5 Tips to Have an Effective Self-Service Portal

The evolution of support technology has drastically raised the bar when it comes to customer experience. Clients can now choose between a number of channels to get the product support they need from a business. One approach that’s now very popular is the self-service portal where clients can access their account with a business and find solutions on their own. However, it isn’t enough to simply implement a portal and give clients access. You need to take steps to ensure it’s successful. To help you out, we’re going over five tips for creating and maintaining an effective portal.

Usability is Key

If you end up on a website that’s difficult to navigate and full of convoluted content, there’s a good chance you’ll leave. The same applies to client portals. Make sure you structure the navigation in your portal in a logical manner so customers always know where they are and what features are available to them. It’s also important that the content in your knowledge base is clear and concise. Avoid using industry jargon or technical lingo that will confuse your clients. The goal is to help them find relevant information quickly.

Keep Refining Your Knowledge Base

In addition to being well-written, the content in your knowledge base should always be a work in progress. Anytime a product update is made or new information comes to light, it needs to be reflected in your portal. You’ll need to look at metrics on a regular basis to determine what content is proving useful to your clients and what’s getting ignored. This will guide you on your decisions to revise or delete certain information. You should also let your support agents provide feedback on common issues your clients are having. This will allow you to proactively address those issues through your portal.

Ensure Your Portal is Mobile Friendly

Mobile devices now dominate search behavior. If your self-service portal isn’t built to operate well on tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices, it won’t be as beneficial to your clients. This mobile functionality is referred to as responsive design. When your portal is built with this in mind, it’ll function and display properly across all platforms. If it doesn’t employ responsive design, your clients will only be able to access it via their desktops.

Effective Search Capability

When an issue arises with your product, your clients don’t have time to dig for answers. If you provide a portal to help them find solutions, they need to be able to easily locate content related to their issue. This means your portal must have effective search capability. By using search functionality, your clients will only need to enter one or two words related to the issue they’re having. Search results will provide them with a list of links to relevant content. From there, they can drill down even further and find exactly what they’re looking for. In the process, they’ll most likely find other useful content related to their needs.

Incorporate Your Brand

Your portal is an extension of your product, which is an extension of your business. This means it needs to aesthetically align with your brand. When designing your portal, makes sure it includes your business logo, colors, and contact information. Even if your clients have the option of customizing their own portal, it should always promote your business to some degree. Remember, non-clients may find your portal online, so think of it as a marketing tool. If they like what they see, there’s a chance they could become a new client.

Ensure Your Portal is Top-Notch

If you’ve decided to provide a self-service option to your clients, PhaseWare can help. We can implement configurable customer support software so you can get your portal off the ground in no time. Contact us today to learn more.

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