A growing trend in the field of engaging customers is building portals and communities for customers to help them find answers to questions themselves. This enables them to solve problems more quickly. Salesforce Community Cloud offers a popular platform for building customer self-service portals by putting the information a customer needs right at their fingertips.
As organisations increasingly emphasize customer experience, it has become apparent that customers want to find the answer to their problem without having to call or email the business. In fact, the majority of customers now prefer using a website to find an answer over contacting a company (according to Forrester, 72% US based online consumers prefer to use a website to find answers, rather than contact a company).
Finding information in a self-service community
A frequent challenge – in genuinely reducing the time it takes for a customer to solve a problem – is that users of self-service portals cannot easily find the information they require. In addition, not all customer problems are alike so two different customers can be looking for support to a similar problem, but customer-specific characteristics may mean that the information they require is different.
Getting the right content in front of the right people
So when user scenarios vary, it’s paramount to be able to define what information is served to whom in order to provide excellent customer experience. It is especially important to be able to offer account level control over the documents and information any customer sees. The reliance on access controls ensures that customers see only what is essential to their account, limits the information overload, and makes it easier for them to find the information they require to solve their problems fast. But there is more that can be done to guide the user towards the information they need.
Displaying the information
Reducing the time it takes to find the solution all stems from the ability to find the required information easily and fast. So the format the required information is displayed is crucial. Search result content previews, highlighting the search terms and ability to view documents without having to switch between applications are all contributing factors in successful self-service portal design.
The most compelling benefit of such portal is time to resolution which can go from hours to minutes. Serving the right content at the right time in a portal releases everyone’s time. While your customers are able to solve problems fast, you’ll have less inbound tech support requests, and you can support much larger customer base without being forced to continuously invest more and more in growing your traditional support force.
To learn more about empowering self-service with customer portals, take a look at Documill Discovery.