so important that 90 percent of customers today expect brands and organizations to integrate an online portal for self-service on their websites, according to a recent report by Microsoft.
2. Instant Gratification
An AI-powered support solution helps your customers get the answers they need more quickly by tapping into data from historical queries or problems solved effectively. It leverages Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies to pick out keywords from an inquiry and derive meaning based on the context of the sentence. Automated Response (AR) technology learns and adapts with each query it answers. It becomes faster at resolving customer issues, thereby increases efficiency across the board.
3. Incredible Convenience Plus Predictive Personalization
Customers no longer have to change their pattern of communication when interacting with businesses (they can submit a ticket, surf a portal, tap a chatbot, and beyond.) Intelligent customization and prediction make customers feel as though every product, service, or brand experience is customized just for them. They liken it to having their own personal assistant or agent. AI analyzes customers' previous choices, likes, and visited content to predict their preferences.
Because AI learns from context, previous chat history, and preferences, it can help support agents provide the most suitable responses to customer queries when needed. Machine learning technology can derive the best response to a particular query and suggest how a support agent should proceed. This can be quite beneficial for complex products and services that need many support options, and it can be particularly useful for new support agents who need the extra level of guidance.
4. After Hours Access
An AI self-service portal operates during and after the company office hours, which enables customers to shop, learn, and access support whenever they need it. This caters to different time zones and schedules, which is helpful if your company operates globally. Because AI-powered self-service portals are available anytime and anywhere, it eliminates frustrating delays and errors in customer support, particularly for handling customer complaints.
5. Preemptive Support
AI-powered support systems can identify and resolve customer issues before they even become problems. It can anticipate customer issues and address them proactively. This can take many forms, from forums and frequently asked questions (FAQs), to the knowledge base and instructional videos. Helping customers resolve issues on their own can significantly reduce support calls and ultimately, customer complaints. Proactive customer service also offers the chance for your brand to not only turn around dissatisfied customers but also transform them into advocates: satisfied customers will tell around nine people about their experiences with your company.
IMPORTANT: Customers today prefer to use self-service over other forms of support. However, your self-service portal knowledge base and FAQs should be accessible, updated, and visually appealing. Your content should also be organized and optimized for all devices. When your company implements self-service properly, your customers can find information quickly. This can decrease the number of emails or calls your customer support receives and result in a better customer experience.
AnswerIQ's Self-Assist technology offers an intelligent "deflection" tool that learns from the context and content of incoming tickets. It uses artificial intelligence to provide customers with relevant content suggestions right from your knowledge base. To experience the power of AnswerIQ's Self-Assist technology, sign up for a free demo today.