The Only Guide You Will Ever Need for Customer Self-service | Salesforce Guide

What makes the customer experience great?

  • How well do you interact with your customers?
  • The empathy that you show toward them
  • Timely response to their queries and concerns
  • Providing them with tailored communication and experience and such.

These are common points that come to our minds when talking about CX. However, one thing that escapes is ‘self-service’. Great customer experience also includes providing end-to-end support to your customers without them having the need to constantly get in touch with you.

Let’s dig further! In this article, we will talk about all the necessary aspects of customer self-service. Below is an outline of topics this article will cover.

  • The Beginning of Self Service
  • Understanding the Rise of Self-service
  • Benefits of Customer Self-service
  • Customer Self-service Use Cases

The Beginning of Self Service

In the last few years, the idea of self-service has grown tremendously. It is an approach where users can access resources to find answers/solutions on their own. But, do you know self-service is not a new concept?

In 1833 self-service appeared in the form of vending machines. In the 1960s, self-service arrived at gas stations. And then gradually in the 1900s and 2000s, self-service started becoming popular in eCommerce.

dont miss out iconDon't forget to check out: What is Salesforce CPQ - Why Does Every Business Need it?

Understanding the Rise of Self-service

Today, customers expect everything super-fast. Quick delivery, quick response, and so on. That is why it is becoming imperative for brands to consider the option of self-service technology to enhance customer satisfaction.

Self-service was standard even before the pandemic. However, the pandemic has kind of accelerated it. 67% of customers say they prefer to use self-service options rather than talking with a company representative. Nearly 85% of customers say that they will choose a self-service option compared to other options.

Below are some reasons why self-service is becoming popular.


Convenience is one of the main reasons why customers choose this option. With each passing day, our life is becoming busier. We hardly have time for things we like. And the last thing we want is to spend hours on a phone or on an email conversation about a password that you have forgotten for the 10th time in a month.

Self-service functionality saves us time and helps customers as well as businesses to be more efficient. Just think about it - spending an hour on a phone call with a company representative v/s getting a detailed answer with the help of a user manual or knowledge base article!

Customer Experience

CX has become a major brand differentiator. Customers today no longer only care about a product or a price. They want a better experience - right from the first interaction with your brand to after-purchase support.

Self-service gives you an opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and engagement level, and ultimately enhance CX for gaining a loyal customer base.

Cost Effective

There is hardly a need to elaborate on this point. When you have options of self-service in place be it chatbot or knowledge base article, you can reduce your operational costs. You no longer have to hire more employees to take care of different tasks. And the team you have right now will be able to focus on other important tasks owing to the streamlined processes that self-service options create.


If your businesses’ target audience is the millennial generation, then you can not overlook the importance of providing self-service. The younger generation always prefers having hands-on experience and an interactive approach because it is speedy and convenient.

Benefits of Customer Self-service

Self-service options create a win-win situation for both your employees and your customers. With self-service technology taking care of mundane tasks, your employees can have time to focus on bigger issues that require more assistance. Along with that, they can also boost their productivity.

By putting information into the hands of your customers, you can enable them to access information easily. That will further improve customer satisfaction. It also helps improve customer retention rates. Here’s a list of benefits:

  • Staff satisfaction
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased retention
  • Reduced number of support tickets
  • Offer tailored customer experience

Customer Self-service Use Cases

Customer Portal

Portals are an excellent way to level up your self-service game. A portal is a web-based platform that allows you to have smooth interactions with your customers. Using a reliable customer portal solution, you can custom-build a portal and connect it with your CRM.

For example using a Salesforce customer portal solution, you can have a portal that matches exactly your unique needs. You can leverage features like a dashboard, drag and drop builder, templates and layouts, and so much more. When customers log-in, they can have their own profile and access any information they need on their own.

To have an added layer of security, you can have two-factor authentication, enable role-based access, and so on. You can also add links to your support channels, as well as knowledge base pages too.

Portals are gaining a lot of popularity. More and more businesses are investing in portals for delivering an enhanced experience.


FAQs are frequently asked questions, and one of the easiest ways to get started with providing a self-service option. Start by building an FAQ page on your website. You can provide links to other resources including in-depth articles, customer support contact, live-messaging, and so on.

When creating this page, decide on the topics that you want to cover. You can get in touch with your team and customer support reps to know more about your end-customers' issues. Slack is an excellent example to understand how knowledge base, and FAQs work. It covers common topics like getting started with Slack, notifications, managing profiles, and calls. Slack also has a lot of video tutorials. Video content can help users understand complex information easily.


Chatbot-driven self-service is another option. Businesses across all industries have started adopting chatbots to provide information and solve customer queries. Chatbots help provide instant answers to customers without the need to interact with human agents. For example, Dollar Shave Club’s chatbot offers 24*7 service to its customers. Customers can directly ask common questions, and they get instant replies. The common use cases of chatbots include website support, internal help desk support, getting feedback from customers, order confirmation and tracking, returns and refund, and a lot more.

dont miss out iconDon't forget to check out: What is Salesforce CPQ - Why Does Every Business Need it?

Additional Information - Self-service Examples

Here are some top technologies that you need to know.

  • Self-service kiosks at airports help save time during check-in and baggage drops.
  • Kiosks in the hotel industry enhance customer experience.
  • Knowledge base or help centre content with guides, tutorials, etc.
  • AI-powered messaging.
  • Using mobile apps to trigger support workflow automation.

Concluding Remarks

Various industry sectors use self-service. Some examples are banking, travel and hospitality, retail, eCommerce, real estate, and more. Suppose you are an online business looking for ways to streamline your admin process and ultimately enhance customer experience. In that case, a customer self-service portal can help you achieve your goals by providing prompt support and streamlining your business processes. Connect the self-service portal with your CRM platform to get better visibility of all the data. That enables you and your team to get a complete idea of everything that is happening.


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