While it’s important for your business to offer customer support, it’s also a good idea to use self-service portals for customers. The portals provide customers with information and resources that help them to find answers to questions and resolve issues.
By using self-service portals in the right way, you can enhance customer satisfaction. That’s because today’s consumers want fast and easy answers to their queries that they can find themselves, rather than having to contact customer support.
A well-built portal will provide your customers with instantaneous access to answers and solutions regarding your products, services, and company.
Not only do self-service customer portals improve customer satisfaction. They also benefit your customer service team because they will need to respond to fewer customer inquiries and can in turn focus on solving issues that really need help and intervention.
So, let’s take a look at self-service portals for customers in more detail, including examples, toolkits, and more.
What should self-service portals for customers include?
You should tailor a self-service portal to your specific company, but in general, self-service portals provide customers with information and resources about things like your products, services, the company itself, customer account information, and order statuses.
Portals can also automate routine issues, such as changing customer passwords or account information. Furthermore, effective portals include interactive and engaging guides and resources that address the most important customer support topics.
Your portal should contain a comprehensive knowledge base that covers all of the major issues and questions that your customers have.
You could also include a live chat feature. While self-service portals reduce the need for customers to contact customer support, there will always be times when some customers need to speak to a human being.
When you utilize live chat, you can expedite the customer service process by providing immediate assistance from an actual customer support agent.
Examples of Self-Service Portals for Customers
To give you a better idea of what you could include in your self-service portal, it’s worth looking at some examples.
The platform YouSign provides legally-binding eSignature solutions for documents. Its self-service portal has many features, including interactive guides that use animated GIFs to demonstrate how customers can complete tasks, such as creating signature requests.
The portal also contains video content, which enables customers to absorb the information they need in an easy-to-follow way.
The freelancer site Malt’s self-service portal provides clear information for both freelancers and clients, and certain sections have tutorials for people who are new to features.
Furthermore, because Malt operates in several countries, the help center is set up to change the language in a seamless fashion, based on where a specific customer is located. So, customers don’t have to waste valuable time looking at ways to translate the content.
Speaking of providing support in multiple languages, check out the case for using multilingual cross-border marketing.
HelpSpot provides excellent self-hosted help desk software. It also has a fantastic self-service portal to ensure customer satisfaction. For instance, there’s an easy-to-use knowledge base, a fully customized contact form, and a self-service reporting feature that tracks what customers are searching for.
So, not only does the portal enhance customers’ experiences. It also enables companies to access valuable data to adapt their services accordingly.
Self-Service Portal Toolkits
There are multiple tools that could be included in your customer self-service portals. For instance, it could be as simple as including FAQ web pages that answer all of the common questions that your customers have.
By providing FAQs, you not only create greater customer satisfaction. You also get to decrease call volume to your customer support agents and showcase your company expertise.
Get started by checking out this guide to writing FAQs.
Other tools that you should consider utilizing in your self-service portals include:
- Chatbots, which are able to answer and resolve customer issues around-the-clock in a conversational manner.
- Downloads, which provide customers with a variety of resources, such as video tutorials, infographics, e-books, and user manuals.
- AI search functions, which help to provide customers with more advanced search results to answer their questions and concerns. By the way, you can also use AI to help improve your sales team.
- Online forums, which could include things like troubleshooting information and can enable customers to connect with other customers to share tips and read reviews.
And speaking of reviews, take a look at these creative ways in which you can get online reviews for your business.
Tips for Implementing Your Customer Self-Service Portals
You now have a good idea of what customer self-service portals are and what features and tools they should contain. But to make the most out of your portal, consider the following tips.
Update Your Content Regularly
You need to ensure that the content you provide via your self-service portal is accurate and up-to-date. Seeing as all companies go through changes, it’s vital that you update your portal regularly; perhaps every six months to a year.
Implement a content review process to track any changes in things like the specifications of your products and services. By regularly refreshing your portal, you can ensure your customers always access reliable information.
Use Multimedia as Much as Possible
Using multimedia like videos, images, animations, and infographics can help to engage customers more and provide them with answers and resources in easy-to-understand ways. So, make sure that you use multimedia in your portal as much as possible.
Ensure Your Portal Is Mobile-Friendly
Your self-service portal should work on any device, so ensure that it’s optimized for mobile.
Many customers will want to resolve issues while they’re on the go, rather than having to wait to get home, so don’t underestimate how important it is that your self-service portal is mobile-friendly.
Make Sure Your Portal Is Easy for Customers to Use
Lastly, it’s imperative that your self-service portals are easy for customers to use. If it isn’t, you will soon find you have dissatisfied customers on your hands.
Look at every element of your portal, such as the interface, the navigation, the aesthetic quality, and so on, to make certain that your portal is easy to use.
You can then ensure your customers get the most out of your portal and are satisfied with the clear information and assistance that your company provides.