Coffee Chat: Building a Self-Service Portal  ☕


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Hey everyone! Thank you for showing support to this post by hitting Subscribe to my previous post.

We realized that July 7 is right after a good long weekend for most of us, so we’ve decided to host this coffee chat next week.

So our new date is July 14, 11:00 am EST. Please block your calendars for about 45 minutes to answer five questions. To keep this session as engaging as possible, I’ve chosen a topic that’s one of our favorite. 

The topic of discussion is: Building a Self-Service Portal 
 

Q1. How many of you use self-service. Why do you use or why don’t you use. 

Q2. What are the challenges you encountered while coming up with a self-service portal

Q3. What are the common mistakes you see while people implement self-service

Q4. How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

Q5. What do you think is the future of self-service?

@Bethany Wesley, @zachary.king, @manns, @chianne.shepherd - I look forward to hearing your thoughts. 


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Hi @akshara.sruthi,

We’ve setup a basic Knowledge Base for Level 0 or Self Service support. Is there any way to get some user analytics from the site? We are using a Sprout Plan.

 

What kind of analytics are you looking for, Bruce? You can see the basic stats like total views, and how many people found it helpful/unhelpful in the solutions tab under the analytics section of each article.

Deeper insights are available in the higher plans. You can check out this article: https://support.freshdesk.com/en/support/solutions/articles/50000002846-understanding-the-curated-knowledge-base-reports#

Just Born is currently using SAP for our ERP platform.

 

Q1.How many of you use self-service. Why do you use or why don’t you use.

A1. I’ve used. A typical organization has its business processes revolving around- customers, stakeholders, employees, suppliers etc. To facilitate optimal performance of doing business, it is highly important that a common portal is implemented to serve the real time right information, at the right time to the right recipient. When visibility of information is increased, employees would become efficient which in turn would help increase customer and supplier satisfaction alike- thereby boosting organizational productivity.

Q2. What are the challenges you encountered while coming up with a self-service portal?

A2. Too early to comment. Figuring things out currently with the Freshdesk self service portal.

Q3.What are the common mistakes you see while people implement self-service

A3. - Managing uncategorized bulk of tickets- causing the customer to wait for a longer period than requiredFailing to make a thorough analysis of KB and taking steps to improve it. Regular evaluation and updation is a must

  • Lack of simple navigation. Not managing the issues and appropriate solutions in proper places logically, failing use proper category names 

  • Forgetting to place a search bar is a building a failed self service all together

  • Keeping it up to date- design, categorizing, using screenshots etc

Q4. How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal?

A4.a)Team performance KPIs- Average first time response, First response SLA%, resolution SLA%, first contact resolution%, number of resolved tickets per month

b)Customer Satisfaction KPIs- CSAT score, rating response rate, average number of customer replies, Net Promoter Score(NPS)

c)Business Level BPIs- Customer churn analysis, monthly ticket volume, peak load analysis, regional information, Customer Effort Score(CES)

Q5. What do you think is the future of self-service?

A5. -Self service should become mandatory on days with high call volume

      - Customer support would purely become self- service

      - Knowledge management for agent is highly important for agents( especially in such pressing work from home scenarios) through FAQs to navigate useful info on processes that they might need help with on important customer calls

      - Need for powerful technology to fill the gap between what customer want and the what current state of self service has to offer

 

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For everyone who is new to the Freshworks Community, we welcome you! :heart_eyes:

We’d love for all of you to explore the rest of the Community, subscribe to the topics of your interest and keep engaging with us! There’s so much we can all learn from one another. :hugging:

A few quick links:

  1. What’s Trending - Check out buzzing and widely discussed topics on the Community

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  3. Product Updates - To check out latest updates on the Freshworks products

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  5. Freshworks Academy Forums - To ask, learn and share anything with the Academy Community

Looking forward to seeing you all more often on the community!

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Alright folks, I had an amazing time organizing this. Thank you being a part of our coffee chat, 
@manns, @Warden Brown, @Johan L, @LeonieWagenaar, @Bex, and @epetrutis :coffee:

A huge shout out to all my co-community members aka my friends at work for helping me pull this out:  @Arvind Ramamurti, @rashmi.nag, @Divya Murthy, @vishnu.selvaraj and @prashanthini.mande  :heart_eyes:     

 See you all in the next edition of our coffee chat. Feel free to keep those conversations going

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?

I’m really happy that so many of you took the time to join us here. I’m taking the time to read every post to make sure I don’t miss out any of the valuable information. I’ll reply to you folks shortly. 

P.S. In a couple of days, I’ll post the summary here to make sure it serves as a recap or TLDR for those who couldn’t make it. 

 

This has been wonderful and so insightful! Got to hear and learn from the experiences of so many community members from across the globe! Looking forward to more such sessions in the future :)

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?

I’m really happy that so many of you took the time to join us here. I’m taking the time to read every post to make sure I don’t miss out any of the valuable information. I’ll reply to you folks shortly. 

P.S. In a couple of days, I’ll post the summary here to make sure it serves as a recap or TLDR for those who couldn’t make it. 

Thank you for organising this, and for everyone’s input, it has been nice to see ideas and guidance from other community members as well as administrators.



So glad to see you here, @Bex. Glad you liked it.  

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?
 

A5. I expect to see a move away from portals, where people have to go to find help. With help instead made available in the context of the work they’re doing (at that moment in time). Machine learning will be leveraged more too, making it easier to get to the help that’s needed. Hopefully, it’s still related – the use of self-healing too, even if based on the end user being alerted that an issue is imminent and needing to press a button to self-apply a preventative resolution.



