Having your trained support workers spending significant amounts of time handling basic incidents and responding to simple service requests is costly and counter-productive. If you can save your workers from these basic, tedious tasks, you can free them up to put more time and effort into more important projects and complex operations. However, the benefits of a self-service portal extends beyond the service desk and can have a huge impact on the enterprise. With operational advantages extending across business departments, there are plenty of reasons to put significant resources into a self-service portal. Five of those reasons are:
1. Respond to users more quickly
Improving responsiveness is almost always a priority for the service desk, and creating new processes and procedures to improve operations has long been the answer. However, business users are becoming more tech savvy and capable of following basic instructions to resolve technology issues. As such, self-service portals present organizations with an opportunity to help users help themselves. For example, somebody who needs to perform a password reset can use the self-service portal to complete the process on their own. This saves them from waiting on the support team to access the service request - something that can take a while if a variety of more urgent issues are higher up in the queue - and frees your support team from taking time to deal with an incredibly basic service request.
2. Support BYOD
Adopting BYOD can often put a significant strain on your support teams. Users trying to get their personal devices ready to connect to the corporate network often need support from the service desk, particularly as many organizations will create some guidelines for personal device use for business functions. In many cases, organizations have support workers available to help users navigate their process, but this isn't always necessary as many of the tasks being completed are simple and scripted. A self-service portal gives business users the freedom to complete these tasks on their own, allowing them to set up new devices immediately without needing to bother the service desk.
3. Empower your support staff
Many service desk teams have special projects, training, documentation efforts and other initiatives that they want to get done, but never really have time to complete. In many cases, service desk teams end up spending so much of their time dealing with small incidents and issues that are urgent, but not particularly important, leaving them scrambling to keep up with everyday tasks and never being able to make time to work on important secondary projects. Letting business users and customers solve their own problems creates the spare time needed to put more focus on tasks that are important, but not urgent.
4. Improve ROI
A service desk investment doesn't need to be a cost sink. You can use your solution to alleviate many operational challenges facing your support teams and, in turn, deliver significant value. Creating an effective self-service portal empowers you to maximize the return on investment that you get from your service desk in a variety of ways. Besides improving response times for customers and empowering your support staff, a self-service portal can also be used to streamline documentation and support knowledge management.
5. Improve productivity
The end goal of the IT service desk is to make sure that tech issues don't disrupt business operations, and a self-service portal provides users the rapid responsiveness and flexibility they need to avoid any productivity losses. The combined benefits of self-service portals come together to minimize productivity losses and position organizations to maximize business efficiency.
Business users are getting more comfortable interacting with IT systems all the time, and self-service portals give them the tools they need to engage with IT more meaningfully and alleviate support workloads.