by Evan Carlson
Date Published October 18, 2018 - Last Updated December 13, 2018

Today’s customers are becoming more self-sufficient and tech-savvy, increasing the use and need for self-service tools in their personal lives as well as in the workplace. As customers and employees want to solve more issues themselves, they seek the right self-service tools that can keep up with their specific needs.

With the way technology is advancing, there are applications that can help your IT service desk create an exceptional self-service experience. The powerful combination of three influential technologies such as responsive design, self-help, and AI, can help deliver a self-service environment that employees will use and adopt.

Responsive Design: Use of UX/UI Technologies

A successful IT self-service portal involves delivering an engaging user experience. But to get UX and UI right, you need to take a step back and view things from your user’s perspective. If the first thing users see when they enter your self-service portal is a long list of topics, then they might not know where to go, get frustrated, or even opt-out of using your self-service portal altogether.  

While you can’t predict user actions, obtaining data from user surveys and internal analytics can provide you with valuable feedback that can improve your portal’s self-service experience. Although you may see high user adaptation, it is critical to audit and review your self-service portal’s interface and functions constantly in order to continue improving the user experience.

To deliver a high-quality IT self-service journey, organizations must have the ability to configure employee experiences that support accessibility from anywhere and on any device, so employees can get the support and services they need to be productive. This means you must make sure all portals are responsive for all devices.

Some organizations don’t have the luxury of having UX designers, so look for technologies that make it easy for you to design, configure, and have built-in responsiveness. And remember to keep your portal’s user interface simple. Along with intuitiveness, practicality is one of the most important elements in UX design.

There are many ways organizations can create intuitive user interfaces for their self-service portal, but it is essential to deliver the right knowledge as well. This can be achieved through the use of self-help technologies.

Self-Help Technology (Knowledge): Help People Find the Answers They Need

IT organizations are always looking for new ways to decrease ticket volume, and self-help has opened the doors to achieving that goal. In fact, the HDI 2018 Technical Support Practices & Salary Report states that the top factor in reducing ticket volume over the past year was self-help.

The top factor in reducing ticket volume over the past year was self-help.
Tweet: The top factor in reducing ticket volume over the past year was self-help. @evanEasyVista @ThinkHDI #ITSM #ITSelfService #AI

So what does self-help mean? Today, organizations have self-service portals that allow users to submit tickets/requests and search through knowledge base articles. These articles are built with the intention for users to help themselves. But most of the time, the user has to read through a long knowledge base article, making it difficult to find the answer to their specific request.

Organizations should look for self-help technologies that enhance this experience so users can quickly find answers that are relevant to them! For this reason, organizations need the ability to capture the knowledge that people are constantly looking for, deliver the knowledge in an easy and engaging way that considers what the user is looking for, and measure that knowledge so you know it’s actually helping people get answers to common questions.

Some of the benefits of self-help technologies include helping employees during new technology rollouts or automating the employee onboarding process, all leading to the deflection of service desk calls and better user satisfaction. Take advantage of the knowledge you already have in your organization, and look for different ways to deliver it.

Self-help technologies are evolving quickly, but the addition of advanced systems such as artificial intelligence could take self-service portals to the next level.

AI and Chatbot Technologies: Support Omnichannel Access to Knowledge

Technology has a big impact on our day-to-day experience, and keeping up with technological advances will benefit the IT self-service experience. From machines that can teach themselves to virtual agents or chatbots that provide quick answers to end users, when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), the list of possibilities keeps on growing.

One of the biggest impacts AI can have on self-service experiences is improving search results for users. The information that most users are looking for might already be in your knowledge base, yet if they can’t find exactly what they want, they might decide to stop using the self-service portal. In cases like these, chatbots can be a great solution.

Chatbots use Natural Language Processing (NPL) technologies that can interpret what your users are looking for, go into the knowledge base, and retrieve the most relevant knowledge article for them without any human interaction.
Another advantage of AI technology is the use of Machine Learning (ML). While UX and UI gives users the front-end experience, machine learning can refine it on the back-end. Not only will ML capabilities improve the type of responses and knowledge users receive, it also contributes in analyzing complicated data that can be leveraged to improve user experiences as a whole, including UX design. 

As a matter of fact, AI technologies have already started to improve interactions with self-service requests and knowledge. Natural Language Processing and intelligent search will deliver the most relevant information and help employees solve their own issues quicker.

Use Technology to Meet User Expectations

Delivering high-quality employee and customer experiences can be a challenge. As companies struggle to meet user expectations on self-service portal needs, implementing the right self-service tools is critical. Responsive design, self-help, and AI are three major technologies you can implement to achieve a people-centric self-service environment that customers and employees want to use.

Evan Carlson is EasyVista Vice President of Sales for North America. He specializes in driving innovative strategies to address IT’s toughest challenges. He is currently focused on championing the benefits of going beyond the traditional knowledge base by using self help to provide better interactions between the customer and support technician. By focusing on their experiences and engaging with new intuitive and intelligent knowledge tools, customer satisfaction increases and support becomes more efficient, all while reducing costs for the organization. 

Tag(s): supportworld, service management, ITSM, IT service management, self-service, automation


More from Evan Carlson