If you’re banging your head against the wall, wondering what the cause of your lackluster customer effort scores (CES) is, good on you. You care about your customers! That’s more than some businesses can honestly claim. The answers you’re looking for, though, could be hiding in a place you haven’t thought to look: your self-service strategy. When’s the last time you thoroughly reviewed it?

Do you have one at all?

Listening to our customers’ stories, we hear time and time again that good self-service strategy is central to lowering customer effort. We also know from experience that lowering customer effort score can supercharge customer experience.

Tips for Improving CES Through Self-service

A well-rounded self-service strategy can provide a number of opportunities for improvements that typically translate into improved CES scores. Here are four to consider as you revisit and revise your own strategy:

  1. Use the Right Knowledge Management Solution – Ideally, you understand the importance of a stable, scalable knowledge management solution and have one in place. If you don’t have the budget or capacity to prioritize a modern KMS, consider some amendments to your existing strategy. Unlock your PDF documents. Move documents out of departmental silos. Break content up into digestible, bite-sized chunks that are optimized to show up when and where customers are looking for them.
  2. Leverage Search Reporting – However you go about it—be it Google Analytics, or your own internal tools—take a look at what your customers are searching for during their self-service experiences. Some data points may emerge around top articles, or the articles that customers consistently see just before submitting a case. This can help you identify candidates for updates and optimization. Tune content and optimize it for search to make it easier for customers to find the information they’re looking for.
  3. Be on the Lookout for Content Gaps – As an expert well-versed in your company, product, and related content, it is easy to overlook content gaps that are quietly making things harder on your customers. Search reporting and user behavior analytics provide useful data in this regard. Customers and support agents might also suggest content that could be useful during case resolution, or that’s glaringly missing from your self-service experience. Capture this information in the flow, on the article level, then organize it and act on it!
  4. Improve Click Navigation – Click navigation allows customers to self-identify, then drill down to the information they need in a very low-effort way—usually with a series of clicks. We wrote at length in our blog about how click navigation can lower customer effort. Yes, people rely heavily on search. But some people will arrive at your support site not quite knowing what to do. Make it easy on them by delivering a straightforward click-navigation experience.

Although this list is by no means exhaustive, these are four great areas to focus on if your objective is to improve customer effort score. You are not alone! GetFeedback recently shifted its focus to CES as its leading customer support metric. Why? Read more about the GetFeedback story here.

Additional categories: Customer Experience, Knowledge Management