Why Impatient Customers Really Love Self-Service


There is a little irony that those of us in the customer service space have been observing since customer support first went online.

Initially, customers wanted to be able to resolve their issues over email.

Then they began to expect a response within 24 hours.

Now, 39% of modern consumers expect a reply within four hours.

Active Twitter and Facebook users expect to hear back even faster. Businesses are responding with all hands on deck, manning every touchpoint – live chat, social media customer service, phone, email – to serve their busy, multitasking user base.

But here’s something interesting: a much quieter 70% of consumers expect the companies they work with to offer a self-service support center.

In other words, a silent majority of customers would rather pop into your website, leaf through your how-to resources by themselves and resolve their own issues. They want gratification so instant that they’d rather not talk to you at all.

There are a few reasons consumers prefer to DIY:

  • They may not want to share sensitive information on the phone or online
  • They think they’re going to have to wait to talk to a human
  • They would really just rather do it themselves
  • They know your support office is closed for the day
  • They think they’re going to have to contact you several times

This is no coincidence. The people behind self-serve frozen yogurt shops already know the powerful psychology of DIY.

You walk in knowing that every topping you could ever want is already prepared, in anticipation of you. The cup of yogurt you make yourself is always going to the perfect one – the perfect solution. No one else could ever really get it just right. This is what we tell our own customers: anticipate your customers’ needs and then get out of the way.

The Kayako ‘self-service’ starter recipe


At Kayako, we run a simple analysis that’s like the tech version of stacking Post-Its into categories to see which one turns into the biggest pile. We tag our tickets and live chats – as and when we’re having conversations with our customers – by topic.


At the end of the month, we run a report on the tags that come up more frequently, or in other words the topics that get asked about the most. Now we know what’s tripping up our customers most often.


With this information, you’ll be able to quickly draw up a prioritized list of what to write or build next. Pick the top 5 frequently occurring topics and use those to structure your self-service content and develop articles around them for the knowledgebase.


Because your product changes, you’ll need to review your self serve articles at consistent intervals. Check out our full guide on your first Knowledge Base audit.

Ready, set, serve.

One of our customers used this method when their support team became overwhelmed with inquiries about a new feature the company had just introduced to their product.

Each rep was spending an average of 12 minutes to explain the new feature to around 10 customers each day, equalling about 120 minutes of work. Once they developed an article (complete with screenshots and annotations), they were able to push it out on their social media channels and their newsletter. They also pinned a link to the top of their website, a smart proactive move that significantly cut down their workload that month.

The advantage of course, is that they were able to support a maximum number of customers without spending days with each of them.

Good self-service content has been proven to increase customer satisfaction. If your support reps are overloaded, we’d love to see you build out this part of your helpdesk. 

Self-service pages are one of the top five support mistakes. Learn how to optimize your self-service pages in our webinar with Sarah Hatter, founder of CoSupport and UserConf

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About the author
Nandini Jammi

Nandini is crafting content that tells the Kayako story and shares our vision for customer service.

  • Bambi Dersosiers

    Savvy analysis – I learned a lot from the facts . Does someone know if my business would be able to acquire a sample IL DSD DC-163.7 form to complete ?

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