What is an IT Self-service Portal? Why is it Important to Your Business?

Everyone knows the role of self-service in today’s customer experience. In the absence of self-service resources, what you can do at the touch of a few buttons may turn into multiple calls with users at both ends frittering away their time.

This could be even more frustrating when the said issues are trivial in nature. The same goes for internal support. If you are a large enterprise that doesn’t have a functioning self-service portal for your internal teams yet,

– Your internal support requests are scattered and undocumented

– Getting help is still a time-consuming process for your teams

– Your support agents are likely receiving a lot of repetitive and common queries 

– Your teams are not using their time efficiently

IT self-service portal is an extension of IT service management (ITSM) that caters to users who would rather solve issues on their own than to contact the support team. Let’s break down what IT self-service is and why is it important for your business.

What is IT Self-service?

IT Self-service refers to empowering your staff with the resources to resolve IT issues on their own rather than contacting a support member. Users will also have easy access to human agents if self-service fails.

What is an IT Self-Service Portal?

An IT self-service portal is a place that compiles all your self-service resources and tools for the reference of your internal teams. The self-service portal allows end-users to access knowledge base articles and create and manage tickets from a single interface.

Internal knowledge base

An IT Self-service portal consists of the following components: a knowledge base, a help center, and a place to raise and manage tickets. Offering a dedicated portal for self-service is important to ensure that your teams have a seamless user experience while helping themselves. 

Why is it Important to Have an IT Self-Service Portal?

A self-service portal is a one-stop-shop for all support activities of your staff members. Businesses with solid self-service tools have higher first resolution and first contact rates than those without.

A knowledge base will help your teams find answers to common questions, thereby freeing your support team time to focus on issues that require human intervention. Here are some more reasons why you should have an IT self-service portal.

1. Reduce Ticket Resolution Time and Cost

Internal communication is as important to a business as client relationships. The lack of an effective self-service portal could mean that your teams are scraping for solutions wherever they could. 

Tickets resolved through self-service costs an average of $2 whereas it’s $15.56 for the ones resolved through IT support.

Self-service portals mainly focus on common issues that could be solved with a troubleshooting guide or a webinar. These aren’t rare use cases; these are issues your teams experience day in and day out. They are basic but need to be solved to get the ball rolling. Unlike IT call support with wait times and drawn-out conversations, a self-help portal gives the solution your teams need at once, thereby drastically improving important metrics like the ticket resolution time and cost. This cost can be higher in large teams or teams that experience a huge volume of support requests, making self-service adoption paramount. 

2. Enhance Agent Productivity

Repetitive support requests occupy a huge part of your IT support team’s time. Tier-1 support requests demand up to 40% of an IT support agent’s time on average. Unless your support agents are not working on challenging problems that leverage their expertise, their productivity might drop down and they could develop an indifference towards problem-solving.  A day spent burying themselves in common support requests is a poor use of time. An IT self-service portal acts as an internal database that is at the beck and call of your teams and has solutions for every basic support issue. The sense of completion and progress will boost agent productivity and employee morale.

3. Improve Overall Employee Satisfaction

Self-service makes the lives of both parties easier – your IT department and the other teams. A lack of good IT support causes stress in employees and leads to a work stoppage. When your employees can resolve issues faster and better, they will become more aware of how IT support works and can focus on their work in a relaxed manner. With better use of their time, users will experience greater satisfaction and morale. When more and more users get comfortable with self-service, you will notice a huge difference in the workload. 

4. Solve More Without Increasing Agent Count

You can’t underestimate the volume of requests a typical IT ticketing system experiences. Fortunately, these are issues a team generally faces and have been solved multiple times in the past. Self-service portals act as a database of common faqs like password reset and outages and keep a lot of tickets from getting created. Ticket deflection is one of the primary advantages of self-service – when a user types a service request in ticket creation form, the self-service portal pulls up relevant articles that could solve the issue and keep the customer from contacting a support member.

So even when your business and teams grow, you can meet their issues without expanding the support team. This can save you labor costs and better control over your investments and budget allocation. 

5. Provide 24×7 Service

Self-service support center

24×7 availability is an aspect where self-service options win over any other form of support. When you have teams working in shifts, you need to ensure that they get the help they require in real-time and no waiting for support stops them from getting things done. Especially in globally distributed companies, a self-service portal is essential for teams to operate irrespective of time zones and support availability.

6. Provide Seamless Self-service Within a Single Interface

Finally, self-service tools scattered across various channels or interfaces could provide little use for your teams. If they have to follow-up on a ticket somewhere, search for a knowledge base article somewhere, and contact a support member elsewhere, they might give up on self-service altogether. A tool is only as effective as its user adoption. When you offer a self-service portal where your users can access knowledge materials, manage tickets, and a lot more in a single interface, your employees will likely leverage its advantages due to ease of use.

Conclusion

An IT self-service portal is a must-have for every business trying to manage employee workload and enable self-service. Introducing technology and knowledge management to your service desk is important when you outgrow the needs of your employees. The functionality of self-service helps things move at every possible touchpoint of IT.

When implementing a knowledge base for customer support or internal users, you need to know if it allows user-friendly customizations and can be integrated with ITIL workflow automation and BI tools in the future for easy analysis. HappyFox knowledge base allows all this and more to ensure that your self-service delivery is on point.

Improve your self-service experience by signing up for a HappyFox demo!