Customer’s preferences for interacting with businesses are constantly changing. Customer Service started from phone calls to emails to live chats, and now, self-service options are becoming de rigueur. According to a study by Forrester, 72% of customers prefer to use self-service support from a company’s website rather than via phone or email support. Another survey commissioned by Nuance Enterprise found that 75% of survey respondents said that self-help is a convenient means of addressing their customer care issues.
The conclusion is clear: customer service expectations are evolving and self-service customer care is rising in demand. The internet and its trove of knowledge have empowered people by giving them access to information right at their fingertips. People have become much more comfortable using search engines and even forums to get their answers. Rather than a phone call, your customers want to access your knowledge base, resources and FAQ articles.
But is it the right help desk?
Unfortunately, another survey from Nuance Enterprise showed that majority of customers who tried using self-service support system were unable to resolve their issues and still had to resort to reaching out to a live agent in order to do so. 59% of the respondents expressed frustration that they had to reach out to a customer service representative instead of being able to resolve their issues by themselves, through the help desk.
Some of the best practices when it comes to building a solid customer help center without the frustrations on the part of the customer include on the following:
- Results optimization. Make sure that when your customers come to your support center, you are able to give them the search results they need. Do this through proper keywording, categorization, and monitoring of search queries so you can create a better experience for your customers.
- Put the search bar front and center. 63% of customers were frustrated with the search bar, specifically, its placement. Keep your support center’s search bar front and center so that customers can easily find and use it.
- Update your knowledge base regularly. 56% of customers cited lack of information as their reason for abandoning a support center. Make sure your content is always updated and FAQs for new products, services and issues are regularly added to your knowledge base.
- Design goes a long way. Content may be king when it comes to knowledge bases, but design also plays a very important role. Design spells the difference between a customer being able to go into your website, get their answer and come out happy instead of spending 10 minutes of increasing frustration trying to navigate and solve their query.
3 Great Examples of Excellent Customer Support Centers
What does Netflix get right?
- A prominent search box means customers can easily type in their query and achieve results.
- Their FAQs are arranged by need or motivation — users who need to learn about Netflix, manage their accounts or resolve issues can easily see the frequently asked questions under each category.
- They’ve put easy-access buttons for call or live chat support at the bottom with real-time estimates.
What does Dropbox get right?
- Again, see how noticeable the search box is with its own place at the upper right of the help center.
- Dropbox uses great categorization of issues as well but takes it a step further through the use of icons alongside text. This makes their page much more user-friendly and well-designed.
- Apart from categories, they don’t skip the list of FAQs at the bottom to help their users get quick answers to their queries.
What does Canva get right?
- Again, no one can possibly miss that prominent search bar on top. And underneath is a list of popular searches for easier navigation.
- Issues and features are well-categorised through the bar on the left. Clicking on one of the categories on the bar brings up more specific topics and queries for the customer’s convenience.
- The content within their Help Center includes a step by step guide and screenshots on how to resolve their issues.
Of course, good design and even a well-developed help desk cannot be your customer service be-all, end-all. If your customers cannot find the answer within your knowledge base or if their query is much more complicated or technical that what a help desk can solve, customer service representatives are still of utmost importance in addressing these concerns. Whether it’s lack of resources (human or otherwise) that’s stopping you, outsourcing can be the answer.
Partnering with the right provider like Infinit Contact can help you address the immediate needs that your company is facing as well as help improve your processes, engage your customers and follow customer service best practices. Start now and improve your customer service strategies here.