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Why is self-service so important for your Customer Success strategy?

September 9, 2021

There is no doubt that having high customer retention and low churn rates is what any SaaS company seeks. Well, customer self-service is an extremely useful tool for that matter:

67% of customers say they prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative, so it actually relieves your CS team (notably by reducing tickets) and allows them to scale
75% say self-service is a convenient way to address customer service issues, so it also significantly improves customer satisfaction (and therefore retention)

Self-service basically means making sure your customers are able to find answers by themselves rather than by directly contacting the Support or Success team.

3 easy steps to integrate self-service into your Customer Success strategy

1/. First, by creating a mutual aid community, either on your branded website or on social media (like Facebook or LinkedIn)

Your customers are indeed using your product on a regular basis, so who would be better placed to offer advice and respond to issues than themselves?

To achieve a well-built community, you have to define the main goals you want it to achieve: is it only for support, or to share best practices and to boost customer retention, or to convert your leads to customers, or to get feedback about your product? It's really important to define clear, quantified goals to measure the efficiency of your community.

Another crucial thing to do is making sure your community stays active. To do so, you have nurture it: always create and share new content (like success stories about your customers, tips and tricks to use your product, etc.). To encourage customers to be engaged online, you can also implement a rating system, where customers vote for the most helpful answers: this way, it ensures of the quality of the solutions offered online, and it encourages to participate. Hence your customers feel they are part of an interactive community, so you can actually boost customer engagement while taking pressure off your success team.

2/. Then, gather on your website all the best practices your community has generated

91% of customers say they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs: customers love self-serve resources, it just has to be tailored enough to them.

Knowing that, and knowing that enhancing and updating your already existing knowledge base will allow you to broaden the support material you're offering, you have an interest in using the content your community has generated since it will make your knowledge base more likely to be tailored to your customers' needs. So it's actually a pretty easy way to create quality content without too much effort.

It would be a waste not to use this abundant source of advice and information that your community members generate, so you should make sure that, every time a customer sends good advice on your community platform (which you can see through the amount of positive appreciations a post has got), you duplicate it on your website.

3/. Also, make sure your content is highly accessible

There's no point in building a community and an online database of advice if you don't communicate about it and make sure every single one of your customers knows how to use it.

In other words, now that you've built your community and started gathering all the precious information it has generated, you have to make it easily accessible.

  • It first means that people should know that you offer such a support database. This may be done through nurture campaigns that inform of this chance, notably for new customers during their onboarding period.
  • It also means making the information itself accessible once people know it exists. And one of the most effective ways to do so is with an FAQ section that redirects customers to the best answers to their issues.

Why may your CRM be another key to automate your CS Strategy?

By interacting with more than 500 companies (Heads of CS, Heads of Ops, etc.), we've come to realize that optimizing the tools you already have at your disposal is the best solution when it comes to implementing an automated CS strategy: your CRM will be able to do the same things as a CS platform but it'll cost you less money and save you a lot of time.

So, making the best of your CRM by optimizing it relies on four essential things.

1/. Centralize all your customer data

Centralizing your customer data on your CRM means you'll gather data from all your teams (Sales, CS, Marketing, Product...) in one place. Since you need all the info you can have to best answer your clients' needs, centralizing all your data (billing information, MRR, NPS, and so on) is going to be a huge advantage.

By doing so, you'll get a full overview of a given client in no time, and that's precisely how it should be.

2/. Make each client's lifecycle available in your CRM (including what they become post-sales)

This way, any user will be able to quickly determine where a given client is at in their adventure with your company.

3/. Add comments/notes after your actions

Each contact with a client – be it by phone, text or email – must be indicated on your CRM, and it's absolutely necessary that all your team members get involved in this process. This way, all your CS team members will be able to access all the information they need to take care of their accounts.

4/. Create your own Playbooks (with Intercom, your CRM, etc.) and automate your campaigns

Why waste time on low-added value tasks when you can automate them?

With the proper warning system, you'll get alerts based on your health score or on other signals. Now, consider the time you'd gain if your reaction to such warnings was automated: that's why it's important that you are able to trigger personalized campaigns with your CRM so that you can strengthen the relationship with your customers and limit your churn.

Nalia's team
Nalia made with love.

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