Self-Service: Empower your users to help themselves
Self Service is everywhere. It is a daily routine for several of us to use Self-Service portals for products or services - be it purchasing products from the e-commerce store or ordering groceries or booking a car. Who doesn't like the convenience of self service. Analysts and surveys predict that 2015 is the year of self service. And by 2017, more than 2/3 of service interactions will occur without direct human-to-human contact.
Let's picture this. Cindy, an employee of "XYZ Corp" is intending to sync corporate email on her personal mobile phone. She already knows how to configure public emails on her phone. She first tries the same process, later searches for information within the company, later googles for information, asks her colleagues help and finally gives up as nothing helped her. She decides to contact the service desk, finds the email address of the service desk for her department, sends an email, waits for technician assignment, seeks/gets approvals from her manager, later technician schedules a meeting with Cindy typically after 1-2 days, then technician either configures the phone himself or gives steps to Cindy. All it took was some 5 steps and after 2 days Cindy succeeds in syncing corporate email on her phone. After few days, another employee Tina from another department is trying to sync office email on the phone and goes through the same process.
No doubt the process worked for both Cindy and Tina, however after several days of frustrating search and wait.
Such things are way too common, end users (no matter whether they are Millennials, Gen-Xers or Baby Boomer's) prefer to find answers by themselves and explore several channels before contacting service desk. They are so used to self-service culture and expect their enterprises to adopt & provide the same experience. Another research is also indicating this - in Organizations, the usage of knowledge base articles/FAQs increased from 67% to 75% in 2014.
There are several arguments on how providing Employee self-service in an organization benefits both end users and IT in several ways starting from 24/7 availability to reducing simple and repetitious tasks to lowering costs to improve end user experience and satisfaction that may lead to better productivity across organization.
There may be several compelling reasons, however the first step in implementing an effective self-service system is to identify & list down the goals. Later look for a system that can help in implementing an effective self-service to achieve your goals.
Novell Service Desk provides you options to empower your users with an effective self-service system and enable you to achieve your organization goals. It provides an easy to use customer self-service portal that provides everything that an end user requires in a clear and easy to see web front end.
With Novell Service Desk's Customer Self-Service portal, customers can:
- Create, view or edit incidents, or request for service, monitor the workflow status of existing requests, respond to technician queries, add attachments
- Access historic information, search all their incidents or requests they have previously ever raised and recorded in the Service Desk system
- Use intuitive pre-defined & pre-populated request templates to quickly create common requests
- Self-diagnose issues using Knowledge Base articles, FAQs, Hot Topics etc. Easily search for information, or rate them based on the relevance etc
- Access & verify proposed Solutions during the request creation process - pro-actively get alerts
- Self service password related requests
- Participate in a live chat with Technicians for real-time collaboration on their issues/requests
- View Service Catalog that has list of Services offered by the Service Organization and easily request for those services
- View and access the items owned by them
- Participate in peer-to-peer (P2P) discussion forums
- View Outages and planned outage information
- View details of Service Contracts they have with the support organization and an audit trail of requests that have been applied against the Service Contracts
- Get Alerts and participate/respond to surveys
- Option to create accounts, add their assets into CMDB or update personal information
- Access dashboards that provide real time information on request statistics, outages, alerts, surveys and KB articles
- Subscribe to RSS feeds for the latest information on their requests, Knowledge base articles or FAQs
Think about self-service beyond IT service desk and as a single point of contact for all the end users needs from stationary to IT to HR needs.
It must be noted that creating a self-service portal does not happen overnight and is a process that goes through several iterations. It requires continuous monitoring on several metrics, customer/enduser behavior patterns, usage information, relevance of articles, information provided in the portal etc. It requires constant care and nurturing.
It also need to be noted that end users adoption to self-service varies greatly and might depend on several factors such as demographics, value of information provided etc.