Creating a self-service portal is not overly difficult; the ServiceNow® Service Portal provides tools and resources for building effective customer service portals. When creating a self-service portal, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:
Link to your Portal
Don’t expect users to be able to find your self-service portal if you don’t show them where it is. Include calls to action throughout your main site, linking to the self-service portal. Likewise, you can add links within your product or app and include it in your customer communications, so that when users encounter problems, they know exactly where they should go for help.
Finally, make sure your customer service agents know about the portal and how it works. As they interact with customers, they can introduce them to the self-service portal and show them how to use it. Be aware, however, that some agents may be reluctant to promote the self-service portal if they feel it might diminish the value of agents themselves.
During interactions with customers, they can suggest using the portal for self-service. Keep in mind that agents may be reluctant to suggest self-service because they perceive it could diminish the value of agents. Remind them that self-service will help customers get answers to the common and repetitive questions, freeing up agents to handle more interesting requests or interactions that truly need a personal touch.
Optimise your FAQs
Your FAQ pages should provide succinct answers to common questions. Optimised FAQ pages can also do so much more. Incorporating relevant links into FAQs can give users clear direction about what they should do next. Built-in search functionality improves usability and eliminates the frustration of having to search through answers one at a time. Links to relevant blog and product pages can further elaborate on your existing answers while also improving conversions through your site. And, for those who need more one-on-one assistance, consider including other contact options on the page.
Individuals learn differently, and a block of text isn’t always the best way to guide your audience. When creating your self-service portal, consider incorporating multimedia. These may include diagrams, videos, flowcharts, images, podcasts or any other media that might benefit the user.
Improve self-service search
Search functionality is an important factor in self-service. When creating a search function for your self-service portal, make sure that you are focusing on user experience, first and foremost. Make the search bar easy to locate and large enough to fit longer queries. Include auto suggestions and make sure to account for keyword-related issues, such as misspellings and synonyms. Include filtering and advanced search options.
Keep your content up to date
Change is inevitable; the answers and solutions you provide today may not be applicable tomorrow. Regularly review and update your self-service resources. Include the last updated date in the resources themselves, so users can see at a glance how recent the information is. Having a standardised workflow will help ensure consistency, tracking and that the right people are participating in reviews and updates.
Optimise for mobile
The desktop computer is no longer the primary device for accessing information online; employees and customers often prefer to use mobile devices. As you establish your self-service portal and its underlying self-service channels, be sure not to skip over mobile usability. Optimising your portals for mobile will make them more accessible, and thus more likely to be used.