How to Improve Self-Help Adoption with Customer Support

Verena Jacob.

Verena Jacob

March 09, 2018


Wouldn't it be nice if customers could help themselves when it comes to simple support queries? As it turns out, they want to.

More than 80 percent of customers who contact support tried self-help first, but most end up opening a ticket anyway because they can’t find what they need.  These frustrated customers are like eager new drivers -- to keep them from running off the road, they need lessons.

Make your help center easy to navigate

It's not enough to have a help center—the content must be tailored, relevant, and written to provide resolutions.

For busy support teams, keeping articles current may sound daunting. Who has the time? Except that they can simply collect what they're already creating. Companies who field calls and send screen-shares can record them. Those who conduct email, social, and chat support can pull transcripts.

Over time, teams can use these materials to write articles to answer customers' most pressing questions with firsthand advice from the experts. With a clear and up-to-date roadmap for support, new users are more likely to adopt self-help.

Give them early lessons

Customers can't know what driving is like until they try it, but support teams can give them an early taste of self-help by encouraging them to visit the portal. Host all onboarding resources in your help center. If exposed to self-help early-on, customers will know where to go when additional questions arise.

Once customers are comfortable behind the wheel, give them turn-by-turn navigation. Leverage AI technology to provide self-help guidance by looking up articles. Chatbots, unlike agents, are an unlimited resource, and hyper-responsive in just the way customers expect. Just make sure they can escalate to a human if need be.

Create clear escalation paths

No matter how prepared new drivers seem, they still need a driving instructor in the car who can take the wheel in an emergency. Clear escalation paths can help provide many layers of guidance:

  • Self-help should form the support foundation for new drivers. All non-urgent issues should be directed here.

  • A.I. can provide turn-by-turn navigation and bring your self-help portal to life.

  • Live chat tools are the first real safety net. If customers can't find what they need in self-help, route them to real agents.

  • Omni-channel tools are a sort of roadside assistance. No matter where customers are lost across the web and social, your agents can use automation to detect cries for help and engage them.

  • Remote support tools are the tow trucks of online support. Tools like Rescue enable agents to quickly take control of a customer's device when needed.

Want your self-help stick? Give customers lessons with a free trial of Rescue.

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