Migrating Users to Self Help

Migrating Users to Self Help

Article by Donna Earl

Migrating users to self help is a significant step in achieving a well supported user base and reducing the total number of calls regarding frequent issues. A significant number of your end users can be resistant, and depending on how the agent handles the call, can feel being told to use self service is no service.

Users are more easily directed to self help by agents with superior call handling skills. During the call, key considerations can motivate the end user to utilize self help tools.

1. Level of responsiveness

Bear in mind there are different levels of responsiveness to self help. Some users never want to deal with self help, and will always contact the help desk. Don’t antagonize this group with heavy handed attempts. These users are accustomed to talking to an agent and utilize desktop support. Many users in this group learn more effectively from other people, rather than by reading or following a tutorial. Some lack motivation or confidence to problem solve technical issues independently.

The majority of end users will respond positively to tactful guidance to relevant self help. Focus your efforts on this majority of users. Present self help as a useful resource, and refer to the option of self help as you end the call. Not all users will consult self help the next time they have an issue, but don’t give up. Always proactively promote self help as an option.

The users who prefer to problem solve independently like self help tools. When these users contact the help desk, they have typically tried all resources, and frequently are frustrated they cannot find the answer independently. These users appreciate targeted help for their problem and can become annoyed if the call is not focused exclusively on the issue at hand. Let them know their issue will be submitted to the knowledge base.

2. Timing

Do not promote self help too soon during the call. Many agents push self help in the beginning of the call, before the issue is resolved. This magnifies the user frustration and the user resistance irritates the agent. Customers are receptive after their problem has been solved. When you hear their sigh of relief, it’s time to mention self help. They’re more open to the benefits of self help when they’re feeling relieved rather than confused.

Remind them self help can be more time efficient than queueing for an agent, and can become their first step before contacting the help desk. Suggest it can be faster (and more interesting) to search the knowledge base.

Tell them you’ll send an email with a link to the solution to their issue, for their future reference and to introduce them to your self help tool and see how it works. Encourage them to visit the knowledge base to expand their own proficiency.

End the call with a professional ending, encouragement to visit the knowledge base, and a sincere thanks for calling. They’ll recognize the help desk as a resource for information, not just a one problem resolution factory.

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Donna Earl is an international expert in Customer Service. She specializes in helping technical help desks deliver world class customer service. To use this article, Contact Us for permission.

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