Empower customers, unburden staff

How can your business protect service teams and better serve customers? Hiring more agents is one way – but the cost puts this option out of reach for many customer care leaders. Instead, you can reduce the burden on your customer service agents with self-service tools. These AI-driven tools help your customers find answers to common questions independently, minimising the number of calls or emails needed to resolve an issue. It’s a win-win solution for your customers and your care teams. Here’s what you need to know:  

Customer care challenges in 2024

Customer service is under pressure. The number of interactions is on the rise – according to McKinsey, 61% of customer care leaders in one survey reported growth in call numbers. Higher call volumes lead to longer wait times – Forbes reports that the average customer service interaction takes 18 minutes, making it difficult for customer service teams to meet targets. When wait and call times lengthen, metrics like time to resolution (TTR) follow.   

Technology can be another factor. Many customer service teams are working with disconnected or poorly integrated software, which can have a real impact on customer service. It makes sense. If your agents need to switch between software platforms to find customer information or make changes to an account, it impacts their accuracy and speed. One survey found that businesses using disconnected systems served customers 34% more slowly than connected businesses, with lower CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores.  

Higher volumes, higher expectations and ineffective software add up to more pressure on your customer care team, more frustration for your customers, and an increase in stress and burnout among your employees. That’s reflected in the previous McKinsey study, with 49% of respondents reporting increased staff attrition and employee dissatisfaction cited as one of the top reasons for staff leaving.  

Self-service as a solution to customer challenges

How do you respond to cascading pressures on your customer service team? Self-service channels help customers find answers on their own, so fewer issues reach your customer service team. Even better? It’s not just a benefit for your team. One study found that 81% of customers want more self-service options 

While businesses have used FAQs and other simple solutions for decades, new technology has transformed the customer self-service game. For example, you can now use AI-driven, virtual agents, to answer customer queries, drive customers to a self-service portal that can handle common account changes or requests, and use an online resource library with intelligent search functionality to guide customers to relevant articles and information. 

Self-service portals and integrated tools help you collect and analyse customer service interactions. When you manage everything through a single platform, capturing and using information to improve performance is easy. For example, you can see exactly how many customer queries reach your virtual agents, how many problems are resolved at the first interaction (first contact resolution), and how long it takes the average customer to resolve an issue. Here’s an in-depth look at some key self-service solutions:  

Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents are chatbots designed to handle the simple, repetitive customer queries that can swamp your customer service team. They can integrate with popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp, LINE, Facebook Messenger and Google Messages, so customers can chat in a familiar format.

Using generative AI technology, including Natural Language Understanding, Virtual Agents can answer common questions, check account details, manage appointments, and send customers to relevant articles or how-to guides as needed. Even better, they can send customers to a customer service agent, along with the full conversation history and context, if they encounter an issue they can’t solve.

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Service Catalogue

A Service Catalogue is a self-service portal that lets your customers manage many of their account details and issues independently. The technology sets up workflows for common issues, which guide customers through possible solutions. For example, if a customer wanted to upgrade their account, they could log in to the Service Catalogue, scroll through upgraded prices and details, and action the upgrade themselves. This can also act as a triage point for other self-service tools – if an issue can’t be solved in the catalogue, it might direct a customer to search the knowledge base or chat with a virtual agent to learn more.  

 

Knowledge Base

How many of your customer inquiries are just how-to questions? How many are related to a product function issue or setup error? The Knowledge Base feature is designed to give customers the resources and information they need so they can sort out many of their issues without talking to an agent. Your Knowledge Base is more than just a collection of articles and guides related to your product or service.

The feature uses AI to make search more effective and personalisation ensures customers find relevant content. AI-powered search handles typos naturally, offers intelligent search suggestions, and summarises results when they appear. It’s about helping your customers get clear, accurate answers to their product questions.  

Your platform for customer service improvement

If you’re a customer care leader, you’re probably all too familiar with current service challenges – from rising call volumes and increased complexity to high customer expectations and frustration among customers and staff.  

ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management (CSM) solution is here to help. You can choose from a range of integrated features to create a self-service platform that works for your business and your customers. Create a personalised Service Catalogue, build your Knowledge Base, and use Virtual Agents to support your customer service team.  

What could that mean for your business? By reducing the burden on your customer service team and improving service outcomes, you’ll boost customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, minimise customer service costs and employee burnout, and get accurate, actionable insights to drive continual improvement. By implementing a comprehensive customer service platform with self-service options, you're also laying the groundwork for a more omnichannel approach, so you can meet your customers where they are. 

If you want to maximise the benefits of your ServiceNow CSM, it makes sense to get support and guidance from an expert implementation partner like Fusion5. We can help you implement your CSM, configure and customise the technology to fit your business, and solve any teething problems.  

Want to cut customer service stress in your business? Talk to our team now.  

Great outcomes start with great conversations

Great outcomes start with great conversations

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