Companies and HR organizations alike love when customers go to the Self Service Portal for support.
They love it because resolving an incident through self-service may cost $1, compared to $7 via email, compared to $15 or more, with a live agent over the phone. There's money in self service, if you can just get your customers to go there.
What's the secret?
So what’s the secret? How do companies who are successful at coaxing customer away from the phones, and into self service, make it happen?
There are essentially two factors to consider:
- Make it easy for the customer.
- Make it valuable for the customer.
Customer love easy.
Easy begins by making the self service portal easy to find. Don’t bury access to the portal deep on your website. In fact, treat it like a marketing “call to action.” Make the link to the portal as clear as day to see; and place it in more than one place on your website, so that the customer can’t miss it! Obvious, right? But too many companies get it wrong.
Too many HR Organization have multiple HR-related websites, portals and applications for employees. It’s like putting the employee in front of five closed doors, and saying, “Pick one for service.”
Make it easy to navigate.
A site that’s hard to navigate is a sight that won’t get much traffic. When designing your self-service sight, design with the theme of making the customer’s life easy. Finding your way around the self-service portal can be a big part of the customer experience, so do it right!
Make it easy for the customer to find their answer.
This means putting the right content in the portal; Identify those 20% of the solutions that solve 80% of the problems, and make them very findable. Employing a “recommendation engine” can also help. If the customer must manually search for the answer, you'll lose too many at “hello.” Too many won’t invest the time or effort. Instead, they’ll to the phone.
But if the search is automated using key words and algorithms to find and present precisely relevant content, you’ll have made life a lot easier for the customers, by saving them the hassle of searching.
OK, so you’ve made the Self Service Portal easy to use. But remember that line from the movie “Field of Dreams?” Just because you build an easy Portal with easy access to the right answers, doesn’t mean that the customers will come to use it. They won’t. Customers want value, and customers want convenience. The more reasons you can give your customers to go to the portal, the more they’ll go there first.
And customers really love value.
Making it valuable means making the Self Service Portal the "go-to" place for the customer - the default source for anything and everything associated with their employment. For example, HR may not provide service for the employees’ retirement plans. But employees see those plans as something associated with the company. Therefore, include access to this, and any other service provider related to the employee’s scope of employment.
So, by making Self Service easy to use, and by focusing it on more of the customers' interests (beyond simply support), more customers to come to your on-line support party.