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You don’t need to be awake all the time to give stellar customer service

self-service-quizTaking your business globally, which in this day and age could be on day one, means having to provide service to your customers around the clock. It’s imperative that you answer inquiries quickly and effectively, it’s the very least your customers expect. But there is a right way to do this. And there is a wrong way.

It’s not really surprising that the most widely applied solution to offering 24/7 support is one that doesn’t require having staff awake in the middle of the night. It’s called a self-service portal. Allowing clients to find answers to their questions by themselves has saved incomprehensible amounts of money to every single customer-facing company there is.

So let’s explore why this approach works.

Self-service is always available.

In the middle of the night or on Christmas Day, the knowledge your clients might desperately need is there. It helps them answer their questions, resolve their issues, and most importantly, keeps them happy.

It scales to the sky and beyond.

One well crafted entry in your help center can give answers to a million users. It’s cheap and generates  lasting, repeatable benefits to your organization. And this counts for so much in the long term.

Most of all, it’s effective.

Every time a customer finds what they were looking for, you achieve way more than just answering their immediate issue. You create a lasting impression: “Wow, these guys really cover their bases”. This kind of trust has a very high monetary value – a value that manifests itself in the form of increased spending, loyalty, and word-of-mouth referral.

Okay, there is still room for improvement.

First of all, help centers need maintenance. In case your products or services evolve to add new features and reflect new customer needs, which they most likely do, then you need to spend some time and effort keeping the self-service resources up to date. If you don’t, the results can be disastrous.

There are smart ways of doing this, and yes, they involve artificial intelligence and automation to keep the manual work down to a minimum.

A huge knowledge base can also be overwhelming to customers, especially if they are impatient and are more prone to raising tickets than reading help center pages. In these situations, there are ways to anticipate the customer question during the process of raising a ticket and providing a direct answer. Using smart search to match the question to a previously solved issue, you deflect all duplicates of tickets you have already solved in the past.

The takeaway is simple – begin offering self-service to your customers as soon as you can, and make it work flawlessly by expanding its functionalities with smart solutions.