IT Service Management – What to Look for in an End User Portal

According to HDI, a support call costs $22 compared to self-service, which is just $2 per incident. With this in mind, it’s clear that there needs to be a push toward including self-service in IT Service Management (ITSM) initiatives. But not all self-service portals are created equal, so how can you tell what to look for?
Easy to use, own, and operate
For starters, your portal should be welcoming to end users. It must be easy to navigate, include graphical elements (i.e., branding, etc.) that your users will recognize, and use jargon-free language to get your message across.
In terms of creating self-service portals, they should be also easy to build and easy to maintain, which means no specialized technical skills like coding or scripting should be necessary, and you shouldn’t need dedicated resources to manage it either.
With a highly configurable portal, you can be strategic in your efforts as well—first focusing on frequently asked questions and those issues that contribute to a high volume of incoming help desk tickets. Over time, you’ll be able to grow and evolve your portal into a valuable resource that end users will learn to turn to first, freeing up the IT staff to focus on higher priority tasks and projects.
Knowledge Base
Along with being easy to navigate and written in the end users’ own language, stellar portals also leverage a knowledge base (KB) that is highly indexed, provides quick links to the most accessed content, makes it easy to enhance content, and is accessible via mobile devices.
But since a knowledge base is only as good as the content it contains, it’s good to follow industry best practices for creating and curating knowledge content. Knowledge Centered Service (KCS®) relies on the notion that content is generated as problems arise. While KCS started in ITSM, it’s now being adopted across the enterprise. KB articles are living assets that can be leveraged by both the users and technicians, which translates into a dramatic increase in first contact resolution (30-50%).
Accessible
When creating a portal, it is important to be as accessible as possible, meaning it should be WCAG 2.0/508 compliant. Not only should the site be easy to navigate, but it should also be made available to everyone.
Want to see a collection of stellar self-service portals? Here are some examples from actual TeamDynamix customers. 
 
KCS® is a service mark of the Consortium for Service Innovation.
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Thursday January 01, 1970