The Scoop on Customer Service Web Portals

In a multichannel world, the customer self-service portal should be a core element of any company’s multichannel strategy. In fact, customer self-service meets several critical needs for customer service and support providing the following benefits:

For more information on multichannel strategies for customer service and support, read these recent posts from The PhaseWare Files:

Self-service benefits

24/7/365 support presence: Online self-service features allow you to provide support whenever and wherever your customers need it

Reduce costs: Self-service offers a lower cost-per-contact than other channels as well as an outlet for deflecting higher cost voice contacts to customer-guided options

Engage customers: Use forums and communities to crowdsource solutions and encourage peer support

As you look to implement a self-service solution for your company, what are some of the features you should look for? How do you choose the best solution for your company?

With troubleshooting and incident submission features as well as FAQs, a searchable knowledge base, and user forums and communities; your customer self-service portal should include a host of tools to empower your customers with relevant, readily available product and service information.

Features for comparison

While the following list is not necessarily exhaustive, it should provide a helpful foundation for comparing one product to another.

  • Submit new incidents with attachments
  • View or update open incidents
  • Search incident histories including old or closed cases
  • Online software updates and downloads
  • Rate and comment on articles
  • Start chat sessions within the portal for easy escalation
  • Maintain customer-specific files or documentation
  • Review featured, most recent, and most popular articles
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Pull real-time, customer-specific reports
  • Manage contacts and contact information
  • Support plans and billing information
  • Use notices for press releases, announcements, upcoming events, training, etc.
  • Advanced search: Keyword searches with ranked results and ratings
  • Smart selection allowing easy incident classification with dynamic drop-down boxes
  • Use forums to share information and ideas with customers
  • Subscribe to areas of interest and receive e-mail or RSS updates
  • Suggested articles when submitting a new incident (FAQs, KB, forums, downloads)
  • Self-administration: Customer can execute reports, update contacts, or manage licenses and files
  • Management portal: Managers and executives can instantly view company-wide ticket information
  • Customization: Configure your portal to match company branding and layout needs

With a feature-rich customer self-service portal such as PhaseWare’s Self-Service Center (SSC), you can reap all the benefits listed above by providing a variety of valuable online services to uphold your customer support processes and enhance the customer experience.


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