Customer Experience News & Trends

The best way to get customers to use self-service options

Customers still call more than they use the self-serve options available to them. But many say they’re willing to use self-service more if they get this.

What do they want? Discount codes or price incentives, according to a new CCA Research Report, The Future of Customer Service.

More than a third of customers said they would definitely use some sort of self-serve model if they got some kind of money incentive.

So customers are willing to at least try self-service and cutting your call demand. The next — and possibly more important — step is to convince them to stick with self-service.

Make it easier

The key is to make self-service easier than making a phone call. Of course, you don’t want to make the phone call process more difficult just to entice customers to use self-service.

Try these best-practice tips for getting customers to increase their use of your self-serve options:

  • Keep it updated. One of the reasons customers often abandon self-service is that it lacks the most up-to-date information. The initiative to update online information (such as FAQs and website landing pages) isn’t always taken immediately. Once customers can rely on those areas to be current, they’ll use them more often.
  • Limit phone options. Customers hate phone trees with too many branches. Its been proven that they have tolerance for about three options before they’ll start pressing “0” for a customer service rep. Also important, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) must lead customers in the right direction. You need to regularly work with vendors to route calls accordingly.
  • Give several online options. Customers looking for online answers like options. Some need visual instructions, so you want to offer things like YouTube videos. Some need to read the answers, so a link to more in-depth information from, say, an FAQ would be ideal for them.
  • Let them opt out. Ideally, customers who choose self service will stick with it and learn to love it. But they always need the option to get in touch with a customer service pro easily. Make dialing “0” for help an early phone option. Also, post your customer service number on all web pages and online materials.

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