The self-service industry has become a major part of modern-day aftermarket support. Businesses can benefit from this unique way of serving their customers by providing constant 24/7 help without having to worry about costly call centres and unsociable hours.
SBE has been at the forefront of self-service solutions throughout our history, and our innovations in the internet space separate us from the crowd. Web self-service has increasingly becoming an important way for end-users to find support for their issues.
Here are some of the things we have learned since joining the web self-service industry:
1. Make it easy to search your content
This is often an over-looked step, but make sure your content can be easily searched at any given moment. Even if your self-service contact can’t be indexed by search engines (it may be embedded in flash content), making your content searchable and including a simple search box will allow your users to find the information they need extremely quickly. A quick way of doing this could be through using tags, but the space is there to create full search engines. Remember, end-users will have a large variety of searchable terms. They won’t necessarily match your content, so you need to make sure your content is accessible through a variety of search terms.
2. Use easy to understand language
Using an easy to understand language follows making your content searchable, as they both benefit each other. Simplified content is easy to search, but also easy to read. End-users don’t want to read through an obscure essay to find solutions for their problems. They want poignant steps that cover the queries they have, so making sure to use simplified lexis and maintaining grammatical integrity is incredibly important.
3. Take advantage of the internet (images, videos, and links)
The internet has changed the world for good, and users are now accustomed to rich web experiences. Images, links and embedded videos are part of the vivid make-up that fuels the modern internet, and you should take advantage of this when providing support solutions for customers. When providing important steps for end-users, you should try to include images and videos to dictate your points. This gives users additional context to the step in question, and allows them to have a much more interactive experience with the self-service platform. Moreover, media content provides much-needed personification to the otherwise faceless service. Links are important too, but are more-suited to being at the end of a self-service diagnosis because you don’t want your users leaving your self-service service prematurely.
4. Make sure your content is up to date
Content is what differentiates your self-service solution from others. Users expect information that is technically up-to-date, and this is why it’s probably the most essential item on this list. How can you expect your users to migrate from traditional forms of customer support if the alternative is out of date and not relevant? Content is king in many industries, and that is definitely the case again here. Rules, services and devices can easily change in this fast-moving world. Your customers expect you to be on top of these changes and maintaining parity with other support methodologies.
5. Gain thorough experience on the devices/services you’re presenting
Gaining full experience with the devices and or services your web self-service tool is often overlooked in this industry, but we have found that having a large amount of hands-on time gave us the authority to make fantastic content. Using an actual device allows you to genuinely experience what the end-user sees/feels when they have their issues. Many companies shine away from being on the same level as their customers, but it is a refreshing way to approach business in a more sociable playing field.
Overall, the important thing to remember is to approach web self-service from the viewpoint of your end-users. Don’t follow the traditional support techniques provided by OEMs, go and experience devices for yourself. It’s also crucial that you listen to your customer’s and end-user feedback. This is the glue that holds the experience together. Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth and brand perception. If a brand is deemed as helpful, they can have supreme advantages over their competitors.