5 essential customer service tools for any online business

Whether yours is a well-established brand or one trying to make a name for itself, a great customer experience is often the only way to differentiate from competitors. There’s a lot that goes into creating a great customer experience--good processes, great people, and a solid menu of product or service options.

But sometimes a great customer experience requires a bit more, like empowering shoppers to resolve questions or concerns on their own. Customer self-service is a fundamental, yet underdeveloped mechanism for improving online shopping experiences and strengthening your business’s relationship with new and long-term customers alike. Self-service not only reduces customer service costs by deflecting high email and call volumes, it also increases agent productivity to speed up response times for the questions that require more attention.

Here are 5 essential self-service tools every online business needs in today’s instant gratification landscape.

Dynamic FAQs

Dynamic FAQs can prevent the most common support tickets from ever being created — tackling as much as 80% of all questions! Dynamic FAQs differ from conventional, static FAQs because they display instantly as a user is forming a question. Unlike standard keyword searches, dynamic FAQs leverage natural language processing (NLP) technology to search for answers based on the natural way people communicate and ask questions, while providing highly relevant and more accurate answers.

Customers no longer have to wait for answers to their questions, nor must they rely on connecting with a support agent. It’s the ultimate freedom for them–and you.

 

Instant answers

From the moment a customer starts creating a support ticket, instant answer technology suggests content related to the query in order to deflect unnecessary tickets. Using semantic search, instant answers analyzes user input and directs them to the information they’re seeking, essentially preventing support agents from being inundated with repeat questions.

The upshot is that instant answers solutions lower support center costs while boosting self-service success by enabling customers to answer their own questions, rather than sending an email or creating a support ticket. How easy is that?

 

Chatbot

A chatbot (aka, “virtual assistant”) can substantially lower customer support costs and improve overall customer engagement by handling common inquiries before they ever reach a live agent. Based on natural language processing technology, users are given relevant information by human-like agents. An intelligent (meaning backed by artificial intelligence) chatbot offers a more personalized experience by creating a casual, conversational channel for customers to ask questions and find information. Some companies have even developed a specific avatar to represent their systems, taking 1-to-1 engagement even a step further.

More importantly, chatbots scale much easier (and more cost-effectively) than live agent teams, helping your company support more customers, more frequently, at dramatically lower costs.

“Customers ask us a lot of questions about our product and the industry as a whole. They want a one-to-one experience that makes them feel like they’re being heard. An intelligent chatbot is the only way to create that experience without having to break the bank and add entire teams of live support agents,” says Jessie Blocker, lead customer support, Xapo.

 

Hybrid chat

Sometimes a customer isn’t satisfied with an answer provided by the virtual agent, and sometimes they just prefer a live human. That’s why offering “hybrid chat” is a great option.

Hybrid chat gives customers the choice to instantly start a conversation with a live agent or with a virtual one, and seamlessly transition between the two. And because any past chat histories are automatically sent to the responding agent, they can pick up right where the conversation left off. With this context, there’s no need to make the customers repeat themselves, making the experience efficient and easy.

 

Analytics

The world is generating more than 2.5 billion gigabytes of data every day, with 80 percent of that data considered “unstructured” content, including social media and customer interactions. The obvious challenge for organizations is extracting valuable insights from all of this data. It’s important to track how effective your content is (and to discover what visitors are *not* finding on your site).

Home in on the performance of your self-service support by analyzing response times and interface efficiency. Find out what new, unanswered questions need to be created to track progress and performance. With your newly acquired knowledge, you’ll be able to create better strategies for success.

 

Empowered customers are happier customers

By implementing natural language into self-service tools, your customers will be informed and empowered, and your company will realize self-support success. Helping customers help themselves improves customer loyalty, increases revenue, and enhances brand awareness.

To learn more about intelligent self-service solutions, contact us today for a free consultation.

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by Inbenta Team