Customer self-management: the all-new brand differentiator

Written by Michael Smith on the 2nd of February, 2017

Letting customers help themselves may seem a cop-out to the uninitiated. If the brand is the customer’s concierge, then surely you want an agent or colleague to metaphorically open the door and hold their hands as you walk them up the red-carpet.

But if you examine the statistics, the reality is that customers want self-management and see this as a real differentiator when choosing who they place their business with:

90% of consumers expect a brand or organisation to offer self-service customer support; 60% of consumers have a more favourable view of the brand if self-service is mobile-responsive. Furthermore, 73% of consumers want the ability to solve issues on their own; one-third say they’d ‘rather clean a toilet’ than speak with customer service.

So if 76% of your customers decide whether you value them on the basis of customer service, then it would seem that customer self-management is an imperative.

Yet when I go in search of self-management, most brands and organisations fall short of this requirement. It’s not simply a matter of presenting FAQs in a responsive format from a website. Brands and organisations have to wake up and realise that self-management is a dynamic ‘content’ game.

By adopting and adapting omni-channel technology across support channels, a brand can analyse, learn about customer’s ‘information’ needs and create the framework to preempt service requests. That framework is a branded help-centre with dynamic, searchable content and up to date articles that is easily accessible on a customer’s smart device.

The benefits of this can not only be measured in terms of improved customer satisfaction driven by ticket-deflection, as customers satisfy their own needs but also in terms of improved resolution in other channels. Agents can similarly utilise the same ‘dynamic content’ and will have more time available to deal with customers requesting help on chat, email, phone or social.

The old adage, ‘the customer is always right’ has never been more relevant. The ability to empower customers to self-manage has suddenly become a brand-differentiator.

Satisfying my needs through the use of tech creates a lasting relationship between the brand and me, the consumer. Why? Because together, we found the right answer to my question with minimum disruption. So you’ve validated my choice and I feel good.

For more about how dynamic content can improve customer experience watch.

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