Do you have a Self-service portal in your organization? One of the very first things when an organization undergoing Digital Transformation is to create and establish a self-service portal.
What is a self-service portal? A self-service portal is a center location (digitally) where employees and even Customers can go to locate information/announcements, answers to questions, and help to troubleshoot issues (systems and IT) at their own convenience. A self-service portal is also available 24x7x366 on the digital platform serving everyone without having to staff it with support team extended hours of coverage.
Availability of 24x7x366 to all
Assuming the digital platform that houses the Self-service portal is up, it will allow employees and customers to assist themselves in finding their own answers at their convenience. In today’s on-demand world where people want to have access when required, it is a perfect fit.
Efficient Customer/User Support
A well maintained and up-to-date Self-service portal required minimal effort for an organization with a maximum return and efficient way of outreach to new and existing customers/users, helping boost customer/user to business relationships as well.
Cost Savings and Increased Revenue for organization
By automating and allowing customers / users to get things done on their own and at their convenience helps reduce the cost of support and may contribute to additional business transactions with the organization by providing the “right” value at the “right” time.
Prior to establishing Self Service with any organization, we also need to look at the “motivation” and “readiness” of the general population by answering these questions first.
What do users do when they have an IT issue?
What are the common IT issues that users report and ask for help?
How do they describe / refer to the IT issue?
Are users “excited” to learn new things (like features) or solve IT issues?
Once you have an answer to those questions above, perhaps it’s time to look at establishing a “Self Service” portal within your organization.
A typical Self-service portal will have the following components for organization.
Announcements and News updates
In today’s fast-paced business environment, having one central location where customers / users can find the latest news of the organization is key to ensure alignment and ensure the “right” information is made available at the “right” time. It is also important to dispel any fake news / rumors as this will be the official channel that people will come to depend upon.
Customers/users can go through a Service Request menu to pick and choose their desire request that links to the organization’s IT Service Management (ITSM) system without having to call / e-mail in a standardized way.
Most organizations portals (regardless of external or internal facing) will require customers / users to login and be authenticated prior to using the services made available to them. By allowing / having a password reset capability greatly reduces extensive support resources and enhances the customer / user experience here.
Interactive, step-by-step guide
This is one of the most important features of a self-service portal in allowing customers / users to self-solve their system / IT issues. They normally will include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that is keyword searchable and a ton of information. Typically, a step-by-step guide is presented in instructions along with screen shots that are simple and easy to understand so customers / users can follow and do the necessary. Most advance interactive, step-by-step guide also offer a short video for those customers / users who prefer video to text instructions.
Some organizations provide additional channels on their self-service portal using collaborative space to interact with their customers / users like Slake, Microsoft Yammer, Microsoft TEAMS, Message board and others. Such a channel, despite not being a near real time support (delay) allows further engagement between customers / users with the relevant support team in the organization itself. It also builds a community support team over time with key customers / users becoming advocate / power users helping as well.
Feedback and Suggestion
This allows customers and users alike to provide timely feedback and suggestions to the organization on issues that are deems important to them which we can prioritize to address.
Now that you have established your organization self-service portal. How does one measure the usefulness / success of the Self-service portal? Below are some suggested metrics to consider on the Self-service portal.
Self-service score (SSS). We calculate Self-service score (SSS) by dividing the total number of unique visitors that interacted with the self-help content by the total number of unique visitors with tickets. It helps us to understand if customers / users are able to service themselves successfully.
Unique visitors, pages views and visits. By enabling tracking of these standard website metrics, we will be able to see how customers / users are using the self-service portal; which area most frequently visited; which area least visited and so on.
Percentage of contacts via Self-service portal against other support channels like phone, email, chat, or social media. We calculate by dividing the number of requests raised via self-service by the total number of tickets received for the month and multiplying by 100.
Now you understand the importance of Self-service portal, how it works and what are the components and how to measure success; you can include it as part of your Digital Transformation initiative.