Unhappy man have problems paying with credit card online

We’ve all been there…

Press 1 for Irritated.
Press 2 for Frustrated
Press 3 for Angry
Press 4 for ‘I need to talk to a human being’

Self-service confusion disorder – it’s a thing.

And it’s often driven by poor implementation of knowledge bases and system architectures and structures, leading to buried content, lack of breadcrumbs and inconsistent descriptors misaligned with customer language.

Getting it wrong leads to frustration, customer drop off and worse, impact your satisfaction and retention metrics.

6 tips for successful self-service portal implementations

Number 1 - 1. Define and understand the journey

Define and understand the journey

The fundamentals of CX are driven by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes. So that’s where your service portal journey should begin. Run focus groups, create personas, observe and analyse problem sets and resolution options to carefully craft, iterate and evolve customer journeys, before mapping out the processes.

Number 2 - 2. Never stop building knowledge

Never stop building knowledge

As with any data driven resource, a self-service portal can only ever be as good as the information within it and the time spent defining the customer language and journey. No portal is set and run. It needs a team of champions, responsible for evaluating and analysing content, user interactions and satisfaction metrics to ensure issues are resolved quickly, without leaving bad blood and reputational damage.

Number 3 - 3. Use AI and automation updates for better experiences

Use AI and automation updates for better experiences

As customers ask chatbots or live agents a range of questions, AI can note any new areas of content or enquiry, compile appropriate answers and,and workflows, add those questions and answers to the knowledge base. Don’t forget these will need validation to ensure you’re adding high value content that supports customer experiences rather than content likely to confuse them.

Number 4 - 4. Consider linguistic nuances

Consider linguistic nuances

We’re a multi-cultural country with an inclusive culture and linguistic variations at every corner. Consider this when you’re creating your knowledge base. Identify and prioritise the languages you need to focus on, understand idiomatic expressions, sentence structures and common phrases. And use natural language processes (NLP) models already programmed to handle syntax and sentiments with diligence and accuracy.

Number 4 - 5. Offer a human instead

Offer a human instead

In life and in service, one size never fits all. Some people like to talk on the phone, others in person or via email. Options are everything when it comes to self-service portals. For those of us looking to ‘Press 4 to talk to a human being’, always make this option freely available, rather than burying it under processes and # keys, leading to even greater levels of frustration for those preferring human contact.

Number 6. Take the time to get it right

Take the time to get it right

Creating an effective self-service portal using all of the tools and techniques available takes time. Talk to a technology partner with vast experience and expertise in CX across all industries and disciplines.

Our recent whitepaper discussed how conversational AI can help agents provide an improved experience for more customers by:

  • Reducing agent onboarding time
  • Reducing overall agent effort
  • Lowering average handle times
  • Increasing up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Improve agent performance and productivity
  • Minimise errors and increase compliance
  • Provide consistently exceptional customer service.


Want to know more? If you’d like to talk about the latest ways to improve your Customer Experience and avoid the pitfalls of self-service confusion disorder, we’re here to help.