I don’t like it when I have an issue. What I do love, however, is getting quick answers to that issue. And that is why I personally prefer the concept of “Self-Service” — finding solutions to issues whenever and wherever I want it. Who doesn’t like being in control?The relatively recent phenomenon of self-service portals caters to this very need of ours —the innate need to be in control. Self-Service portals are the tool of choice for both customers and support teams these days. If you are a business that has been growing progressively, you just can’t take the risk of ignoring the self-service support game and be left behind in the race to success.
Making your customer self-service portal really work
“72% of customers prefer using a website or self-services to quickly find a solution for a problem” – A leading analyst
Analysts have also reported that a major chunk of consumers out there prefer browsing through the FAQ sections in websites to actually getting in touch with service executives. If that’s the kind of service your customers or prospects want, why not give it to them?
So, what features should you try and integrate into your self-service portal to marry ease-of-use with value?
For starters, optimize your self-service content so that the most popular search engines can find your portal when a web search has been initiated. You’re doing it for your corporate website, now do it for your self-service portal. Make certain that your content is easy to stumble upon in searches and social media platforms.
Present the information in a well-structured, easily accessible manner — don’t make your customers click on multiple hyperlinks and navigate to other pages to get the answers they are looking for. If they have to sweat it out, it’s defeating the whole purpose, isn’t it?
To establish your portal as a dependable destination for reliable answers, keep your content fresh and up-to-date as frequently as possible. Who knows, if your customers are effectively impressed, they might refer your portal to their friends and peers as well.
Customer self-service portals: Be sure of what you want to invest in
Customers stay loyal to your brand only as long as you continue beating yourself at providing them with exceptional (“good” doesn’t work anymore) customer service. So, ensure the customer self-service portal you integrate into your business is top notch.
It’s vital you invest in a portal that provides you with all the must-have capabilities. Here’s a quick list of what you should look out for in a potential portal:
- It should offer a superior user experience to customers, while enabling mobile consumption (If these two capabilities are missing, then it’s better to rule out the portal option you’re considering then and there)
- It should allow secure and reliable integration with on-premise networks, leveraging the power of on-premise value
- It should be intuitive (Not many solutions out there can assure you of this. But, there are some really good options you can explore — one of them being the SAP HANA Cloud Portal. And, that’s precisely why I chose to talk about “SAP HANA Cloud Portal for Customer Self-Service” during the recent ASUG Wisconsin Chapter meeting that happened at Milwaukee this month.)
- It should be scalable to accommodate the increasing demand for 24/7 online self-service
- It should authorize your customers to generate new service tickets and trace pre-existing support requests
- It should permit your customers to dip into your knowledge base to discover answers instantly
Find a solution that fits this bill, and you’ll be well-equipped to lower support costs by enabling customers to resolve their own issues. And, if you’d like a partner to help you in your search for a customer self-service portal that best suits your needs—you are always welcome to contact us.
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Author: Tippy Lotterer
Tippy Lotterer is part of the Pre-Sales and Consulting team at Knack Systems. Before Knack Systems, Tippy served SAP North America for over 15 years as a Solution Architect, specializing in Customer Relationship Management products, including those customized for Sales, Service, Marketing, and e-Commerce. She was also an integral part of the Competitive and Market Intelligence (CMI) team at SAP wherein she brought in insights and recommendations that directly fed into the various planning and strategic functions at the SAP executive level and across all SAP lines of business.