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Article 3 min read

Support your support with self-service

By Amanda Roosa

Last updated October 4, 2018

So you already offer customer support…but did you know that customers use self-service more than any other support channel? 76% of customers prefer self-service because it offers the least amount of interaction friction. Offering self-service is the new baseline for customer service and it’s also a key predictor of how effectively you’ll be able to contain costs as your business grows. Besides, a great self-service experience can boost customer satisfaction, reduce support costs, and increase internal agent engagement.

More than 20% of agent time is spent looking for info, but having a good knowledge base of content can aid agents with the information they need to better serve customers. According to the experts at Gartner, setting up self-service can reduce support costs by up to 25%. A collective knowledge base makes it easy for your support team to share knowledge and to learn more about your products. It can also help you to understand and fill the knowledge gaps your company might have.

Head off frustration

At Zendesk, our customers that pair Zendesk Guide with Zendesk Support for their self-service have noted that they benefit from reduced operational costs, improved agent productivity, and increased customer satisfaction. Take premier footwear brand Tony Bianco for example. The customer service team at Tony Bianco directs many of their customers to self-service by utilising Guide’s applications. During the busy holiday season, self-service as a support channel is a smarter way for Tony Bianco to handle increased support needs over simply hiring more agents.

To head off frustration, Tony Bianco’s team used Guide to turn responses to common customer inquiries directly into public knowledge base articles and then promoted those help articles. Self-service communities offer agents a valuable ticket-deflection trick: one agent can answer a question that many customers may have. When agents publicly share an answer, users are less likely to ask that question over and over in a ticket or email if they can find it themselves. Even better, in highly engaged communities, users often answer one another, allowing for support to happen without requiring an agent’s time.

Understanding your customers

The Pathfinder App allows Tony Bianco to see which articles customers have already viewed. When customers use self-service, Guide tracks that activity and sends it to Support. Benjamin Keyser, Director of Product at Zendesk, reminds us that, “Self-service is a mark of how well you understand your customers’ day-to-day challenges, the way they think about your products or services, and even the language they use to describe their needs.”

Developing self-service content requires a deep understanding of your customers’ problems, as well as your product or service. It might seem hard at first, but improving both your agents’ and customers’ know-how through self-service content can have long-term impacts like increasing agent productivity and reducing interaction friction for customers. In order to save your company time in the long-run and scale and improve your business, it’s smarter to support your support with self-service.

Tune in to the webinar “How Evernote does Self-Service with Zendesk” to learn more about how Zendesk Support and Guide work better together.

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