Finding new ways to boost customer loyalty is always a challenge.
If you’ve built a loyalty program or initiated a retention initiative, you’re probably wondering what can be done next. The answer is much simpler than you might think.
Self-service customer support is a proven way to boost customer loyalty and drive purchases from returning customers.
In this article, we’ll take a close look at five ways you can use self-service customer support in an effort to boost loyalty.
To kick things off, let’s talk about the channels you use and how you can add more.
1. Diversify Support Channels
The recent surge of omnichannel selling and customer support belies that when you’re selling your product online or offering support, more the channels, the better. Adding new channels leads to new touchpoints and opportunities to engage with your customer.
Adding self-service channels for support gives your customers an easy reference that can cut down the complexity of omnichannel customer support within your organization.
But can offering more self-support channels truly help boost customer loyalty?
According to your customers, the answer is yes. 67% of customers1 prefer self-service options over contacting a representative in your company.
When you look a little closer, this trend makes sense. If customers can gather enough information to solve problems themselves, then they’re very likely to save time. That feeling of self-empowerment helps link customers to your brand.
It also minimizes the involvement of your support representatives, which means they can help customers who have bigger problems that your self-service can’t tackle.
Creating new channels like FAQs or a knowledge database allows your customers to address their issues with ease, thus improving satisfaction and loyalty.
If you’re worried that your customers will not respond well to new technology, let me assure you that you have nothing to worry about on that front.
95% of respondents2 reported that they would be willing to connect with new technologies, especially if they simplified their experience.
Diversifying your channels and adding self-service options allows you to take advantage of new technologies and opportunities. Your customers are already looking for you, so making the transition just makes sense.
2. Implement Personalized Content
Customers love personalization. It helps them feel valued by your company and gives them another way to connect with your brand.
One study3 found a direct correlation between your customers’ satisfaction with your brand and your ability to personalize content.
You can personalize your self-service by doing things like creating highly specific support articles that help customers navigate through niche uses of your product. You can also add a support chatbot that’s able to call customers by name and give them the direction that solves their issues.
Here are some other ideas that you could implement as well.
– Make your self-service resources easy to navigate
– Use previous actions and behavior to personalize accordingly when users are logged in
– Optimize for mobile devices
– Capture user feedback and edit your support accordingly
– Update and proactively add more resources
The more you personalize, the better your support will be. It goes without saying that when personalization and support work together, customer loyalty will increase.
3. Predict Future Needs and Fill Them
It’s always difficult to find out what your customers need, even with robust analytics and direct feedback.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
A Harvard Business Review4 article reported an interesting idea that ties directly into planning the future of our customer support initiatives.
It steers away from traditional metrics like net promoter score and offers the customer effort score as a better alternative.
The author’s premise, which he backed with customer research, was that your customer effort score outweighs all other predictive indicators. So the easier it is to use your site, the more willing customers will be to buy or repurchase.
The best way to predict customer behavior, spending, and loyalty, is by making it easy for them to find the kind of resources they need. If you can find out what makes it difficult for your customers to get help, you can fix that problem and boost loyalty over time.
And that process is much simpler than trying to guess what your customers need because it ties into actions that you can implement immediately.
– Make your content understandable and easy to find
– Display the availability of self-service options prominently and directly.
– Show customers that they can save time
– Arm your reps with easy reference material that they can share on forums
– Develop a plan to manage customer support improvement
From there, do all you can to continue eliminating friction in your customer support experience. As your self-service becomes easier to use, more customers will be willing to return and keep purchasing.
4. Be Mobile Friendly
I already mentioned the need to be mobile-friendly when personalizing content, but there’s more to it. Your entire self-service experience needs to work flawlessly on a mobile platform because that’s the first point of entry for many customers.
Leading customer service companies already focus overwhelmingly on mobile as a part of their overall customer experience initiatives.
So if your self-service content is inaccessible on mobile, you might as well not even have it. Mobile-friendly self-service support gives your customer the fastest route to solving their problems.
Tying this back, it has also been undeniably linked to an increase in customer loyalty. 92% of customers5 say they would definitely repurchase from a brand with a superior mobile experience.
The indication is clear. You need to build your self-service support in such a way that it is mobile-first.
That means you make sure that navigation is easy, and the copy and images are readable.
When all these elements come together, your self-service support will be an enormous asset to your customers and your brand’s loyalty initiatives.
5. Improve Your Service Offering, Continually
Finally, if you want to improve customer loyalty in the long-term you need to find ways to improve your support. When your product evolves over time, so should your support.
That means you need to understand your customer journey, and then track it. You need to assess customer needs, map what’s happening, and then develop your support from there.
With regard to planning for the future, you need to keep tabs on where customer support is going. Innovations like AI, personalization, and data analytics are just the beginning of the changes you can expect in the coming decade.
Focus your efforts on eliminating resistance in your customer journey now, and then drive that progress forward. Remember that design and user experience are just as important as your content.
And a great way to do that is to approach your improvement slowly and methodically.
Start by measuring your current performance, analyzing what works and doesn’t, and then implement efforts to improve your experience.
When you’ve gone through this process, you’ll be one step closer to providing better self-service support.
Keep finding ways to speak to customer needs, and ask yourself if your customers are truly loyal.
And as previously mentioned, don’t be afraid to refresh your content based on direct customer feedback. As evidenced by this section at the bottom of all our support articles, we follow this practice here at Freshdesk as well.
As your customers change, you should change with them. All of these elements will allow you to continuously improve your customer journey and find new ways to boost customer loyalty in the years to come.
Customer support will always find ways to adapt to modern innovations, but that doesn’t mean you have to lag behind. There are plenty of self-service options available today, that help boost customer loyalty both now and in the future.
Start by adding new support channels where it strategically benefits your customers. FAQs, forums, and knowledge bases are the best place to start.
Work on personalizing your content based on customer feedback or the actions of your platform.
Start eliminating friction in your self-service support so it becomes easy to use and understand. The less effort it takes to get answers, the better off you’ll be.
Make sure that all of these resources are easy to use on mobile. That’s where your customers are most likely to look.
Then finally, build a foundation that allows for continual improvement.
When you put all of these steps together, you’ll have a robust and easy to use self-service support option that boosts customer loyalty and drives future engagement.
1 – https://techonestop.com/building-customer-loyalty
2 – https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/352767/Loyalty%20Report%202018%20Files/Bond_TheLoyaltyReport%202018%20US_Exec%20Summary.pdf
3 – https://conversionxl.com/blog/non-creepy-personalization/
4 – https://hbr.org/2010/07/stop-trying-to-delight-your-customers
5 – https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/mobile-marketing-statistics