5 best practices for stellar self-service support

Andrea Lean

Andrea Lean,

Senior Content Editor

13 May 20240 min read

Self-service support is commonly the first touch point to your customer service, so it’s an opportunity to set a great impression and build trust. Here’s what you need to do to get it right.

61% of customers prefer to self-serve support online, yet only 13% manage to resolve their issue solely with self-service.

Self-service is a type of customer support where customers can resolve issues on their own without the help of a human agent. While there are many forms of self-service support resources, the examples we’ll be focusing on will be knowledge bases, chatbots, and community forums.

Embracing a good self-service experience is a win-win cycle, leading to happier customers, better team morale, and a thriving business. 

We’ve gathered top customer experience leaders to get their advice on what makes self-service support a success.

It comes down to five rules of thumb to deliver a self-serve support experience customers will love:

  1. Make it easy and intuitive: Help customers quickly find the answer to their issue

  2. Offload work to automation and AI: Scale support by saving time on simple inquiries and manual work

  3. Stay on top of upkeep: Make sure your self-service resources are accurate and up to date

  4. Maximize visibility: Increase awareness of your self-service to improve deflection rate

  5. Measure impact: Track and measure performance of your self-service 

Make it easy and intuitive

When your customers turn to your chatbot, help center, or community forum, they should find the information they need quickly. The goal is to reach resolution in less time, and this is helped by:

  • Easy-to-navigate menus or homepages

  • Organized support content where customers can jump to relevant help center articles or topics

  • Simple and direct language that’s easy to understand

Offload work to automation and AI

Automation and AI are critical players in scaling your support. Now agents can get straight to the more complex inquiries since the simple inquiries are automatically handled by AI. 

  • Automation is great for routing inquiries to the right teammate and assisting your responsiveness

  • AI-based resolutions of customer inquiries can only be as accurate as your knowledge base

  • With the straightforward inquiries delegated to AI, your team is able to focus on things like knowledge management, optimizing chatbot flows, and deeper analysis of support performance

📥 Download the 5 best practices for stellar self-service support guide to get the full details on where you can take advantage of automation and AI in your support.

Stay on top of the upkeep

The rate of resolution of your self-serve support depends on how accurate your knowledge content is, e.g. up-to-date help center articles. The guide goes into depth on how to bake in an audit and a refresh of your support content on a regular basis.

Maximize visibility

With all that dedicated time and effort to maintain your self-service resources, you want to make sure your customers can find them and use them to their fullest extent. As your customers use your self-service support, you should see your deflection rate increase, aka every time your customer resolves their issue without involving a human agent.

  • Share your knowledge base content whenever and wherever possible. Think of all the different entry points your customers can interact with you.

  • Make sure your chat experience doesn’t trap your customers in a frustrating loop. Offering the option to escalate to a human agent is still important for a great chat experience.

  • Explore different, fun ways to engage your community with exclusive events, influencer perks, early access to beta programs, and more! We list our favorite company communities for inspo in our self-service support guide

Measure impact

In order to track the return on investment (ROI) of your self-service support, it’s essential to closely monitor what’s working and not working. 

Here’s an example of how you would evaluate your knowledge base content:

Curious about what kind of metrics to track for chatbots and community? Download the guide 

Your self-service support is a gold mine of customer insights

Remember, every time your customers interact with your self-serve support is data you can use to improve your self-serve experience. Monitoring customer behavior and following these 5 best practices will speed up resolution, boost agent productivity, and create customers for life.

Get the full guide to get practical tips on:

  1. Organizing your knowledge base for better searchability

  2. Creating simple, yet effective chatbots

  3. Resolving customer inquiries with AI

  4. Building a community your customers love

  5. The metrics you should be tracking and how to use those insights

🤝 Wondering what self-service support looks like with Front? Check out Knowledge Base and Front Chat, now powered by AI.

Written by Andrea Lean

Stories that focus on building stronger customer relationships