Help me help myself! Create the optimal self-care environment.
In our last article, we gave a brief introduction to the process of digitizing your customer care. One of the most critical focus areas is maintaining a healthy environment for your customers to access useful self-care content. Self-care content is powerful in that it aligns with customer’s needs for autonomy and self-determination. Google has transformed the way humans search for answers, so as a company, we must give customers tools to reach solutions in the same ways they do in everyday life.
Self-care content also serves an even higher purpose: helping build trust between you and your customers. Identifying moments in a customer’s journey where they might experience obstacles and supplying them with self-help tools to move forward without assistance shows customers that you know them– you understand their needs and frustrations. The more you show you know your customers, the stronger your customer-brand relationship grows.
If you already have a self-care content strategy, this article will serve as a refresher on best practices. If you’re starting from scratch, these suggestions will help you create an ever-evolving Help Center that continually updates with useful information for your customers.
Before creating any content, it’s best to first identify your main contact drivers – this information will determine where to focus when creating your content. Each business has its own set of unique contact drivers that can range anywhere from calls about specific products, challenges with particular steps in a process, or inquiries about a customer’s account. If there’s a new product launch, these inquiries can change by the minute. So it’s important to keep a consistent pulse on incoming questions and understanding where you may need new support content.
The best way to identify this information is by implementing AI engines that track incoming contacts and recommend new types of content, then working directly with agents to understand customer intent, pain points, and roadblocks in more detail. Using tools to disposition your calls is also a great way to get a quick grasp on what your customers are contacting you about– Call Miner is a great solution for classifying the topic of conversations and tracking trends on current and past calls. Additionally, it’s critical to also look at what your contact drivers are on other channels, such as chat, social media platforms, and forums.
Customers have to feel that they are in the right place for communicating with your company and that they can reach out anytime they need you. And that doesn’t just mean making FAQs accessible – it means ensuring that content is presented to a relevant audience, at the right cue, and in a digestible format. The fact is, customers are constantly engaging with visual content, whether it’s watching YouTube videos or scrolling through Instagram. We have all been conditioned to expect high-quality visuals and movement– and when it comes down to it, video always trumps text in terms of engagement.
With that in mind, it’s important to think through how to transform and elevate your self-care content to something customers look forward to engaging with. One way to do this is by making your content interactive. There are dozens of tools that can help you do this: check out this list of tools that could be a good fit for your business.
Now let’s be real, this sounds like a lot of work. The trick is finding a balance you can manage by leveraging the collective expertise of your customers and agents. You want to find the sweet spot between articles you continuously update, community threads, and evergreen content pieces in video and interactive form that make a big difference in terms of brand perception for those common contacts that keep knocking on your door.
In terms of content strategy, here are a few things to play by:
When publishing your content, it’s important to use efficient tagging systems. More often than not, your customers will try to access self-care content via the search bar. Your content might be great– but if it’s not tagged appropriately, people will have a hard time finding it. Make sure you upgrade your search with a predictive-text system and create appropriate metadata descriptions and keywords on all pages in order to index content. Tagging your content is also useful for analytics and updates.
Think about some of the most popular applications and websites today– from Yelp to TripAdvisor to Facebook, almost all incorporate a rating functionality. This should be no different for your self-care content. To keep it up-to-date, you must work directly with your consumers to determine what is helpful and what is obsolete. Inevitably, your services and products will continue to evolve, so it’s essential that your self-care content evolves accordingly. Just as Google is continually being fed new information, your platform should be kept up-to-date to keep with your customer’s evolving needs and expectations.
Integrating tools such as rating systems, surveys, or community boards for your customers to co-produce content is key for keeping track of new content should be added to your platform. An example of this is our own knowledge base Tutopedia. It keeps self-care content fresh by leveraging customer and agent suggestions and collaborations.
In the end, content is driven by the questions and concerns your customers have– allowing them to co-produce content with you will not only ensure those questions are being answered, but can also lead to community building.
After your content is published, your goal is to distribute it to the most relevant channels for your particular audience. If you’re engaging with customers on different social media platforms, ensure your content is being pushed to each of those audiences in a format that respects the unique characteristics of each. If your platform features various tools for users to ask questions, then it’s important that your content is available on those channels, including building out self-care communities where customers can communicate and answer each other’s questions.
Also, think through what could be appealing to your customer base – integrating elements like gifs, visuals, or videos can be great ways to keep your audience engaged. The way consumers interact with content is changing, even with things like video – it’s been reported that over 85% of videos on Facebook are watched on mute. How can you adapt the content you’ve created to be engaging for each platform you share it on?
Go through all of the different channels of resolution that could be useful to your customers and identify where to share content. How many ways can you tackle and solve issues depending on the customer’s situation? It’s possible your customers will encounter the same questions in various contexts – ensuring the necessary information is available on each of those contexts helps to drive customers to self-care tools, while also demonstrating you understand where they might be encountering roadblocks. These techniques will help you begin to create support environments that will feel personalized and targeted.
As a business, catering to everyone’s particular needs can be challenging, so creating ecosystems where your community can interact and create content is key. In the end, creating self-care content is a way to connect more deeply with your customers, and to show them that you understand– and care– about addressing their needs, concerns, and behaviors. Recognizing that each of your customers has a unique story that can add value to your business is the first step towards creating an environment of trust.
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