Studies have shown that anywhere from 65-75% of people would rather navigate a self-service website rather than send an email or make a phone call and have to talk with a live person for a support request.
This is not surprising considering the landscape of today’s fast-paced schedules and technology such as smartphones and tablets. Many people would rather submit an online support ticket while on the train ride to their office, or browse a forum to read about what others have done about an issue, or even browse to a knowledge base article to read up on what is new to help them solve a problem.
But how does this affect sales? After all, the bottom line is what executives are most interested in.
Let’s face it – most people do not like to be sold to. Currently, information is readily available with the click of a mouse or a swipe on a smartphone, and people like to make their own informed decisions, even when it comes to purchasing products or services.
Let’s look at one example: Maintenance Renewals
A company that sells software or hardware including maintenance agreements that need to be renewed year over year would prefer all – or at least most – of their customers renew their contract.
The traditional way an organization would accomplish a renewal with a customer would be to have an employee in a sales capacity reach out and contact that customer via a phone call, or an email. But what if there was a better way to “sell” the renewal, or have the customer decide for themselves that they want to renew? While we’re at it, let’s give them the ability to even purchase the renewal! Let’s first look at why customers may not renew at all:
- They don’t know when the renewal is due
- They don’t know what the benefits are to renew
- They don’t know why it is important to renew and stay current with maintenance
- They don’t know where and how to go about purchasing the renewal
To solve the when, how about putting the renewal date on the dashboard of the customer’s self-service login portal page. It’ll be front of mind each time they log in. As well, consider adding a knowledge base section with articles about future releases, roadmap information, and what the benefits are of updating to latest software versions. In the portal, it would also be beneficial to show a running tally of closed support tickets, as this might take care of the why they should renew. As we round out the portal by providing the customer with a self-service purchase and payment option where they can renew, let’s also add a big green button, that conveniently shows up in the portal 45 days prior to expiry of maintenance.
We have just made the whole renewal process self serving, empowering the customer to make an informed decision to purchase another year of maintenance.
This is just one example of how a self-service portal can have a positive impact on your business and the services you deliver.
Customers today want 24/7 access to support, information and service. By implementing a self-service portal website, you can focus more on customer communication preferences and deliver a personalized online experience for your customers.
On top of an enhanced customer experiences, a self-service portal will ultimately strengthen your business processes, improve service delivery, save time and money, and drive revenue within your organization.