In the present digital age, 40 percent of consumers prefer self-service over their human counterpart. Everyone is trying to harp on how important it is to be self-sufficient. Instead of assigning hundreds of personnel to cater to their users, brands are increasingly employing self service portals (SSP).
As a business, their first need is to stay ahead of the competitors. This has led to them accept the newest bloke more easily, and they are trying to add flavours to differentiate their offerings from the rest.
So what is the hype all about and why should you care? Why are leading brands accepting SSPs so willingly?
In this article, we will discuss the meaning of self service portals, along with why they are needed and the benefits they serve to the organizations. Let’s delve deeper.
What is a customer self service portal?
A customer self-service portal is a combination of three parts:
- A place to view and log in
- A plethora of useful articles
- Option to update and submit tickets along with a community forum which consists of answers to various user queries.
All of these perform the same function, answering users’ queries, albeit in a different manner. The hub of useful articles allows users to search for answers from amongst the listed content on the website.
The community forums let multiple users discuss to get rid of their problems and help others as well.
If all of it is inconsequential for the user, the view and submit tickets is his last resort. They can now send their queries directly to an expert instead of trying to solve it all by themselves. If you want to check the answer of a previously submitted question, you can find your history here as well.
Why is it needed?
A self-service portal is a hub of endless possibilities. Its parts and sections cater to different objectives and are beneficial in some way or the other for your business. Here is why we need self-service portals –
- Engaging people in forums by letting them discuss their queries amongst themselves
- Directly reaching the customer care via tickets for those who aren’t satisfied unless someone assures them.
- Support for multiple product lines via a single centralised help desk to reduce redundancy and increase output.
Top 10 benefits of self-service portals
1. Customer service cost reduction
The explanation of the point resides in the name of the service itself. As per Forrester Research and Oracle study, self-service portals can reduce costs by up to $11 per call.
It is self-service as it makes a customer try and deal with his problems by looking for solutions in all the possible places. He will no longer raise unreasonable tickets to waste the agent’s time, which will, in turn, lead to a reduction in customer service costs significantly.
2. Teaches clients
As per the Silvercloud survey, 91 per cent of the surveyed people are willing to use a knowledge base if it suits their needs. SSPs are a great way to enhance customer skills and knowledge.
It also encourages them to solve their problems themselves instead of looking for help from others. Besides, the articles section consists of a lot of to-do guides which have a step-by-step explanation for various issues.
Such guides also contain diagrams, flowcharts and screenshots to ensure that there is no hindrance for customers to understand the steps and the whole process. The community forum also includes a lot of tips and tricks from real users who have a first-hand experience of the company’s products and services.
3. Boosts web traffic
With the help of detailed guides and an active community forum, SSPs are a great place to hover for those enthusiasts who seek knowledge. Also, if the content impresses the potential clients, it can help in building trust and convert leads.
A self-service portal is a one-stop destination for all the information regarding any product or service. If a company is serious about making it useful, it can call in bloggers and writers to curate information on the company’s behalf.
4. Improvement in social media engagement
When you have fewer queries to answer, you automatically give your best shot to impress the customer. Employees take turns in responding to the questions raised, and they are more suitable to answer tricky questions.
Organisations also use social media for marketing their knowledge base, so it reaches the maximum number of users. It also helps them to attract new clients and dispersing better information to the existing clients.
5. Leverages personal information
SSPs allow personalisation of customer’s account, which reduces the time involved and improves productivity. It also contains records of their past purchases, and with time, it can also be useful in suggesting relevant products that he may find necessary.
It also focuses on the point that the customer is an integral part of the business and will always remain so.
Not only that, but personalisation also helps the company in identifying core customer issues and address them ASAP!
6. Reduces agent workloads and improves output
Without SSPs, customers are inevitably going to raise tickets for the silliest questions. It not only leads to wastage of the agent’s time, but it also increases the work assigned to him.
If you have an SSP in place, agents will no longer be dreading to switch on their devices when they enter their offices. Due to fewer tickets to answer, agents can allot more time for each ticket and carefully cater to each customer’s issue.
7. A spike in positive customer recommendation
With the help of self-serve portals, you get an increased chance of leaving a positive impact on the customers. If it is well-planned and well-executed, it helps in strengthening brand reputation by creating positive client interactions.
A large chunk of the online users hovers to the company’s FAQ section when they have a question, which gives the organisation a considerable opportunity to reap the rewards out of it.
8. 24*7 support for the customers
It is difficult for small and medium-sized companies to hire agents who are available 24*7. It can be a major headache for customers looking for immediate relief.
With the help of customer service portals, you can ensure that the viewers get 24*7 support for their queries. The customers can help themselves by looking into pre-written articles, or they can head over to the community forum.
If nothing helps, the last resort would be to talk to an executive, which is a rare occurrence.
9. It reduces the turnover time for each query
When you have so much information loaded on your site, a customer is less likely to wait for a human to address his issues. He will instead find the answers on his own which will reduce the time taken significantly.
Besides, when he sends queries to the customer support desk, the turnover time of it will also be lower due to a reduction in overall questions.
10. It makes the experience less-complicated as a whole.
In the absence of SSPs, you will have to fill a form where you have to specify your issues and then choose multiple options to reach the necessary personnel who can answer your query.
With SSPS, it is a much more streamlined and smoother process. If you are looking for step-by-step answers, you know the knowledge base will be the right place for you.
For those looking for first-hand experience and tricks, they will head over to the forum without looking at the detailed guides. If they are unable to find answers, they can raise a ticket.
A self-service portal is beneficial for the brands in more ways than you can ever comprehend. It gives users the power to answer their questions themselves without the need of a helping hand. It also breaks down the entire process into manageable steps to ensure that it is easier for you to understand. In the end, it lets you contact the service desk to solve your query in real-time.
As much as SSPs help the customers, they are equally beneficial for the brands as well. They improve the brand’s visibility, helps them convert leads and improves their relationship with the customers. It helps them to stay within the budget by cutting unnecessary costs and freeing up personnel. So what are you waiting for and why? Get your self-service portal today.self service