Wikipedia defines Customer Experience as ‘the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier’. This relationship is crucial in customer happiness and customer retention and like every relationship there will be bumps in the road, but it is how the supplier reacts to these bumps that will be the true measure of the overall customer experience.
Improving the overall customer experience cannot just be improved with one initiative, however one area that can really help is by implementing a Self-Service portal to your customers.
But what should you consider when setting up Self-Service?…
1) Identify how much functionality you want to offer to your customers – start too big and they may find the whole experience too daunting and continue to phone in – start too small and they may not find value in the portal and discontinue use. What we would always suggest in the first instance is to choose an area that will harness customers strengths such as a knowledge base so that customers have the opportunity to self-help. In addition to this give your customers the ability to access their Incident history, thereby reducing customer frustrations of continually calling for updates. Once customers are familiar with accessing the portal, over time you can build up the functionality that you make available to them.
2) Involve your customers in the design – what do they want to see? what would make them use the portal instead of the phone? What would they find the most beneficial in a portal? By including customers in the thinking, they will feel more invested in making the portal a success and also know that the portal was designed with them in mind.
3) Identify a trusted group of customers to have access to the portal to critique and test the usability. This will ensure that when you do send it out to all customers, it will be polished and work exactly as they expect – further improving the customer experience.
4) Sell the portal internally – convince your customers that this is the best way of logging calls – potentially offer a faster SLA to Incidents that come through the portal. Make sure that the necessary guidance on how to use the portal is available and create a buzz – with everyone talking about it – you will get more customers using it.
Ginsters found that “Over 80% of users are using the portal, with more than 60% claiming it has improved their overall experience of using IT”. Read the full Ginsters case study here
Introducing a customer Self-Service portal will allow your customers to have access to potential Incident resolving information 24 hours a day, and if they are not able to resolve their call, they will be first in the queue during supported hours. Thereby saving your customers time and making their experience more convenient. Customers using Sunrise ITSM, are also able to benefit from dynamic searching and tagging, whereby our customers can search relevant keywords in order to locate their query in a quick and timely manner. Read more here.
Overall, the key with improving the customer experience through Self-Service is to listen to the feedback given by your customers using the portal, allowing for continuous portal improvements based on actual customer experiences. Customers empowered with Self-Service will ensure high customer retention and offer one initiative in improving the overall customer experience.