Yep. I think a mix of traditional support, self-service, as well as Bots that can comprehend which problems need human intervention.

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Q3. I’ve also seen people organize their articles into categories that are similar to their company’s organizational structure, instead of grouping them into categories that will make sense to the user. Customers do not necessarily know which department at your organization takes care of XYZ issue, and so won’t know where to look for the answer.


I agree with this 💯
It’s best to organize and use terms that customers/users are aware of. 

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A2. One of the challenge we have right now is dealing with multilingual issues.
Service Requests aren’t really supporting multiple languages.

I get it. Global support is usually challenging but I think it should be done to make sure a business is inclusive. 

Mutliple languages aren’t only necessary in global support scenarios. I work for a school district, so our focus is very local. However, we have MANY languages in our community that are important to support. We haven’t figured out how to do that yet in the self-service portal. I really do wish FreshService had a language selector, at a minimum. We’d still have to provide articles in multiple languages, but that a language selector would be an excellent start.

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?

A5:

  • Distinct increase in % of queries resolved by self service
  • AI and chat bots are going to be the norm

 

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?
 

A5. I expect to see a move away from portals, where people have to go to find help. With help instead made available in the context of the work they’re doing (at that moment in time). Machine learning will be leveraged more too, making it easier to get to the help that’s needed. Hopefully, it’s still related – the use of self-healing too, even if based on the end user being alerted that an issue is imminent and needing to press a button to self-apply a preventative resolution.

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Q4 How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

 

 

I’ll be curious to see responses to this. Our self-service portal is scheduled to go live on Monday.

Wow. Congratulations to new beginnings. Keep us posted about your portal and would love to a few it up and running :champagne::champagne_glass:

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?

I’m really happy that so many of you took the time to join us here. I’m taking the time to read every post to make sure I don’t miss out any of the valuable information. I’ll reply to you folks shortly. 

P.S. In a couple of days, I’ll post the summary here to make sure it serves as a recap or TLDR for those who couldn’t make it. 

Thank you for organising this, and for everyone’s input, it has been nice to see ideas and guidance from other community members as well as administrators.

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A2. One of the challenge we have right now is dealing with multilingual issues.
Service Requests aren’t really supporting multiple languages.

I get it. Global support is usually challenging but I think it should be done to make sure a business is inclusive. 

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A4. That employee experience data (and this is for companies proactively improving their EX):

Taken from: https://www.happysignals.com/global-it-experience-benchmark

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Could you please define “self-service portal?” I tend to think of it as knowledge base articles, chat-bots, message boards, and any other way a user can find their own answers. Is my definition too narrow?

A self-service portal is everything you just mentioned, bundled together in a single interface. So, in essence, your definition is right.

I see self service portals as a space where a business can curate information, documentation and automated capabilities specifically to an audience with unique needs. Essentially, it consists of a knowledge base, a help centre and a place to raise and manage tickets.
They are primarily used for two reasons: ticket creation and knowledge base consumption.

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Q5. Self-service can only continue to grow in the future. And as AI gets more sophisticated, I expect to see  more use of chat-bots 

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Q4 How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

 

 

I’ll be curious to see responses to this. Our self-service portal is scheduled to go live on Monday.


@Warden Brown That’s exciting! Would love to hear how the launch goes :-) All the best for that. 

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Fourth question is up :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the Quote option :) 

Q4 How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

A4. It’s definitely not as easy as measuring the success of the more traditional IT support channels. For me, the important thing is to measure what’s most important in terms of the people you’re trying to assist. So while the number of visitors might be interesting, it doesn’t mean that all these people were helped (and will return). The use of KA feedback features such as thumbs-up/down help. Or looking at it differently, and this falls into the territory of Level Zero Solvable, assessing the number of tickets that could have been self-solved via self-service as a reflection of success.

Employee experience measurement is a good one – I’ll go find some data on this.

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A3. Another mistake is introducing self-service capabilities too soon. For example, without sufficient employee/customer-facing knowledge available. It means the capability is tried but it fails to deliver, with the user likely never to return. 

For this issue, there’s a technique called Level Zero Solvable which is worth reading up on if you want to ensure that your knowledge base is road-ready. 


Definitely going to check this out- thank you, @manns  :)

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Last question for today is here :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q5, start your answer with A5 and use the Quote option :) 
 

Q5: What do you think is the future of self-service?

I’m really happy that so many of you took the time to join us here. I’m taking the time to read every post to make sure I don’t miss out any of the valuable information. I’ll reply to you folks shortly. 

P.S. In a couple of days, I’ll post the summary here to make sure it serves as a recap or TLDR for those who couldn’t make it. 

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Q4 How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

 

 

I’ll be curious to see responses to this. Our self-service portal is scheduled to go live on Monday.

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Fourth question is up :coffee:

To answer a question, tag the answer with the corresponding number. For example, if you are answering this question Q4, start your answer with A4 and use the Quote option :) 

Q4 How do you measure the effectiveness of your self-service portal

  • Actively monitoring the responses to feedback questions posed to users (along the lines of “How easy was it to solve your query today”)
  • Ticket deflection rates

 

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Q3. I’ve also seen people organize their articles into categories that are similar to their company’s organizational structure, instead of grouping them into categories that will make sense to the user. Customers do not necessarily know which department at your organization takes care of XYZ issue, and so won’t know where to look for the answer.

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