Originally Posted by DestinationCRM
As the availability of customer service contact channels increases, customers are engaging with nontraditional, digital service options as often, if not more so, as their service agent counterparts. Last year—for the first time ever--Web self-service surpassed telephone service as the No. 1 customer service channel among U.S. adults. As current consumers adapt to self-service and communication channels broaden further, self-service and customer communities will only increase as an avenue for customer resolution, especially among Millennials, whose desire to solve problems on their own will bolster self-service portals and brand loyalty.
In the contact center, a move to self-service can create growing pains. Customer service organizations accustomed to traditional service channels might balk a bit at a more informal, networked approach to serving their customers. The good news is the shift to self-service pays off: self-service and communities give customers greater access to information that is immediate, insightful and—in some cases--emotional, building connection and creating customer loyalty.
At Bluewolf, we've seen companies that leverage cloud-based communities as part of their self-service strategy reap huge benefits. Bluewolf's recent industry report showed that 42 percent of companies using communities reported cost reduction and 74 percent reported productivity gains, vastly outperforming those not utilizing it, who numbered 23 percent and 51 percent in the same categories.
Creating Better Service CommunitiesMaking the shift to a more agile, customer-obsessed enterprise with cloud-based communities starts with determining what drives your organization by asking questions like, what are the goals for the community you're creating? How will users interact with it?
Unlike service agents, who often have no choice but to work with complicated systems, consumer users will quickly abandon interactions that are confusing or don't provide immediate value. It's imperative that your portals and communities are easy-to-use, include accessible and accurate content, and are mobile-enabled. Below are four steps that will help you create sustainable and beneficial self-service portals and communities: