Self-service is the latest trend sweeping the customer service nation. Most customers would rather help themselves than reach out to an agent. In order to deliver the support experience customers want, companies are expanding their online self-service capabilities. As a result of available online self-service, support agents field fewer requests and can spend time where it’s truly needed.

According to Forrester, “Customers of all ages are moving away from using the phone to using self-service—web and mobile self-service, communities, virtual agents, automated chat dialogs, or chatbots — as a first point of contact with a company.” Online self-service offers a win-win: customers experience less friction, and companies curb costs by deflecting agent-assisted interactions.

Self-service is essential to the modern customer support model. Here are three ways to empower customers and support agents to self-serve:

1. Offer mobile and online self-service
When offering self-service, it’s important to meet customers wherever they are, whether it be online or via mobile. Most important, however, is the ability to empower customers to find help center content on your mobile app or website. A mobile or online self-service help center can foster effortless self-service through information tailored to your customers. Furthermore, whether customers reach out via web or mobile, they still need help in their own language. The Zendesk Guide help center supports over 40+ languages, allowing you to publish your multilingual help center with a click. Lastly, with mobile and online self-service, it’s helpful to have a customizable help center—that way your support looks good no matter the device.

2. Cultivate a community
Online communities are a home for customer conversations where customers can discuss what works and what doesn’t. Communities are a great way to let end-users help other end-users and share tips and ideas. They’re as cozy and inviting as you want to make them, and they serve as a space to strengthen customer connections on a customized, branded platform. Building a community is yet another way to extend the reach of your company’s curated content and to offer more effective self-service.

3. Harness the power of chatbots
The future is here. Chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence—businesses can provide answers lightning fast. Chatbots enable agents to solve queries more quickly, reduce team effort, and to automatically provide informed answers. So how do chatbots work? If a customer has a simple question about company hours, the Guide Answer Bot scans the text to understand what the request is. Based on that, Answer Bot suggests answers and the most relevant articles. Chatbots give customers another way to receive help without contacting a support agent. As a result, support agents have more free time to work on top priority tickets.

Using the right knowledge management software is the first step to offering effortless self-service. To learn more about knowledge bases and self-service, get started with Guide today.