Best Practices Your Path to World-class Direct Marketing
One common mistake: The knowledge base items on the Web are not available to CSRs. Without this access, CSRs are not able to give the same, up-to-date answers to call-in customers that self-service customers receive.
2. Continuous improvement.
Once you've achieved your return on investment in your Web-enabled customer service program, resist the temptation to become complacent. For example, an initial self-service rate of 60 percent to 70 percent may seem satisfactory compared to the reduction in need for one-on-one time with live CSRs.
But RightNow Technologies has witnessed companies committed to continuous improvement of their online customer service program achieve 85-percent to 95-percent self-service rates.
And if you build in feedback mechanisms, the Web channel can provide you with customer comments about site content and traffic statistics to further improve your service levels.
3. Minimize clicks.
Your site should be designed so customers can access knowledge items as fast as possible. Clearly identify your customer service-related links on your home page—typically with buttons labeled "Customer Service," "Need Help?" or something similar.
This main link should lead to a page of the top 10 to 20 customer service issues. RightNow Technologies has found that more than 50 percent of customer service questions are solved by this top issues page.
4. Customer service portals.
When service-related information is located in different areas of the Web site—product information on one screen, shipping information two links away—it becomes a hindrance to customers finding the information they need quickly. Once customers initiate a search for an answer within a service-related content area, says Gianforte, they should not have to leave it.
Instead of moving content from its current home, it's best to create a customer service portal that links to all other content customers may need to answer their questions.
5. Empower your customers.