Self-service is fast becoming a critical piece of the customer support function for subscription-based businesses. Leonardo Hodgson explores the benefits of the self-service model and explains the self-service capabilities within our cloud billing platform, Cerillion Skyline.
Customer experience is a critical component of today’s subscription revolution
. As more businesses move towards a subscription-based recurring revenue model, it is even more important to focus on the needs of the individual subscriber. At a time when customers are spoilt for choice, only a delighted customer can really pave the way for a successful subscription-based business.
Clearly, all your processes and systems need to be centred around the customer. Apart from monitoring the usual billing and invoicing requirements, successful subscription businesses pay close attention to customer engagement and support processes. As your business continues to grow, only a well-oiled customer support machine can allow you to scale and hit your growth markers easily.
Thankfully, technological innovation has enabled newer ways to engage customers. The self-service model has become the most favoured customer support channel
over the last five years for consumers, but it is increasingly the case for business customers too. Allowing your subscribers to access information, make purchase decisions and troubleshoot their problems on their own accord can be very beneficial for your business. Your support staff may not be available at all times, but a self-service model ensures that your customer is engaged at all times.
Benefits of self-service for subscription businesses include:
Empowered customers are happy customers
- By putting the power in the hands of the subscriber, businesses ensure that customers gain information or resolve their problems anytime, anywhere. Some customers will always prefer the traditional phone call to a customer services team, but others prefer a DIY online approach. By giving the power of choice to consumers, you can build loyalty and reduce customer churn.
- Your support team can use analytics to easily identify the key areas in which customers seek product information. Having an easy-to-access and comprehensive information repository, either by way of FAQs or a detailed knowledgebase, can help free up your resources to create more valuable touch-points for your customers.
Improved customer-to-staff interactions
- With self-service in place for routine subscription management activities, your support staff can then focus on having more meaningful conversations with subscribers and improved outcomes. The customer support team can use direct engagement methods to onboard customers, explore up-selling/cross-selling opportunities, build deeper customer relationships or pacify disgruntled customers.
Reduced dependency on staff resources
- Problems often come without notice, and it’s not always possible for someone from your organisation to be available to help. Robust self-service capabilities help you to reduce the dependency on your staff, while also ensuring that your subscribers are not left out in the cold. Make sure that you are always building and expanding self-service capabilities so that customers can always get the best service whenever it is required.
Insights on customer behaviour
- Popular analytics tools might give you insights on some important customer metrics, but they do not reveal the complete picture. By identifying the functions for which customers access your self-service resources, you will be able to identify your product’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help you resolve issues, enhance self-service capabilities and improve the overall product experience.
Here at Cerillion, we understand the importance of self-service as a valuable asset in your customer service toolkit. We also recognise that whilst some businesses prefer to build their own self-service platforms and integrate the subscription management features via APIs, others would prefer an out-of-the-box self-service application. We have therefore designed a customer portal which is built to harness the power of self-service for all your subscription management
needs by including a complete and flexible range of online self-care features for your customers.
now includes our responsive web design (RWD) Self Service module to help you deliver an online account management presence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on any web-enabled device. Its interface is designed to be intuitive and very flexible by providing multiple options for customisation and integration with your existing company portal in order to complement call centre services and improve the overall customer experience.
Our Self Service module puts the following capabilities directly into the hands of your end-customers:
- View current account balance status
- Maintain account contact and payment details
- Manage subscriptions
- Monitor usage
- View previous payments
- View, download and pay bills
On the configuration side, the service provider has full control to customise the look-and-feel to reflect company branding by tailoring things like text, logo, favicon, colours, website links and company contact details.
Furthermore, you can easily tailor the interface to only enable the relevant actions for your customer according to your business model by choosing which pages, buttons and options should be displayed and available to your subscribers.
Finally, you can choose the best access method for your customers between the usual username/password login or Single-Sign-On (SSO); setup your own custom domain; and also configure your Google Analytics code to track your customer visits.
Self Service is available as an optional feature on all Skyline editions. Sign-up now for a Free Trial
and you can test it out for yourself.