July 25, 2019

Say Hello To Customer-Centered [Self-] Service

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Featured Image Woman On Phone
Sometimes people feel like talking, and sometimes they don’t


Companies experience the same thing with their customers. Sometimes their customers want help from a human, and sometimes they just want to be able to find the answers they need on their own. But whether they talk to someone or not, all customers want an experience that puts them at the center. 

That’s why we built self-service to feel personal, even without a person.

Self-service for the win

Self-service is a pretty standard way for companies to empower their customers to help themselves— taking away the need for them to contact human support for the more basic, repetitive questions, which of course, saves money. 

And as it turns out, the wins from self-service isn’t just for companies. In fact, 73% of consumers prefer to find answers on their own before turning to an agent for help

“For companies, self-service is no longer just about reducing costs, it’s about creating a better experience that keeps customers coming back.”

But while this might sound like a win-win situation for everyone, like any other channel, companies still need to consider their customers’ experience and expectations when they reach out on self-service.


Expectations aren’t any lower when customers decide to find answers on their own

For companies, self-service is no longer just about reducing costs, it’s about creating a better experience that keeps customers coming back.

When customers have a simple question, they might visit a company’s website or search for the answer on Google. But if they can’t find the information they need easily, they’re going to be twice as frustrated.Now, not only do they still need the answer they’re looking for, but they also just wasted their valuable time in a futile search. 

And if customers then have to repeat their story to an agent, their frustration may in fact triple. 

But the worst part of all? The heroes at the other end of that conversation (aka your customer service agents) have to take the brunt of that frustration

So when we designed our self-service, we decided to put ourself (😉) in the shoes of the customers and asked:

  • How could we build a better experience for companies, their agents, and their customers?
  • How could we make the experience feel personal, even when a human agent isn’t involved?
  • How could we make it as easy as possible for customers to reach a human so they can get answers without needing to repeat themselves?
Self-service that puts people at the center

At our core, Gladly is about helping companies build stronger relationships with their customers. 

And this vision applies whether a customer talks to a human agent, or tries to find answers on their own.

Gladly’s self-service is powerful because it allows companies to:

  • Help customers find answers wherever they are. Whether it’s on the checkout page or a dedicated Help Site, customers can quickly search for the answer they need without leaving the page they’re on.
  • Skip the recap with a complete customer history. For customers chatting in, agents see the full history of what they searched so they can help customers faster.
  • Author once, publish everywhere. Companies have enough on their plates without having to manage multiple knowledge bases for multiple people (one for agents, one for their Help Site, and one for their chatbots etc). With Gladly, every answer is managed from one, single database.
Help customers find answers wherever they are

Customers shouldn’t need to work hard to find the answers they need. That’s why we launched  Sidekick, the cute but powerful little box in the corner that allows customers to get help at any time, on any page.

When a customer opens up Sidekick, it anticipates the questions that customers might have at every point of their journey and surfaces those answers directly to them. 

That way customers never need to navigate away from the page they’re on to find the answers they need. This helps prevent customers from getting sidetracked as they search for answers, encouraging them to stay on a path that leads to a higher in-cart conversion rate. 

Personalized Sidekick Support

And to cater to those customers who still want to seek self-service the traditional way (through a dedicated Help Site or FAQ page) we make it easy for companies to embed those answers directly on their website with just a few lines of code, without the need to pay for or maintain a separate knowledge base. 

Skip the recap with a complete customer history

Customers have high expectations whether they’re getting answers from a human, or without one. 

In fact, 85% of consumers want the human agents they speak with to know about their past interactions with a chatbot, and 50% of consumers want the same when it came to FAQ searches.

We designed Sidekick with this mind, to encourage an experience that truly delights.

With Gladly, we’re taking out the guesswork for agent, allowing them to see exactly where a customer was on their journey when they started their search, and what answers they searched for and viewed before they reached out. 

Imagine if a customer searched for an answer on their own and then clicked to speak to an agent.  Now imagine the first thing the agent does is repeat back the same answer the customer just read that didn’t help, and which caused the customer to reach out in the first place. That could be a little frustrating, to say the least.

Skip the Recap With Customer History

With Gladly, every answer that a customer searched for and viewed is captured in the customer’s timeline, and is right there at the agent’s fingertips. So instead of asking for a recap, they can spend the first 30 seconds connecting with the customer and have all the context they need to personalize the conversation, and pick up right where self-service left off.

Author once, publish everywhere

When customers have a simple question, they expect the same answer whether they search for it online or speak to a customer service agent. 

But when companies have to maintain one knowledge base for their website Help Center, another for their agents, and yet another for their chatbots—sometimes maintained by different people—it can get hard for companies to ensure the same consistency when changes need to be made.

But with Gladly, whether an answer is surfaced to customers (via self-service),  or agents (in their day-to-day work), those answers are stored in a single database. That way when a change needs to be made, it’s easy to carry that change across all the answers in one go, rather than having to search and make those changes across  multiple platforms. Not only does it make the managers’ job easier, but it makes for a better customer experience as well, helping to drive consistency with answers, no matter how your customers reach out.

Gladly also helps managers understand which answers are solving customer problems and which ones aren’t quite as successful. By offering insight into answer quality, managers can make updates as needed to help ensure that customers get their questions answered right the first time.

The win-win-win 

The success of a self-service strategy doesn’t lie solely in savings. It’s a lot about the way you make your customers feel. Great self-service is about enabling customers to find the answers they need with as little effort as possible, meeting them wherever they are and, when not enough getting them to an agent who’s equipped to help them. Learn more about how we’re approaching self-service, the human way

We’re excited about what’s to come and would love to hear what you think. Tweet me at @bbergher to share your  best and worst experiences with self-service.

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