How to do self-service the right way 

Today's customers want answers fast and are willing to look for them themselves — almost nine consumers out of ten expect online self-service. But it has to be convenient and easy to use.


Published ·April 10, 2023

Reading time·3 min

As customer experience has become more important to consumers than even products and services, it’s important to offer convenient online self-service to meet expectations. For today’s consumers, it’s what they want: 88% expect a brand to have online self-service available

Sometimes the best customer service comes from giving customers the power to help themselves. The benefits of self-service go beyond just providing a better experience and saving your support team some time. But having self-service available is one thing — understanding how to do it right is key. Let’s explore four ways to produce the best self-service customer experience. 

Creating a seamless experience needs to be the priority 

You must prioritize a seamless customer experience when designing your self-service solution. This concept was first introduced by the Harvard Business Review in a report titled, “Stop Trying to Delight Your Customers.” Matt Dixon went on to write a book, “The Effortless Experience,” which focused on the idea that customer effort and loyalty are inversely related. In other words, the more you make your customers work, the more likely they’ll be to find a brand that makes them work less. So, don’t undermine your self-service solution by making it anything other than extremely easy to access and use. If it’s not user-friendly, it’s not a seamless experience. 

It must be mobile-friendly 

A perfect example of this is ensuring that your self-service solution is mobile-friendly. If a customer has to find a computer in order to get answers, they’re doing too much work. It needs to be truly mobile-friendly, too. This means easy to view and operate — just as easy as if the customer was in front of their computer. 

Make it easy for customers to find answers 

Many customers search online when they have questions, so use search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your self-service solutions are easy to find on Google. SEO is a science and art form unto itself, but the return on investment in optimizing your site for search engines can be significant. Customers should also be able to find a link to the self-service portal right on your homepage. Each page that features a solution should give users the option to learn more about the topic or related topics. 

Improvements will need to be made 

While it’s an admirable goal to nail your self-service solution on the first try, expect that you’ll need to make improvements over time. For example, you might think that the text you used to explain a topic makes perfect sense only to later find that customers are confused, and a video or a simple phone call would serve them better. Self-service is clearly a field of growing priority for your customers, so treat it as such. You should come back time and time again to improve this part of your customer experience. This will be much easier to do if you use surveys to judge customer satisfaction with your solutions. 

No time to waste: Add online self-service and keep your customers happy 

There are many ways to incorporate self-service for your customers, from FAQs, knowledge bases and discussion forums to chatbots and customer portals. Self-service isn’t just about redirecting customers from your live contact channels. You can use it to enhance your human support to create happy customers. 

Learn how we can help you reduce contact volumes by as much as 50% with a customized self-service strategy and content customized for your brand.