Manufacturers often face excessively high labor costs associated with processing warranty claims. At issue, there are often numerous touchpoints involved in supporting warranty claims. The burden on your company starts from the moment the customer purchases a product. Resources are required to register the product warranty, respond to service requests and inquiries, open a claim, issue an RMA, etc. This situation often stems from disparate and disconnected systems. Since end-users are growing increasingly comfortable with self-service and even expect it, one way to overcome these challenges is by replacing legacy systems with new applications that include customer self-service portals.
What is Customer Warranty Self-Service?
Warranty self-service allows you to provide online support to your customers without requiring any interaction with a representative from your company. The most common types of customer self-service include FAQs, knowledge base, and online discussion forums.
Self-service has become a necessity for providing a positive customer experience; 90% of buyers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application.
Self-Service is Becoming the First Choice
40% of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact. A study conducted by Dimension Data found that 73% of customers prefer to use a company’s website over social media, SMS, and live chat for support. Instead of speaking with a support representative, they want to find the answers online themselves via FAQ articles, how-to videos, and knowledge bases.
It’s this kind of online behavior that has driven companies to implement self-service solutions; a well-used customer portal can reduce your support costs by a third.
Here are 5 tips to a better customer self-service portal:
1. Highlight the most popular FAQs
One of the most important ways to make your self-service portal become a valuable resource is by identifying the top reasons why customers are contacting your support team. Do your customers have problems with their products? Do they want to purchase add-on accessories?
Your customers should be able to find the answers to these questions in your self-service portal, with a quick, intuitive search. Also, make solutions easy to find by adding the most popular FAQs to the self-service home page.
2. Use screenshots, video, and audio where possible
Step by step instructions is excellent for building furniture but can become a challenge when your customers must switch back and forth between the self-service portal and your product.
Remember that old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” In this case, it is. Use screenshots to visually show the customer the critical “How To” information.
You can even go one step further and record a video/webcast to walk the customer through their solution.
3. Keep your content up to date
FAQs and knowledge bases aren’t “set it and forget it” entities – the content on your self-service support site is never really finished. You need to continuously update and improve your knowledge base to make sure the user experience is a valued one.
4. Make use of search behavior
Once your customers find the way to your self-service portal, make sure it’s easy to use. Thanks to Google, eBay, and Amazon, the search field is one of the most used features on the web. Therefore, your customer self-service portal should include an easy-to-use search field. User-test this frequently, as 63% of customers indicate frustration with many site’s search accuracy and relevant results displayed.
Reviewing keywords entered into your search field is a great way to identify content gaps that need filling. Continuously monitor user searches to adjust search algorithm mapping for accuracy, as well as adding additional content where required.
5. Optimize self-service for mobile users
The second most important attribute to delivering excellent customer experience is to provide consistency across all channels. One way of doing this is making it easy for your customers to access your self-service portal on the go. It’s more than having a responsive, mobile-enabled site – your portal’s user experience needs to be as simple to use with a phone as with a desktop/laptop computer.
My Customer Portal
Mize’s My Customer Portal provides simple, convenient, and online access to all the services needed by your customers as they own and use products for years. My Customer Portal allows you and your channel partners to stay connected with your customers, deliver better customer experience, build brand loyalty, and maximize customer lifetime value.
Providing your customers with access to an easy-to-use customer self-service portal and app available 24x7 leads to happier customers, reduced costs, and incremental revenues. With My Customer Portal, your customers can perform the following activities:
- Search Knowledge - Provide manuals, service history, Knowledgebase, and product support from multiple sources
- Product 360 - Get access to a 360-degree view of your products at critical moments in the product lifecycle
- Register Products - Simplify and automate the registration process to directly engage with customers
- Request Support - Offer smarter, faster customer support and resolutions on any channel, enabling customers to initiate warranty claims
- Schedule Service - Streamline and deliver exceptional in or out of warranty service by enabling field service professionals
- Buy Plans - Increase the attach rate and renewal of service contracts, maintenance plans, or extended warranty.
My Customer Portal can be turned on quickly and cost-effectively with a simple subscription fee (SaaS). My customer portal, hosted on CX Cloud, is highly scalable and delivers fast responses, whether you serve a few hundred or a few million customers. It is available through the Mize Warranty Management solution. Mize next-generation Warranty Management solution connects manufacturers, service providers, distributors, dealers, suppliers, and customers to optimize Warranty Management by streamlining warranty processes, reducing warranty costs, and improving product quality.
Discover the self-service capability. Request a demo to learn more.
Tim Nissen has built companies through marketing in categories including technology, manufacturing, energy, commercial real estate and business services.