Knowledge bases and customer portals are highly sought-after forms of customer service. They attract between 2 and 4 times as many visitors as live chat, phone support, or social media support. According to our research, 66% of customers try to solve their issues independently before contacting customer support, and 67% list self-service as their preferred support method. In contrast, only 1% of customers try self-service after looking for help elsewhere.
However, customers aren’t always successful in resolving their problems as not all businesses offer self-help tools. In fact, over half of all consumers say that they cannot resolve an issue on their own because there is too little information online.
Despite this, more than 90% of customers expect businesses to provide an online self-service portal. When they cannot find the needed information online, their dissatisfaction shows up in customer churn, with 22% of customers abandoning their carts when they cannot find the information they need.
On the other hand, accessible support portals can boost sales. According to Microsoft, 79% of millennials are more inclined to buy from brands with a mobile-responsive customer support portal.
Customer portals typically consist of knowledge bases filled with valuable materials such as FAQs, how-to guides, forums, and feedback and suggestion boxes. Customers can use these portals to search for information, interact with other customers, submit tickets, and track ticket statuses. However, despite the demand for self-service, only around 10% of customers use customer portals to their fullest potential. Moreover, only 1% of tickets are submitted through customer portals. Instead, most customers use customer portals to find information that can help them resolve their queries. As such, over 90% of knowledge base traffic comes from how-to-articles and similar resources.
Customers expect self-service portals
of consumers expect an online portal for customer service.
Mobile accessible support portals can increase sales
of millennials are more inclined to buy from brands that have a mobile-responsive customer support portal.
Most customers prefer self-service
of respondents prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative.
Search for self-help before contacting customer service
of customers try to solve their issues independently before contacting customer support.
Lack of information leads to cart abandonment
Customer portal traffic
of all customer portal traffic comes from knowledge base articles.
Daily customer portal traffic vs. other channels
People use self-service support portals
more than chat, social media, or phone support but three times less than email support.
Tickets submitted through customer portals
of tickets are submitted through the customer portal.
Customer forum usage
of customers utilize the customer portal to its full potential.
Customers cannot resolve issues independently due to lacking information
Over half of consumers say that the main reason they cannot resolve an issue on their own is because there is too little information online.
Switching from other channels to self-help
A small proportion of customers
switch to self-service after unsuccessfully contacting support via other channels.