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2 min read

Work-from-Home is Impacting Self Service in an Unexpected Way

By Andrew Stevens on 5/27/20 1:58 PM

Delivering good service is more challenging now than ever before: there are more questions being asked and fewer people available to answer them. Technology has risen to the challenge: Zoom stock has soared, Microsoft has been announcing new features in Teams, and yes, Netflix has been there to snatch us up when we step away from our desks.

Vivantio’s own account management / customer success team have been busy reaching out to customers to see how best we can help. A common theme among the responses has been, “How can we get more out of self service?” either from customers who aren’t using a Self Service Portal yet, or who are using it but not as much as they’d like to.

It made sense to us. With resources at an all-time low, we expected our customers to turn toward Self Service to help keep their service levels up. Wanting to find out more, we dove into our analytics, and the results weren’t quite what we expected.

The Results

Use of Self Service is at an all-time low among Vivantio customers.

Throughout 2019, the percentage of tickets opened via Self Service across the Vivantio SaaS platform stayed pretty constant – around 27% of tickets were opened via Self Service. Email accounted for 33-37% of tickets, with the remainder being opened manually via the Vivantio technician portal.

self service portal data chart dark mode

In March 2020, that dropped down to 23% – not a huge difference on paper, but to the customers impacted the most, that translates to over 5,000 extra phone calls, total. In one month! It looks like the trend may now be reversing – April rose about half a point on March – but it’s still early to tell.
You might have had an internal chat system in place already – Teams, Slack, something else – but it’s probably being used more than ever before. So now, you don’t even have to leave your desk to get hold of IT.
When we sat back and thought about this, we decided maybe it shouldn’t have been that surprising. We all know how easy it has historically been to walk over to your IT team and ask a question instead of logging a ticket. Your first thought might be, “Well, you can’t walk over to IT now, so they’ll have to use the ticketing system.”

Turns out, that’s not the case. You might have had an internal chat system in place already – Teams, Slack, something else – but it’s probably being used more than ever before. Now, employees don’t even have to leave your desk to get hold of IT.

So, what do you do? How do you get people back on to Self Service? Do you even want to get people back on to Self Service? Answering those questions is going to be the focus of our blog posts the next few weeks, with information on new/existing features, best practices, and tips and tricks.

In the meantime, how has this “new normal” impacted your service team’s day-to-day? Have you seen an uptick or a downturn in the use of self-service, or even other channels that weren’t at play pre-work-from-home? Drop us a line at info@vivantio.com or tweet us @Vivantio.

 

Topics: Self-Service
4 min read

How to Implement a Self-Service Portal for Your Support Team

By Staff Writer on 5/11/18 9:00 AM

A GREAT SELF-SERVICE PORTAL HELPS BOTH CUSTOMERS AND SERVICE TEAMS ALIKE

Not only does a great self-service portal free up a service team’s time, but users also prefer it. As customers are given the tools to solve their own technical issues, the service team can focus on more strategic work that delivers greater impact to the service desk, such as automating and streamlining workflows.

 

It’s important to remember that the premise behind a self-service portal is that it’s providing a service. The customer still needs to see the value of using a portal, which means that their answers are findable, new information is regularly updated, and service teams assist customers if they cannot solve their problems alone.

Let’s jump in and have a look at the ways you can successfully get self-service up and running for your internal support team.

 

DEFINE WHAT SERVICES ARE APPROPRIATE FOR SELF HELP

Begin by identifying which services take up most of your technician’s time and pinpoint tasks that customers can fulfill on their own.

Through examining your service reporting, you can identify trends in your service data, such as the number of requests associated with a certain issue and sorted that metric by the average time it takes to complete each action. For example, you may discover that your team receives 5 requests a week on “Installing office 365 on my local machine” and determine that it takes 20 minutes on average to close this type of request. Rather than continuing to address the same request one by one, write a comprehensive article on how a customer can do this themselves to save your team 10 days of service work per year.

At first, this may seem like a small change, but think about how much time you are going to save when it comes to other time-consuming tasks such as replacing printer ink or toner cartridges, installing software drivers, or diagnosing the reason a laptop’s internet is down. Not only have you reduced the time it takes your service team to handle simple and repetitive requests, but you have also empowered your customers by teaching them new skills.

Striking a positive experience with your customers, it is not uncommon to find a majority turning to the self-service portal first rather than coming directly to the service team to solve their issues.

 

ENABLE THROUGH EDUCATION

Your self-service portal cannot be a successful support channel if customers do not understand its benefits over sending an email or calling the service desk.

When you implement the self-service portal, take time to utilize its capabilities in order to educate new users and promote self-help. You can do this by:

  • Setting up a comprehensive knowledge base to promote user guides, help videos, and FAQs
  • Creating a service catalog to set expectations on available services
  • Setting up chat channels so customers can have immediate discussions with available technicians regarding their open tickets
  • Alerting users when assets are unavailable, such as when a file service goes down
  • Using conditional fields in your ticket submissions to capture specific information on the request type

After implementing these changes, you will find that the portal becomes the preferred method for customers to submit tickets because it saves them time.

