If you own a business, chances are your customers occasionally have questions. It could be something as small as a glitch in your website or something as complicated as a serious problem with your product. While they could call customer service, over time, multiple phone calls about the same issue can be a serious productivity drain for your customer service team. Even worse, they can serve as an inconvenience to your customers.

Today’s customers don’t have to wait for a representative to walk them through repairing a problem. With the right tools, consumers can enter a question and get the information they need to solve the issue themselves. For this to be effective, however, it’s important that a business make it as easy as possible for customers to find and use their self-service feature. Here are a few great tools that can help.

Knowledge Base

A customer service knowledge base can be a great way to help your representatives access common resolutions to the problems your customer’s experience. As new issues emerge and representatives solve them, they can note what they did, which can save other representatives time in the future. Using a self-service portal, businesses can allow their own customers to get fixes to common problems and resolve them on their own.

Search functionality is often mentioned among the top ways to make a business’s website user friendly. This is especially true of the help section of your site, which should make it easy for customers to find the information they need with a few keywords. Test your search feature, entering common issues a customer might ask for help resolving. In addition to ease of use, it should be easy to find the search bar wherever your customer might be seeking help on your site.

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you’ve been in business for a while, your customer service representatives will be able to rapidly list the questions that come across most often. Create a self-service FAQ page with the answers to these questions and make it easy for customers to search and find before they place a ticket or call your 1-800 line.

Visuals

Instructions can be difficult to follow, but visuals can help. Add in screenshots, photos, or diagrams to help as you walk customers through using your app or repairing your product. If possible, shoot a short video demonstrating difficult-to-understand concepts. Your customers will have the option of viewing it if they get stuck.

Live Chat

As your customers search for help, make sure they have a way to be rescued if they need it. Use live chat software to give customers a chance to speak one-on-one to a customer service technician. Make sure you have a representative available to respond to any notifications that come through from your site.

Analytics

Knowledge is power. The more you know about the help your customers request, the more your business can grow. Set up your systems to capture the search terms your customers use, as well as the most often clicked answers. As you walk customers through a problem, ask for feedback at the end of each page with the terminology, “Was this helpful to you?” Customers may hesitate to leave feedback in a separate section, but clicking a “yes” or “no” takes mere seconds.

Customer Feedback

You may not think of it as part of providing help, but soliciting customer feedback is part of improving the customer experience. Make sure you offer customers every opportunity to give feedback on the job you’re doing and use that information to improve your products, as well as the customer service you provide.

Your help desk is one of your business’s most valuable assets. When set up properly, you can make it easy for customers to get the information they need without having to place a call or submit a ticket. By doing so, you’ll make things easier for your customers as well as your customer service technicians, which will improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

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