Self-service portals – helping to improve the customer and employee experience

Oct 25, 2021

hand holding mobile phone next to laptop

Nowadays consumers expect to be able to communicate with businesses at any time they like, and in any way they choose. Our always-on digital culture, which has been strengthened by the pandemic, has led to companies having to deal with huge volumes of digital traffic as people continue to conduct large areas of their work and home lives online. As the world starts to take some steps back to normal, the demands on digital channels do not show any sign of abating. Indeed, many are continuing at an accelerated pace as more consumers have adjusted to the digital world.

One way companies can ease this pressure is by making more use of customer and employee self-service portals. By dealing with a range of basic tasks, self-service portals help to improve the user experience and ease the pressure on customer service teams and frontline staff.

Why use a self-service portal?
A good customer self-service portal will assist with a range of straightforward but important activities. These include allowing users to log service requests or calls; update profile information and reset passwords; and carry out administrative tasks such as submitting information or paying bills. In addition they may provide links to useful information such as ‘how to’ guides and videos, articles and FAQs and forum areas where users can share information and swop hints and tips to get the most out of their product or service. Employee self-service portals function in a similar way. Staff can use them to carry out tasks such as booking annual leave, recording sickness and absences, amending personal information and requesting letters and documents relating to their employment.

The benefits of self-service portals
When people use self-service portals there are numerous benefits. They can interact with a company at a time that suits them and complete tasks quickly and easily. This is much more convenient for users, saving their time and allowing them to get on with their day. And because it’s easy to use, they are likely to feel more satisfied with their experience and ultimately more positive towards the company.

There are also benefits for companies themselves. In our experience, customers and staff who use a portal are less likely to need to make contact with the company they are dealing with. This means there is more time for those working in frontline roles such as customer service, finance and HR, to deal with more complex queries that do require a conversation with a customer or employee. It also frees up time for other staff who may also be regularly involved in helping with queries who can then focus on other important tasks.

In addition, using a portal means customers are then within the corporate entity of the company they are interacting with. The best portals personalize the user experience – for example, making sure individuals are addressed by their name when they log in and have their account information ready to view. Other departments, such as marketing, can then feed in messages and links to other areas, personalized to their interests.

Self-service portals - part of a customer experience (CX) program
All of these benefits add up to make self-service portals a valuable part of a customer experience (CX) program. By giving users personalized tools and information to help themselves and solve their issues quickly and easily, customers and employees have a much more favorable impression of your company and ultimately their satisfaction and engagement with you increases.

At Macro 4, we can help you update your self-service portal with our out-of-the-box solution based on our Columbus software. It is quick and easy to get up and running, and can be adapted to suit a range of environments including HR, finance and electronic billing, customer relations and customer journey management. To find out more visit our web page.

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