 

USE DATA TO BENCHMARK THE SELF-SERVICE PORTAL

The most successful self-service portals incorporate scheduled reporting to analyze where continual improvements can be made. It is crucial that you use data to benchmark your self-service portal against other support channels.

For instance, how long does it take the technician to solve a request through email versus the portal? The portal provides a dynamic environment to capture specific information based on the issue type, while email only provides a subject and body. A service team technician may require additional information provided by the customer if submitted via email, which lengthens how long a ticket remains open.

As you continue to migrate your service to the self-service portal, compare the completion time, the number of exchanged emails, actions, escalations, and total ticket volume with your other support channels. There can also be other tools to help gauge success such as surveys and article rating systems, depending on what tools you are using to build your self-service portal.

 

CONCLUSION

Armed with a greater understanding of the benefits of the self-service portal, it is easy to see why offering a solution like this for your customers makes sense. Not only do self-service portals provide better customer service, but teams can also do so at reduced time and cost. Setting up a self-service portal conscientiously by properly customizing and implementing all its features can help elevate an organization’s reputation and brand and make their service teams’ lives a whole lot easier.

Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, and transportation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Self-Service Desk
2 min read

How to Create An Effective Self-Service Strategy

By Staff Writer on 2/23/18 9:00 AM

ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS ENGAGED?

With the levels of self-service provided by the likes of Amazon, ASOS, and Zappos, service desks are under mounting pressures to match their service levels, despite having fewer resources. In fact, The Service Desk Institute (SDI) has research that shows that a whopping 64% of service desk professionals keenly recognize this pressure and are ready to respond.

Yet, in an industry where technology is developing at a rapid pace, many service desks struggle to do self-service well. However, unlocking the potential of this technology can greatly increase service desk efficiency and customer experience.

 

LEARN FROM SELF-SERVICE EXPERTS

In partnership with SDI, Vivantio staged and recorded a webinar where you’ll hear about how self-service has been successfully used by real organizations to improve customer satisfaction as well as drive efficiency of the service desk.

In the webinar, Vivantio’s Helen Heyns will be sharing real customer stories and her industry expertise:

“The Self-Service portal (SSP) plays a key role in the customer experience; it’s the shop window and it represents your professionalism, brand and competence in dealing with your customer’s queries and issues. I would love to show you how a well-built self-service portal will improve the efficiency and performance of your teams and in turn increase organizational ROI.” – Helen Heyns, Senior Technical Consultant, Vivantio

From this webinar, you will learn:

  • What a Self Service Portal is and how it works
  • An array of Self Service Portal best practices
  • The multitude of benefits a Self Service Portal brings to the service desk, to customers, and to the overall business ROI – if it’s done right
  • Why investing in a new or improved Self Service Portal now can be a sound decision.
Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Service Strategy
2 min read

Why the Look and Feel of Your Self-Service Portal Matters

By Staff Writer on 4/20/15 9:00 AM

LOOKS CAN MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR SELF-SERVICE PORTAL.

Most companies already recognize the importance of aesthetics and user experience in their corporate websites, as they are key to winning new business. What can often get overlooked is that a self-service portal is essentially an extension of the website. A self-service portal is all about servicing and retaining business, both key factors for any company. Let’s what elements impact the look and feel of your self-service portal and how they can have serious impacts on the health of your business.

self service portal home page screen capture

 

WHAT GOES INTO A GREAT LOOKING SELF-SERVICE PORTAL?

A self-service portal is the “shop window” for any service management team’s customers. This can include internally or externally supported users. It represents your professionalism, branding and competence in dealing with your customer’s queries and issues and, as an important customer service touchpoint, is paramount to starting the process off on the right foot.

A self-service portal is meant to provide a stellar customer experience to your end-users, reduce the total number of inbound service calls and ease the load on your team so you have more time to resolve issues and close tickets.

When your portal looks and feels completely foreign to your brand, it’s unlikely to achieve any of this. At Vivantio, we work with hundreds of service desks who manage a self-service portal. From that experience, we’ve long recognized the value of self-service modules and how the design elements within have an impact on the overall service experience for an end-user. It’s important to account for organizational branding elements like photos and colorways. You also will probably need to make small visual tweaks to your portal design such as color changes in select areas or the addition of a company logo.

With the right tools in place, your service team can control your portal’s look and feel.

monitor and laptop showing the self service portal login page

 

CONCLUSION

A great self-service portal provides value not only to your business but, perhaps more importantly, to your customers. It can provide users with a central location where they can research their own problems with rich content like self-help guides, videos, and FAQs. Your users can also see the status of services, all under the umbrella of your company’s unique branding.

Topics: Service Management Customer Self-Service Self-Service Service Strategy