Is your IT department getting the most out of self-service?

Blog
March 23 2016

With organizational constraints, the pressure to reduce costs and the constant search for productivity, the notion of self-service has really come into its own. And for good reason. Activating it via a Web portal, for example, is an easy and user-friendly way for employees in a company to get into it. It allows users to access a vast range of resources and services that are suitable and available for a self-service approach.

It works very simply: you register on the portal so you can login whenever you want, and you have a certain number of self-service tools to handle a variety of questions, plus a personalizable space. Whether it’s to recover a password or send a request to repair a printer, self-service Web portals establish important links that facilitate management and communication within a company.

The self-service concept is also a scalable tool for IT departments for resolving problems, improving customer service and effective cost management. But how do you identify the concrete benefits of going self-service for your company?

Improve service levels

First of all, to maintain appropriate service levels and internal productivity, your organization can’t ignore self-service. Whether you’re part of a technical support team or in charge of an IT unit, you have to meet certain SLAs (service level agreements) to satisfy your clients. So if you haven’t tried it out, chances are that your business rivals are getting some competitive advantages from using self-service, for both their internal users and their external customers. In fact, the current trend is seeing self-service become a key contributor to business efficiency: faster search by keyword in a knowledge base to find THE answer to your questions without having to call a third party, wikis, appropriate documentation, as well as an error resolution database, are just some examples of how your business can benefit from this type of tool. These tools generally offer unrivalled speed and accessibility. By treating professionals as consumers in their own right (of services), self-service makes total sense and puts the organization on the road to ever-increasing, self-driven, efficiency.

Economic efficiency

In terms of economic efficiency, self-service reduces the costs involved in answering phones and stacks of similar emails (whether at a call centre or internal customer service department) by getting clients to enter the request themselves. This has a dual positive impact: the company reduces its operating costs and keying errors, and users end up being more involved. Having sent their question, users are automatically notified when their request is completed. The same goes for technical support staff, who can receive the requestor’s notes and comments. This introduces transparency into the process, ensuring satisfaction at both ends.

Mobile self-service

The value of self-service is also very clear when we look at the new requirements for user mobility. Portals can be very easily activated remotely on laptops and other mobile devices. This allows companies to monitor every action on the system in real time, allowing better control of data, better anticipation of sales cycles, and awareness of results and trends from their field teams.

In conclusion, self-service will benefit your company by handling a wide variety of requests from multiple users, without having to resolve them manually. This makes your customer SLAs easier to meet, boosts customer satisfaction, and reduces the number of complaints.