In today’s world when you purchase any type of product, you will most likely have access to stellar (or not so stellar) customer service. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a way to find all of the answers to your questions without ever having to pick up a phone or wait for an email reply? Allowing your customers to self-serve could be a huge relief for not only the customer but the organization as well. Just think of the time each side could save. Time is money after all.
“Web self-service is a type of electronic support (e-support) that allows customers and employees to access information and perform routine tasks over the Internet, without requiring any interaction with a representative of an enterprise. Web self-service is widely used in customer relationship management (CRM) and employee relationship management (ERM).”
Allowing your customers to self-serve opens up many doors of opportunity for them to educate not only themselves, but the organization as well. It is a great platform to hear feedback about what customers love about your product and what could use some improvements.
However, there is a downside to allowing your customers a community in which they can share information, and that is crappy information. If you are offering this great community site with a huge following, but you have irrelevant content or information, you will not be efficiently garnering the customer’s knowledge or valuable feedback. However, if done right, could possibly change your brand for the better.
When your support staff is overwhelmed with customer questions, think about incorporating a community site. Think Bloomfire. Your organization will have the opportunity to engage with customers in a meaningful way. You might even see customers choose your product over your competitors just because of your newfound stellar customer service.