5 traits of self-service support options that customers will love

Written by Erin Penney

When consumers have WiFi connectivity issues, they want to be able to resolve things themselves. And for many of them, that’s something they can—and will—do regularly.

In fact, recent studies show that 81% of consumers will try to resolve issues themselves before reaching out to support—and 67% would actually prefer to solve issues without any agent intervention at all.

With all this demand for self-resolution, it’s essential for smart home brands to get self-service support options right—because the wrong approach can quickly spiral into customer frustrations and poor reviews.

So what is it that customers really want from self-service support?

 

Specificity.

Fun fact: According to recent research, 91% of consumers would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.

It’s important to note the key phrase there: tailored to their needs. Generic information on knowledge bases isn’t helpful for consumers because it depends on them being able to diagnose their issue correctly before they can even start to look for a solution.

What customers want in these situations is specificity to their problem. They need your self-service options to help them identify their specific issue, and then suggest tailored actions that can help them resolve the problem. This can be incredibly tricky for smart home brands, though, because every home network and environment is unique.

 

Accuracy.

Have you ever tried to use a forum post to solve a technological issue, only to realize that the most recent answer was from 2016?

Most consumers have, and because of this, they’ve learned that even support articles have expiry dates. In some cases, customers won’t even look at articles over a certain (very subjective) age because they’ll assume that with how quickly technology evolves, anything older than the date they have in their minds is no longer accurate.

When you’re maintaining self-service support options, customers expect your support team to be able to keep that information accurate and up to date on a regular basis. After all, they don’t want to get halfway through a troubleshooting process and realize they’ve wasted their own time!

 

Clarity.

Studies have shown that 40% of customers will contact support after they’ve already tried to find answers through self-service options. Sometimes, it’s because they can’t find an article specific to their problem—but sometimes it’s because they just don’t understand the resources.

When self-service options are too technical, customers might not understand—and if they feel like they have to Google every third word, they’re going to call your support team anyway just to get you to explain it to them.

Customers want clear self-service options they can understand, and by ensuring your resources are in layman’s terms, you can help make sure your team isn’t going to all the effort of creating resources just to have extra calls come in anyway.

 

Availability.

As a support team, you know what resources are available for customers to resolve issues on their own. But your customers don’t. They won’t automatically learn about self-service options, and may not think to look for them before they call in with an issue.

So if you do have self-service options, customers expect you to tell them—loudly, clearly, and often.

When you add a resource, promote it. When you cover a new topic, share it with them. Tell them proactively with your newsletter. Share it on your social media pages. Put it in your on-hold message. Customers will notice—and it will make it easier for them to use these resources.

 

Effectiveness.

This is arguably the most important expectation that consumers have for smart home self-service options. Ultimately, what your customers want is for these resources to actually help them.

And by reaching all of the other expectations on this list, you’ll reach this one, too.

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