Chat Self-Service

Is Customer Self-Service Right for My Business?

Increasingly today’s customer engagement platforms include self-service options. They enable customers to quickly find the solutions they need. Customers love them because they’re fast, consistent, and easy.

We’ll walk you through the considerations and options to help you see if this approach to customer service is right for your business.

What is a customer engagement platform, and why do you need one?

A good customer engagement platform helps manage interactions between your brand and customers and can reach diverse channels, including social media, website visits, SMS, phone calls, and email. The right customer engagement platform helps you track when and where customers interact with your brand. It creates a seamless experience that helps customers solve problems for themselves and gives you deeper insight into how you can meet their needs — and increase revenue, of course.

Customer Engagement Models

Not all your customers will want the same type of experience with your brand. Someone who just learned about your company needs a different engagement model than someone who has already completed a purchase.

Understanding various customer engagement models should make it easier for you to give customers the experiences they prefer.

Considering the following approaches can help you hone your customer engagement models.

Introductory Messages

Most consumers feel somewhat cautious when they encounter new brands. Good introductory messages will educate them about what your company can offer. Perhaps even more importantly, they provide social proof—such as customer reviews and social media messages—that show how much other people love and trust your brand.

Follow-Up Communications

After someone commits to a purchase, you can nurture the relationship with follow-up communications. This could include:

  • Sending emails to confirm their order.

  • Updating delivery status.

  • Letting customers log in to their accounts to review past orders.

Building Ongoing Relationships

Ongoing relationships occur when customers start relying on your company for particular products and services. When someone wants to buy a new picture frame, for example, that person will automatically head to your website to browse your selection.

Customer engagement platforms can build ongoing relationships by continuing communications with customers. Once you have someone’s email address, you can send newsletters and discount offers. By comparing purchase histories to those of others, you can cross-sell items by recommending other products that might interest them.

With self-service at the core of your model, additional interactions require very little activity on your part. Still, they keep customers interested and encourage them to spend money.

5 Features Every Customer Engagement Platform Needs

Any customer engagement platform should include the following features. You might decide that you want additional options, but these are essential.

  1. Self-Service Portal

Self-service portals let clients access their accounts, so they can take actions such as:

  • Updating their payment information.

  • Adjusting their orders or membership tiers.

  • Reporting issues with the services they receive.

Your self-service portal should be set up so that it gives each customer a unique user ID and password.

  1. Live Chat

Self-service live chat usually involves a chatbot programmed to perform basic tasks. A product such as Clickatell’s Interact platform can communicate with customers across channels, including websites, WhatsApp, and SMS messages.

When a solution requires a more hands-on approach, chatbots can direct customers to live representatives who take over the conversation.

 Related reading: 10 Winning Chat Experiences for Retail

  1. Knowledge Base

Conventionally, a knowledge base contains documents that tell customers how to use technological products. You might have accessed a knowledge base while using web design services or learning to use new software.

More broadly, a knowledge base can include any document that helps your customers. Your knowledge base might offer directions for creating accounts, closing accounts, and submitting tickets.

  1. FAQs

A FAQ answers the most frequent questions your customers have. It’s an incredibly valuable way for customers to get the answers they need without your live human agents spending valuable time going through the same questions again and again. It often answers questions such as:

  • What types of payment options can customers use?

  • Can multiple people use the same account?

  • Do you ship internationally?

  • What is your return/refund policy?

It can also answer specific questions about product features, set up, or maintenance and usage.

  1. Web Forms

Web forms include fields for customers to enter information, such as their names, payment information, and locations. Web forms make it possible for customers to create and manage their accounts without help from your employees.

You can also use web forms to collect additional information from customers, such as recommendations for improving your website or glitches that they encountered while using your service.

Customer self-service might not eliminate your customer service department, but it will shrink the number of employees you need to complete tasks. The technology should also reduce the pressure that your live customer service agents experience, making it easier for them to treat customers well and take the time to solve more complicated needs when they arise.

Find the right customer engagement solutions with Clickatell.

Choosing a customer engagement platform that meets all your customers’ needs can feel like a serious challenge. Clickatell has been creating products that simplify and enhance the customer experience for over 20 years. We’d love to talk you through your options and pull together the right option for your customers and business. Let’s set up a time to talk.

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