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What you must know about self-service support

Self-service has proven to be effective in various domains, particularly in technical support and service centers. Whether your audience is composed of citizens, students, or employees, what exactly do we mean by a self-service portal? 

Self-service in technical support is like an automated portal for resolving your IT issues. It's a user-friendly and convenient tool that lets you quickly find answers to your questions and fix problems without waiting for expert assistance. Imagine accessing a knowledge base filled with simple solutions for common issues or submitting a support request with just a few clicks. Self-service puts the power in your hands, making you more self-reliant in resolving IT problems. Of course, managing the portal and database may be a bit more complex, but the customer is king, and your sysadmins are probably looking for more work (a good joke!).

That's why self-service is used across various industries. Companies that utilize a self-service portal have experienced reduced transaction time, increased customer satisfaction, and higher employee contentment.

Self-service empowers the customer to resolve their incident without involving support or customer service, resulting in a generally more pleasant resolution experience. The customer becomes an active participant in their own resolution process rather than a mere spectator.

Self-Service doesn’t have to be complicated

Really, implementing self-service doesn’t have to be complicated. Think about a demand to reinitialize a forgotten password. This is a great example of a simple self-service process. As a user, it is much easier and much faster to reinitialize the password yourself, having a link sent to your email, than having to call your support team to reinitialize it. That’s why this type of password demand is standard for many online services.

This request is straightforward, where the user is offered the possibility to resolve their request themselves, guided through each step of the process. The same approach can be easily replicated for other support needs. A business IT automation platform can support you in your efforts.

Helping each other is encouraged

You may wonder how a client is able to solve his problem by himself.  Well, often with self-service, there’s also a concept of knowledge base (and of knowledge base management), where resolutions of previous incidents are available. For example, if our clients’ incident is a problem with his or her email system, all the client needs to do is search through the knowledge base and find the solution. He can also enter new solutions and remove redundant or obsolete solutions, in order to update and continuously improve the knowledge base.

Reduce the workload of your employees

Users solving their problems and managing their requests also have the additional benefit of reducing the workload of your support team or resources, who would normally be assigned to these requests.

The results of self-service are clear: a resource that, without self-service would usually be drowning in a sea of repetitive demands from the clients, such as our password re-initialization example from above, is now dealing with a much more reasonable workload. With the client taking care of those demands that usually slow down everything else, the workflow of your resources is freed, and they can now be more efficient.

More affordable than traditional support

Another advantage of self-service is the savings you can make from your support cost. With the client or user helping him or herself, the need for a big support team is reduced. Self-service therefore allows you to save on support costs, while improving the satisfaction of your clients. 

Self-service requires the involvement of its users

Self-service can be an immensely useful tool in your business’s kit, but it’s not magic. For self-service to be useful, it takes the users participation and their motivation to help themselves. They’ll be the ones creating communities in your self-service portal and the ones interacting in them. If that motivation isn’t there, then implementing self-service won’t do you much good.