Customer Self-Service Portals: The Most Important Attributes

A self-service portal is a customer-facing site for support requests and important information like billing history, recurring orders, troubleshooting information, or any other details a customer needs to know. By giving users quick and easy access to these tools, businesses can reduce support tickets and decrease the time it takes for tickets to be resolved.

Why Implement a Self-Service Portal?

A customer self-service portal provides solutions for many of the most common customer challenges in any industry.

Common Customer Challenges Self-Service Customer Portal Features
Lack of knowledge on setup or use of product/service Easily accessible knowledge bases, FAQ pages, video training, and/or quick start guides
Need to log a software bug, service issues, outage or service request Self-service options for submitting support tickets, contacting the vendor, or accessing the aforementioned educational materials
Auditability of invoices, payments, and delivery timelines Self-service monitoring of invoice and order history, as well as delivery timelines for easy bookkeeping
Clunky purchasing processes Co-browsing functionality to help customers seamlessly purchase, track, and obtain service for any product they purchase with the vendor

This level of support improves the customer experience and leaves users with a better impression of the vendor or service provider. This leads to more satisfied customers and increases renewal rates and referrals, creating many ROI avenues for a customer portal.

How to Develop a Customer Self-Service Portal?

There are three steps to creating a customer self-service portal:

    1. Plan
    1. Design
    1. Deploy and Maintain
Plan Determine measures for success (KPIs, ticket volume, etc.) Decide what topics and services will be covered by the portal (support tickets, payment history, FAQ/knowledge base, etc.) Figure out where the data and tools will come from
Design Create a clean, user-friendly interface Place the most common needs near the top/middle of the page Reduce link-outs to different pages/provide some level of on-page functionality for simple tasks or lists like invoice history
Deploy and Maintain Train staff on responsibilities related to the portal Ensure 24/7 access to the portal upon deployment Create a maintenance schedule, including periodic reviews of measures mentioned above of success to ensure the effectiveness of the portal

The goal throughout this process is to increase the site’s functionality, offering as many support tools as possible while reducing the need for customers to open separate tabs or get linked away from the home page. This requires quality design, planning, and data from other sections of a company site to work well.

Pairing a Self-Service Portal with a Comprehensive CSM Platform

Most importantly, developing requires an underlying customer service management framework that offers the wide variety of support services we have covered in this article.

Luckily, many firms that offer quality CSM software platforms include features that make it easy to create self-service portals, including portal design tools and integrations with other CSM functions like order tracking, ticket management, and knowledge bases. This allows for better on-page functionality since these integrations reduce the need for link-outs to other pages.

For businesses interested in building their customer self-service portal as part of a cutting-edge CSM platform, consider partnering with Vivantio.

Offer a Comprehensive Customer Self-Service Portal with Vivantio

While each of the benefits listed in this article works wonders for businesses, they won’t help if managers choose a platform that doesn’t offer all of the necessary features. Vivantio offers a cutting-edge customer service software platform that offers everything listed and more, including:

    • White-label service portals so businesses can maintain a cohesive brand throughout the service process
    • Endless integrations to make implementation easy
    • Automatic ticket routing to ensure every ticket gets to the proper agent
    • Workflow designer tool that allows managers to customize the framework of their CS operations without any technical knowledge required
    • A holistic view of each client to ensure that no agent is left without vital information

For more than two decades, Vivantio has been helping clients optimize their service organizations by offering a customer self-service portal. To find out how Vivantio can help you improve ticket lifecycle management, contact our team today or register for a free demo.

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Customer self-service portals bring a variety of quality support tools and information to users on a single home page. Learn how to make one here.
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