How can we define a customer engagement platform? Simply put, it is software assisting in creating and managing customer experiences via personalized interactions through several communication channels. So skilled IT vendors can collect, enhance and analyse customer journeys. What are the main features of customer engagement solutions?
- 360-degree customer view, equipped with transactional data collection and multichannel personnel. The system should also automatically update the history of customer interactions.
- Customer conversion and retention. The feature implies various multichannel interactions (email, web, social media, phone) and enhanced customer segmentation according to transactional and demographic criteria.
- Tools for targeted marketing campaign creation and automated customer surveys.
- Customer journey management visualizes and analyses visitors’ journeys, generating activities in line with the history of clients’ requests.
- AI, reporting and analytics, including customer behaviour and preferences analysis, CSAT scoring and personalized customer interactions, reports, and dashboards.
- Consumer service portals (chatbots, communities, and other tools for improving customer interaction).
In this post, we are going to consider the importance and usefulness of self-service portals in more detail and highlight the main steps of creating customer service software.
Why is that type of solution crucial for a successful business customer service strategy?
First, it enables companies to provide clients support at scale, as self-service solutions help find solutions for problems (it is sometimes impossible to get a prompt answer from a customer support agency immediately). Statistics confirm that most customers prefer self-service options to taking advantage of clients’ support services: around 90% of customers expect companies to offer a self-service customer support portal. Additionally, 70% of clients are willing to deal with service and product issues independently.
What are the main features of self-service solutions?
- Community forums;
- FAQ pages;
- Chatbots and knowledge base;
- Kiosks for self-service (banks, malls, fast-food restaurants).
However, it is essential to remember that building a self-service portal does not imply having the clients log their tickets only. It goes beyond offering an easy-to-use interface to increase the loyalty of your clients and enhance user engagement levels with the help of self-service tools. Before designing and delivering a self-service portal, you should consider the main building blocks. The first essential step is making a service request catalogue aimed at depicting which items or procedures a service provider should deliver. Secondly, you have to define request models for each item; It will lead to turning each action into a repeatable and consistent process.
Here are more tips on making your self-service solution function effective:
- Think about users’ experience map development: your primary goal here is to avoid dead ends and keep the information in line with the consumers’ context. Noting down the most frequent user requests will allow you to write precise step-by-step instructions. Don’t forget to include illustrations, photos and video content that illustrate the information.
- Even if you already use a help desk, you apparently need another one for managing your incoming support tickets effectively. That is the way of avoiding sorting messages and going through requests endlessly. Plus, a helpdesk lets you know which team members work on a particular project and which are engaged in different tasks. To start the analytical help desk immediately, selecting key metrics you need to track and agreeing on specific criteria is critical.
- Other engagement tools and techniques include autoresponder messages; It is handy for confirming requests’ receiving. You always have an opportunity to personalize emails automatically, depending on clients’ needs. Place information to emails in a hierarchical order if your messages comprise plenty of information. You may also select the five most frequently asked types of questions and make corresponding templates with free space for customizing (order number or the name of a client).
- To determine whether you need to add chatbots to your system (and where to place them if yes), analyse the channels your customers use most frequently. You may wonder: «What is the most optimized way of using the tool in customer service software solutions?» The most effective technique is informing your clients which support representative branch it would be better to contact.
- Add several helpful features in a walkthrough user guide or product tour. For instance, include interactive elements that your clients can complete along their way and links for live chat to provide customers with additional support.
- Advanced automation tools are no less necessary: “when this, then that” optimizes the support team’s work. For instance, when it is required to confirm the shipping of the order, upload files, set up online scheduling or send reminders about upcoming calls.
Tools to engage with clients and involve them in the process
Solutions for feedback and surveys to keep customers. Feedback and reviews after receiving a service is an important tool for business development. However, not every customer is ready to leave feedback, especially if they are satisfied with the service. Therefore, on the self-service sections of the portal or when using the terminal, the system offers to pass a survey. Questions are simple and do not take much time, sometimes they may be limited to one alternative question: “Was this information useful to you?” or “Were you able to solve your problem?”. Business can conduct surveys and encourage users to provide feedback. The information obtained allows the business to improve its services, get rid of problems or introduce new solutions.
Personalized support. Customer service software solutions are extensive. There are popular programs and software to provide personalized support for users via e-mail. Specialists can send promotional offers, discount coupons to the users who are most interested in this. Segmentation of e-mail allows to establish services, separate critical customer requests from spam, etc.
Software for self-service terminals/kiosks. Solutions for banks, shopping malls, power grids, citizen service centres. Terminals save consumers’ time, cut the chain of interaction with the organization’s staff and bring the consumer to his goal more quickly. Terminals can provide background information, organize customer service by staff, or eliminate interaction with them altogether.
These were tools to increase the level of customer engagement. Among others, we can highlight other advantages:
- Decreasing overall support costs. Since you have an option of streamlining answers to FAQ via automized troubleshooting, your company, correspondingly, may reduce the number of team members involved in support services or rearrange their working hours.
- Improving conversion rates. Not only does self-service enable answering questions post-sales, but it also helps overcome pre-sales barriers. By taking advantage of responsive user experience, customers can go through the purchase funnel of customer engagement software without getting stuck on customer service hesitations or FAQ pages.
- Getting to know your clients’ needs. Implementing self-service goes hand in hand with tracking, analysing and gaining meaningful insights on customers’ behaviour, preferences, and expectations. Indeed, they will assist you in becoming a more assistive and customer-centric company.
- Educating your customers. Lastly, investing funds and resources in top content encourages making informed decisions about purchasing goods. It also allows examining product compositions and manufacturing details more closely.
Take your initial step to software and app development for customer service!
Our team is experienced enough to provide our customers with highly efficient customer service software. PNN Soft has been creating web, desktop and mobile solutions for 20 years; we keep honing our skills and track the latest technologies applicable to particular business branches. That is why we know which feature set spells success for your industry today.
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