Self-Service Portals: Users Finding Solutions On Their Own

What Is a Self-Service Portal?

With Self-Service Portals, organizations have the capability to provide users access to resources, products, or services 24/7 without staff needing to answer every call coming in. Self-Service Portals allow the user to control when and how they access information.

LISTEN to our companion Podcast about Self-Service Portals.

Plan Your Self-Service Portal before Implementing

Creating a customer self-service portal can be daunting. Before beginning, organizations need to think about what it hopes its users can accomplish:

• Organizational objectives and metric of success
 The design of information from the perspective of the user
 The maintenance requirements for providing 24/7 availability of the portal

Whether the user is entering a ticket or following up on a ticket’s status, organizations can ensure that the information is being documented in the system and then routed to the appropriate staff automatically. In this way, by taking work out of the queue, organizations can reduce wait times and interact with more users, and the same number of staff can focus on more significant issues instead of handling common incidents, questions, and requests.

Users Resolve Issues On Their Own with Self-Service Portals

In the past, users had to phone in to find information, enter tickets, and request services, but now, there is something else, something intangible happening, when users solve their problems on their own. From a customer service perspective, it can be very comforting for the user to easily enter information, search knowledge base articles, look up the status of their issue, or find answers to their questions without interacting with staff. With the ability to log their own tickets and check on existing tickets, it gives users a reassuring feeling that the ticket is being attended to, that their problem is being taken care of, that there is a process behind all this technology.

Self-Service Portals From the User Point of View

When designing Self-Service Portals, organizations need to think about ease of use from the user’s point of view. Many ITSM tools provide OOTB features not necessarily just for improving IT and the user experience. Self-Service tools can address administrative, employee, and business functions and ticketing systems for distribution centers, help desks, HR, sales departments, and warehouse facilities. The key concern is analyzing which kinds of calls and support interactions can be accomplished without contacting service agents directly. Most importantly, organizations must research and understand the core needs of their user base, taking care of those basic tasks first.

Frequently, there is the desire to roll out too much at once, and this everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach to Self-Service can be overwhelming for users. For them, there is no need to know the difference between an incident and a service request. The user only knows they need help from customer support. Putting too many choices, dropdowns, and menus in their way can be frustrating. They can get lost if there are too many service options. Instead, organizations need to start small and roll out Self-Service in bite-size chunks without confusing users. The objective is to save time, improve the customer experience, and make things more easily navigable for users by setting up Self-Service Portals that act like direct paths to resolutions.

For example, the steps for a Self-Service Portal to perform a password reset will include:

Confirm user identity
Confirm user access rights
Login to the system using a privileged account
Reset user password to random value using password generator tool
Capture value of newly generated password
Set user password to expire upon next login
Logout of system
Communicate new password to user

Flycast Partners can help identify areas where Self-Service aligns with an organization’s current and overarching goals. We have experience performing evaluations, developing request models, and establishing a service request catalog relevant to an organization’s user base. With our guidance, organizations can determine the most prevalent, routine issues users have and implement Self-Service Portals improving their service experience and reducing the call volume of support activity for common actions, incidents, and questions.

For more information about Self-Service, reach out to Flycast Partners. We can provide faster ways for users to find solutions on their own.

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