10 March 2021
In 2021, customers have gotten used to making purchasing decisions, both on a personal level (B2C) and on a professional level (B2B). The next step for companies to take is being able to provide a level of self-service that they would typically experience in-store.
Picture this: You walk into a shoe store at the mall and would like to look around for running shoes that fit your needs. Would you rather – (A) have a look on your by yourself at your own pace with relevant information around the store to help you stay informed of the products, or would you (B) rather have an employee of the store follow your every step and constantly remind you that they're there to help you when you need it. If you answered (A), you understand the importance of self-service and how impactful it can be to the customer experience.
Here, we will explore how self-service can be applied online and examples of how incorporating different methods can have an overall impact on business outcomes.
Customers like to have control over their choices and their outcomes. In fact, it has been found that 81% of customers try to solve a problem on their own before asking for help.
Rather than holding their hand from the on-boarding or return phases to the purchasing phase, empower your customers to resolve their own issues without the help of a live representative. One way to accomplish this is by launching an intuitive self-service portal that keeps your customers engaged. That's not to say you completely leave them alone. Rather, just like in a physical store, customers should still have access to someone to help them out during throughout their journey, but not with them the entire time.
Here are a few ways companies worldwide have adopted a self-service approach for thier customers and employees:
"80% of consumers said they would be willing to forgo the call center completely if providers offered an ideal online experience." – Foresee, 2018
Bringing together different areas of the customer journey into a single, unified experience that fits your their needs has been seen to be the path forward in many industries. By grouping together various, once segregated, touchpoints into one flowing experience will create a smooth transition from one process to the next.
As daunting as it may seem, unifying existing customer touchpoints is as simple as choosing the right platform for your needs. Here are a few benefits of joining together various customer experiences:
"By 2022, 85% of all customer service interactions will start with self-service." – Liferay, 2020
Evolving the digital customer service experience across the entire customer journey is a process that can help companies reach new heights. By filling in these gaps, customers will be able to gather the knowledge they seek to make confident purchases, or even give employees the metrics they need to provide customers with relevant content.
So, what does this mean? How does it work in practice? Below are a few examples of the benefits companies can acvieve by filling in these gaps: