You Need Excellent Self-Support for Your Digital Transformation
By Al Hahn
The Association of Support Professionals
Digital transformation is the next thing after customer success. It requires rethinking and changing everything in the entire business. For support, the main requirement is for excellent self-support. While there are other requirements, the most essential is to enable users to do as much of their own support as possible, and do it quickly, with low effort. Indeed, many support organizations are tracking Customer Effort Scores (CES) as well as customer success and customer experience. Today, most users who have a question or a problem go to Google first, then to wherever it sends them. They do not want to call you. Your self-support website should support Google searches. This presents a few issues, but it is a dominant requirement.
If a user goes to your support website, there are many issues to deal with. Single sign on (SSO), personalization, communities, searches enabled by Knowledge Centered Service (KCS). The list is lengthy.
ASP can help you with many of these things. Each year for the past 22 years, we have held a competition for support websites. Every entry is judged by five independent judges, who have been vetted for relevant experience and no conflict-of-interest. Each entry receives a confidential report detailing average scores for their site in each of the 22 areas that are judged. They also see the overall average scores for those 22 areas. Simply reading the judging criteria for those 22 areas on our site under the AWARDS pull down menu is a good primer for what it takes to have a good or great support website. Getting the report is invaluable. It also includes judges’ comments on most aspects of your site, including the top three things they recommend for improvement.
While the top scorers receive bragging rights, a nice trophy and can show our special winner’s logo on their website it is the non-winners that benefit the most. For $1,000 to $2,000 depending on company size (corporate members receive discounts) you receive objective outside feedback from others in our profession. If you think your own employees are the best judges of your website, think again. We are all blind to some of our faults. Objective feedback from outside your company is absolutely necessary to find weaknesses and be able to improve them. Hiring a consultant is a very good idea, but you are likely to get one outside opinion and spend $20,000 or more. Better to enter our competition, get five outside opinions in 22 areas and hire the consultants to help you fix the weak spots.
By the way, several noted consultants such as David Kay and Francoise Tourniaire are also ASP judges, as is Arnfinn Austefjord, the Global Head of the KCS Academy. We cannot guarantee that any of them will judge your website, but there is a decent chance that one or more may.
This year, we will take entries for six weeks, starting May 1st. So, get your entry ready