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5 Reasons We Love Self-Service Portals (And You Should Too)

05/28/2014 by: The SunView Team

Self-service portals can be easy to get excited about, even if only because they let users solve their own problems instead of turning to the service desk. Implementing self-service capabilities is becoming a better option for IT teams because users are getting more comfortable with technology in general and familiar with the ability to use online help tools and similar solutions to solve their technology problems at home. A self-service portal brings this functionality to the office and helps service desk teams lighten their workloads and improve efficiency.

Better efficiency and easier day-to-day work burdens give us lots to love when it comes to self-service portals. A few standout reasons why we love self-service solutions so much include:

1. Fast response times
When they are in need of a solution, users can get help immediately. This can help them get systems running normally much more quickly and easily than if they were to fill out a support ticket, send it to the service desk and wait for an IT staff member to get to the request. Small incidents are often extremely easy for the service desk to deal with but the clerical process of sorting through tickets slows the service desk down and causes significant delays in dealing with these issues. Self-service lets users handle these easy incidents on their own, saving the service desk from time-consuming and tedious operations.

2. Reduced service requests
Differentiating between incidents and other service requests can be extremely difficult and time consuming. At the same time, prioritizing support tickets and responding to incident management requests in a timely manner can end up proving a significant challenge. Letting users solve their own problems helps to alleviate this burden by reducing the number of incidents that will come to the service desk in the first place. The result is a more efficient response to other issues as they emerge over time.

3. Better employee engagement
Few things can get service desk employees frustrated and bored faster than having to continually deal with tedious issues that do not challenge them or give them an opportunity to use their skills. Boredom is a catalyst for unhappiness in the workplace, but engaged employees are more likely to be productive and efficient. Self-service portals prevent service desk workers from the onslaught of tedious service requests and free them to spend more of their time on more important tasks.

4. Internal education
Getting employees onboard with new technologies is extremely difficult. Training workers on the nuances of solutions and helping them find the best ways to use the solution can be extremely difficult. The self-service portal can be useful in this situation because it gives workers access to information that will help them solve their own problems and learn the intricacies of a new application with minimal disruption and at their own pace.

5. Enabling innovation
Getting bogged down in slow day-to-day operations represents a major roadblock to innovation. Service desk employees cannot spend time dealing with challenging tasks, like project management, keeping a CMDB up to date or working on special projects, if they find themselves spending too much time dealing with basic incidents. Having users solve their own problems reduces the number of incidents IT service desk workers must handle, making it easier to make time to work on innovative initiatives.

Bonus: White labeling
White labeling a self-service portal allows an organization to establish its brand identity within the portal, establishing a pathway for internal marketing, communication and education. The end result is a more engaging employee experience.

With so much to love about self-service portals it can be hard to focus on any one thing, but the end result is simple - self-service portals often end up creating incredible value in a variety of ways.