Back to the COPC Blog

Seven Ways To Ensure Your Customers Actually Use Your Self-Service System

Seven Ways To Ensure Your Customers Actually Use Your Self-Service System thumbnail Image

Written By:

Cyndy Edwards

February 18, 2022

Your customers expect a convenient path to issue resolution, especially when it comes to customer service. A seamless and straightforward experience entails connecting customer engagement between your assisted and unassisted (self-service) channels throughout the customer journey. In a recent survey, COPC Inc. found two-thirds of consumers utilize multiple channels, including self-service options. 

Having a helpful and reliable knowledge base is a critical component of your self-service channel. This online library, also known as a knowledge and content management tool, stores and delivers your customer care content. The content, organization, and search functionality within your knowledge base is what makes it a valuable part of omnichannel engagement. 

Exceed customer expectations by following these seven knowledge base design, building and maintenance recommendations. 

1) Establish a Knowledge Base Strategy

Start by understating your customer’s needs by monitoring calls, emails, and chats, then listing the most frequently asked questions. Capture the questions that escalate to Tier 2. 

Keep it simple. A helpful knowledge base has fewer generalized categories, so customers are not confused. You can identify opportunities to add section headings or categories as your knowledge base grows. 

2) Identify and Build Your Knowledge Base Team

While this may seem obvious, organizing a team with well-defined roles is key to growing relevant knowledge base content. Knowledge base teams typically have three to four full-time staff and include content or project leaders, agents, and content authors.  

Roles and Responsibilities 

The content or project leader will first determine which topics to cover and to what extent, then organize and design the knowledge base. Agents will help with content development, while authors are technically competent and in touch with day-to-day customer contact inquiries. After the planning stage, a knowledge base solution generally takes about three months to implement and includes three to four full-time staff. 

3) Create an Internal and External Knowledge Base 

Build an external version of your knowledge base with customer-facing instructions. At the same time, build an internal version with more technical details for your support staff only. Use the internal version of your knowledge base as a training tool for new agents to learn content location in the external version that the customer is using. In turn, agents can more easily advise customers where to find information in the external version of the knowledge base. 

4) Robust Search Capability and Quick Access

Customers want a quick solution; therefore, your knowledge base should be the fastest customer service channel you manage. We do not recommend requiring registration, sign-in, or product or case numbers, which slows the process and causes dissatisfaction.  

Your search algorithm should be highly accurate and automatically provide a few possible answers to each inquiry. Always test the search functionality to ensure key phrases return the correct content. Getting the wrong results confuses and frustrates customers, causing dissatisfaction. 

5) Chat Option Benefits 

Chat is a great way to offer on-demand help to your customers. It also provides you an excellent source of valuable feedback regarding both the customer issue and the content they are reading. You should also set up a feedback button on each piece of content for customers to respond whether they found the content useful and/or solved their issue. This information will alert the content owners which articles are helpful and which need to be improved.

6) Efficiency and Effectiveness

Consider connecting your knowledge base to your multichannel ticketing software and customer service widgets to allow customers to ask and suggest new questions. Once a human answers the question, add it to the knowledge base. 

*The knowledge base should learn new questions and answers from the other customer service channels. 

7) Knowledge Base Analysis

Continuously analyzing and refining your knowledge base will enable you to identify common issues, plus valuable content, and content gaps. You can do this by tracking the most popular pages in the knowledge base to show overall trends and by reviewing search engine usage. Log all search engine uses and generate summary reports to find the most frequent searches, along with failed search terms.  

A self-service program will not resolve every customer issue but having a robust system and continuously improving your knowledge base enhances customer experience and is cost effective. 

Software that Meets the COPC CX Standard 

Numerous software solutions can help drive the effectiveness of using a knowledge base. As part of COPC Inc.’s commitment to helping industry leaders find solutions that drive customer experience optimization, we created the Approved Technology Provider program. Through this program, COPC Inc. found livepro to be a practical Knowledge and Content Management tool that supports COPC CX Standard, Release 6.2 compliance: 

2.3.1.a – Managing the consistency of content between channels
2.3.1.c – Reviewing content for accuracy and usefulness at a frequency appropriate to the business
2.3.1.d – Users providing feedback for the continuous improvement of the accuracy and usefulness of content
2.3.1.e – Informing CSSs of latest content and verifying CSS understanding
2.3.1.f – Ensuring only authorized staff can revise content
2.3.1.g – Ensuring obsolete content is not visible to CSSs or Customers (but is kept). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]