In manufacturing to beat out the competition it’s important to enhance the customer experience in every way possible. One place that customers want to see change is how they get support for their unique issues. With inefficient processes leading the charge for customer issues, it’s important to nail how you support individuals who need help. It is essential to support your customers, so they keep coming back for more purchases.
Customers also want a place where they can configure the products they want to purchase. One way to eliminate these inefficiencies is to offer self-service where customers can find answers while also building their orders. 67% of people prefer self-service over speaking to sales reps, making it important to offer the people what they want.
What is self-service?
Customer self-service is a place where customers can get instant answers and fixes for their issues with your product. Offering self-service can help take the pressure off your support team by offering an alternative to calling or emailing. Self-service can also offer a place to showcase and purchase. Having a great self-service gives your customers a sense of control over the process instead of feeling helpless. Offering a mobile-enabled self-service app will also allow your customers to work out their problems from anywhere, at any time.
Self-service can also be used to sell your products, something that used to be difficult with complex product configuration. Now it’s possible to allow your customers to build their own quote for your custom products. Allowing your customers to build what they want on their own time will keep them engaged with your product.
Online self-service can also be a powerful marketing tool. Having a great self-service will keep customers engaged with your company by enabling a place for support and also products and customer success stories.
What is the problem without Self-Service?
With an estimated 30 billion self-service tickets expected by 2030 (Gartner), it’s critical to enable your customers to work freely with self-service. Customers are more online than they’ve ever been and they want products and answers fast. Having a helpline with limited hours doesn’t help because everyone’s been on hold, leading to frustration. The B2B buyers want convenience, they don’t want to wait on the phone for answers.
Without a self-service option, it makes customers more likely to tie up your support team with questions. With self-service, it’s possible to send customers somewhere that answers are easily and readily available.
Emailing has made it easier to communicate quickly with users, but it takes time that the customer may not have or be willing to sacrifice. Email may also get lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other issues your support team is working on.
If your business only offers the old ways of doing this, you may lose business to the competition that offers an online self-service. Consumers don’t want to rely on someone else, they want to be able to quickly address their issues. Offering an efficient way of supporting your customers without them getting on the phone or sending an email will go a long way in keeping them with your company. This impatience makes it integral to your customer experience to provide a service that allows them to get answers fast.
It’s clear that not having a self-service can cause headaches for your support team and customers. But what goes in the self-service is equally as important as actually having one. Without good information, your self-service will fail to help anyone. Also without a self-service shopping cart, your customers won’t be able to interact with your products.
What things should come with self-service?
Having the right type of features and applications on your self-service can change your customer experience.
- An online store: A place where your customers can configure, price and quote their own products.
- Knowledge articles: FAQs, product sheets, how-to articles, blogs and even customer stories can go a long way to helping your customer find a solution on their own, while also showing your additional features quickly and effectively.
- Demo videos– Offering a visual of common problems can help customers who are more likely to watch a short how-to video instead of reading a long-form problem-solving article.
- Community forums– This may not be essential to all good self-service, but it’s something worth discussing. Offering a place where your different customers can interact with each other to crowdsource answers to problems can go a long way to solving different issues. These forums may require moderation which may make having this feature be more of a headache.
- Somewhere to submit a ticket– This would be the last option, allowing your customers to submit an issue that they weren’t able to solve in the self-service. This can help streamline your processes by having one place for all tickets to go through instead of having a long phone call or an email chain.
Here at Tacton we recently launched our new Smart Commerce platform to further enable manufacturers to do what they do best, sell their unique products and be on the cutting-edge of innovation. The latest update features a Customer self-service that can change how your company interacts with your customers. These new features come in addition to our classic suite of solutions that include CPQ, 3D Visualization, Augmented Reality, and integrations to any CRM or ERP in our Smart Commerce Platform.