5 Tips For Creating a Fantastic Self-Service Portal
Help me help myself, or I’m out – is the new mantra this ‘always on-demand’ generation is using to get things done. They want solutions, and they want solutions now.
The strong presence of technology surrounds millennials and gen Z. They prefer instant workarounds and minimal human interaction. So, it is only natural to add the self-service technology that has apparent benefits for meeting millennial consumer behavior. Studies show that it is not just millennials; people prefer self-service across all generations and age groups.
According to Harvard Business Review, across industries, 81% of all customers surveyed attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live agent.
However, having a mere self-service portal in place does not empower your users. A self-service portal is only seamless and efficient if you are giving your users a great experience.
In this blog post, let us discuss the challenges that come with self-service portal implementation and how to fix them.
Challenge 1: Poor design
A poorly designed self-service portal is challenging to navigate. This results in end-users feeling less-valued and frustrated. It could be full of confusing language and dead ends. Creating an intuitive, effortless, and personalized experience is essential to all support channels. The self-service portal is no exception.
Challenge 2: Set it and forget it
A self-service portal must continuously be evolving. Perpetually enhancing services and replenishing the knowledge base and support articles are vital to a successful self-service portal implementation.
Challenge 3: Low self-service portal adoption rates
Getting your end-users to embrace self-service portal can be a significant challenge. To some extent, the consumerization of IT allows the natural transition towards self-service. But not all users are going to be comfortable engaging with the portal. They might lack confidence in using forums or a knowledge base to find a solution to their problem, follow steps to resolve fundamental issues, or even initiate the process of self-service. Organizations must train their end-users and ease them to adopt a self-service portal to alleviate the burden on IT support teams.
Challenge 4: Stale portal in place
The self-service portal is expected to be ‘always-up-to-date’. Having stale or wrong services within the portal is worse than not having one at all. The self-service portal must be reliable and credible, as the end-users rely on the portal when they work.
Challenge 5: Lack of ‘personal touch’
A very well-designed self-service portal that feels alien to your end-users’ needs is just futile to your organization. If your portal is not intuitive and user-friendly, your end-users will continue to reach out through their phones, send emails, or even walk up to the IT team, which undermines the effectiveness of the self-service portal.
Tips to creating an amazing self-service portal
- Take inspiration from a B2C e-commerce self-service portal
Designing your self-service portal like a B2C provider is a great way to begin your implementation process. Your end-users are already well-versed with the standard features and capabilities of the everyday customer-facing portals, take advantage of that knowledge during the design phase. Deliver an improved end-user experience, and it’s a rising bar because the expectation is consumer-grade service.
- Make your self-service portal available and easy to access
Build your self-service portal, and they will come is a myth. A marketing plan is vital for self-service. A portal that is not used is of little value. Your organization must take explicit actions to get the end-users to use the self-service portal. Build awareness and involve your end-users from the design phase; after all, they are the stakeholders. Involving them not only helps with the design, but it also drives ‘buy-in’ for the portal.
- Focus on making the self-service effortless
End-users expect intuitive, seamless, and error-free solutions to their requests. Design your self-service portal to minimize the end-user efforts. A powerful self-service portal is often misinterpreted as providing aesthetics or graphic design. But to drive a long-lasting self-service portal adoption, it all comes down to delivering an effortless, easy-to-navigate experience for your end-users and making their life simple.
Make the self-service portal experience smooth, in terms of look and feel of it and also in terms of usage. Incorporate principles that provide human-centric experiences.
- Take the mobile-first approach.
Mobile is essential for our portals. Make sure that the self-service portal is proactive and available in all shapes and sizes to your end-users. Instead of creating a web experience first and replicating the same to mobile, implement a mobile-first design that can also be ported to your website. No matter the device, aim for an excellent experience overall.
- Personalize your portal
Implementing an ‘out-of-the-box’ solution with little customization and lack of personal touch could mean you have spent time and money on something that doesn’t fit your organization and your end-users. End-Users value the organizations that relate to their needs and providing them with a unique, personalized micro-experience goes a long way in winning their vote of confidence.
Customize your self-service portal according to your organizational needs. Start with defining and understanding your audience. Gather feedback and test it out on small groups. Make adjustments as needed based on the input. Brand your portal with the company logo and colors to make it feel like an integral part of your organization. Provide a sense of belonging to your end-users when they navigate the portal.
Share more tips with us that we’ve missed in the comments section down below.
Freshservice gets you onboard and empowers your users with an intuitive, effortless, and personalized self-service portal. Fix the disconnect between your IT and business with a well-designed self-service portal, giving productivity a dramatic boost.
Check out what Freshservice has to offer for your organization to empower your end-users to help themselves anytime, anywhere HERE!
Blog cover design – Banu Priya
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