By all indications, that number will only go up in the years ahead.
Yet according to Zendesk, only one-third of businesses offer customer self-service tools on their websites.
Buyers want a friction-free process that allows them to research and select what they want all on their own. As a result, they’re more open to using bots and artificial intelligence to answer their questions and direct them along the buyer’s journey — as long as their problems are addressed quickly and accurately.
Self-selection tools on your website can help buyers self-educate as they move closer to a purchase.
These tools can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be, and they can work in virtually all industries, both B2B and B2C.
The key to it all is keeping your buyer's needs in mind — and providing the information they need to make the right purchase.
Below, you'll see a range of examples to inspire you.
What are self-service tools and how do they work?
Self-service tools are tools or interfaces on a website that allow users to find answers to their questions and configure their own buying experience. This helps our prospects identify on their own what product, level, plan, or type of service they’ll be purchasing.
Self-service tools that B2B and B2C companies often use include:
Product or service selectors
Custom product or service builders
Chatbots or other conversational marketing tools
Automated scheduling technologies
There is a range of ways these tools work, depending on which one you’d like to provide and how.
For example, if you’re adding a pricing calculator or chatbot to your website, it might be as simple as adding a plugin. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive, you might need to have someone configure the tool for you. This will all depend on what your buyers need and how you decide to give it to them.
Here are some tools other businesses have put together that could inspire what you choose.
Self-service tool examples
A self-selection tool will turn your website into one of your most powerful sales tools.
Use these examples to inspire you to see new ways you can serve your customers.
Wix is an awesome tool that makes it super easy for you to go in and create a new website in minutes.
Let’s face it: Not everyone who wants an online presence needs something complicated right away. A lot of small businesses and sole proprietors can benefit from using a platform like Wix to get up and running online fast.
As soon as you sign up, and enter your email address and password, you start your journey by answering questions, such as, “What do you want to create a website for?” and “What kind of website does your company need?”
Your answers inform the decisions the software makes to recommend the right template for your needs.
Finally, you can let Wix's software build you a site or choose from a list of their recommended templates.
You can choose your favorite homepage design, input your credit card number, and in just a few steps, you could be online that same day.
It’s such a clean and frictionless process of getting your website up and running, that it can solve a huge pain point for many businesses.
Coffee machine marker Rancilio offers an incredibly helpful comparison tool for selecting the right coffee machine. You start by selecting whether you are looking for an espresso machine or bean-to-cup machine.
Next, you choose the volume of coffee you’re planning to make each day (fewer or more than 50) and whether you want the machine to carry milk on demand.
This takes you to a screen where you can view all the different products available with the specs you chose, or you can get in touch with one of their specialists to walk you through which machine might best suit your needs.
The tool helps you figure out your own needs while guiding prospects closer to a buying decision.
If you’ve ever struggled designing or redesigning your outdoor space, you will appreciate how fun and informative this single-page self-selection tool is.
After you land on the page, you’ll select which option you like from a group of visual pattern choices, and the page will then automatically scroll you into the next section, keeping track of your progress all the while.
Once you reach the end, you provide your contact information and immediately receive which style you’ll most likely enjoy for your patio. Mine was Rustic, and they’re spot on.
For prospects who want to ask questions on your website without the hassle of searching for your phone number or "contact us" page and waiting for a reply, chatbots, live chat, and other AI conversational tools are the way to go.
IMPACT client Berry Insurance is seeing great success with their fun and unique chatbot featuring the company mascot, “Shredder.”
Since Berry Insurance is a regional business, the bot first asks you where you’re located. If you choose one of their regions, it leads you further down the pipeline.
If you select “other,” as we did below, the chatbot automatically weeds you out of the sales pipeline while helping you find information about their services.
This is a great example of how to kindly turn away bad-fit leads while also being a helpful, trustworthy business in the process.
Want to learn more about what chatbots can do for your site? Check out our blog post on how to add a chatbot.
If you want to learn more about turning your website into your greatest salesperson, set up a time to talk to one of our experts, and we’ll show you how to implement these strategies for your business today.
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