As consumers’ preferred channel for solving simple queries, self-service can play a huge role in helping businesses scale in a customer-centric way.
Take it from Freshly.
Founded in 2015, the meal delivery subscription service brings nutrient-rich, chef-cooked meals right to customers’ doors, eliminating the confusion around (or lack of interest in) recipes or evening grocery store runs. As Freshly grows, a full omnichannel solution has allowed the company to keep its support customer-centric.
Landing slightly ahead of the curve on subscriptions to fully prepared meals, Freshly relied on its help center to provide fast support for its growing user base, as well as to educate new and would-be customers about its philosophy, approach, and logistics as efficiently as possible. The company enjoys considerable return on knowledge base investment that goes beyond its self-service destination. As Freshly expands into new regions, for example, help content remains a boon for sharing the company mission and enabling self-service.
Here is Freshly’s advice for anyone looking to support a growing business with self-service:
- Craft extremely customer-centric content
- Combine the power of automation with agent-assisted service
Crafting customer-centric content
Self-service content is only useful if customers can 1) find it, and 2) use it to solve their problems. That’s why it’s essential to make sure you and your customers are speaking the same language.
The top five articles in a help center account for roughly 40% of all daily views, according to data from Zendesk Benchmark. This indicates that taking a lean approach is best when creating content: start by answering the most frequently asked questions, publish those, then expand and add content from there. This is known as the agile approach, which is how Freshly goes about content creation.
The team noticed that several one-touch tickets—repetitive issues that could easily be solved with self-service—were coming through via chat, according to Colin Crowley, Freshly’s Vice President of Customer Experience. Given the popularity of chat, the Freshly team decided to start by tailoring help content for that channel.
First, the team exported thousands of customer queries—questions asked via tickets and the most commonly searched terms on the website—to identify the most prevalent ones. After creating content that matched the language and needs of the most popular searches, they then turned to AI for an added boost in aligning content to customers’ needs. With assistance from Content Cues by Zendesk, a solution that finds patterns in how users ask questions, the team continues tailoring its language to more closely match that of customers. For example, the phrases “My delivery hasn’t arrived” and “Where is my box?” are associated with the same help article. The impact is two-fold on the customer experience: the content is robust and easy to find when people need it.
Building regular content reviews with key stakeholders into your process is the only way to glean this important information, Crowley recommends.
"With these insights, we were able to make simple changes that made a big impact,” said Megan Merrick, Freshly’s Sr. Online Engagement Specialist, who leads content development.
Automation meets agent-assisted service
Sometimes, a better experience comes from real, human support, so make the handoff between automation and humans as simple and pleasant as possible. Understanding the importance of that seamless transition, Freshly successfully combined in-context self-service with easy ways to escalate to agent support.
To provide faster, accurate support for chat customers, Freshly ensures self-service is integrated thoughtfully throughout the website. Supported by Answer Bot for Web Widget, customers can type their questions into a window that looks and feels like chat—important familiarity given the popularity of chat among Freshly customers. Answer Bot, powered by AI, then surfaces relevant help center content in response to their questions. If they still need or prefer to reach an agent, though, there are clear options for initiating a live chat window or receiving a callback.
All of these measures resulted in a better experience for both customers and agents. With a higher portion of tickets being resolved by Answer Bot, for example, agents can focus their attention on the issues that truly need a human touch, which ultimately results in a better customer experience.
“Our customers are easily able to access a representative when needed, and we’ve seen value out of the 15% of customers who get their questions answered automatically,” Crowley said of the time savings and reduction in one-touch tickets.
By understanding that the customers’ needs should drive self-service strategy—what content to create and where to put it—the Freshly team continues seeing returns on its investment with a better customer experience, and a better agent experience, as the business continues scaling up.