Know more about Self Service Automation and its Best Practices

Self Service Automation Best Practices
Published By - Kelsey Taylor

Self Service Automation and its best practices transform the way businesses now assist their customers. The customers today are certainly more knowledgeable, active, and tech-savvy. Moreover, they expect reliable and trustworthy solutions at their convenience.

The best practices in self service automation also help reduce data breaches and overcome cultural and linguistic barriers. Self service automation solutions can be outsourced or can be in-house. It is one of the techniques to address and acknowledge customers’ concerns. Above all, self service automation is more cost-effective than manually handling services for businesses that follow the best practices.

According to Anthony Mullen, Senior Research Director at Gartner, “The reality is that customers have to engage with endless digital activities over their lifetime, which means much more data to consider. The trend of customers assigning their endless digital activities to their virtual personal assistants (VPAs), chatbots, and other self-service tools will grow over the next 10 years.”   

Most importantly, the Covid-19 Pandemic rendered consumers worldwide to seek various digital channels to engage with businesses. The engagements also need to be “contactless” in light of the recent social distancing movement. Hence, businesses require a new and innovative method to interact and engage with customers. As a result, self service automation and its best practices help businesses build processes for customer support and provide value.

Therefore, in this article, we will learn about the concept of Self Service Automation and the best practices that businesses must follow.

Understanding Self Service Automation and its Best Practices

What is Self Service Automation?

A basic definition by Jugal Anchlia, CEO of Breakout states “it is the process of automating the interaction between customers and the company for support-related queries with minimum or no human involvement.”

Self Service Automation and its solutions help the users and help desk teams to execute IT tasks and processes. Moreover, it is an application that uses workload automation to incorporate business and IT systems. 

Self Service Automation is a web-based solution that provides an intelligent user interface. Further, it enables users to activate business processes which include canceling and restarting tasks. It also allows businesses to monitor tasks and progresses in real-time.

Self Service Automation Key Features for Businesses:

    • It helps execute file transfers, batch processes, and Businesses Intelligence reports.
    • Moreover, it enables businesses to trigger onboarding processes, reset passwords, and reboot virtual machines.
    • It also provisions resources to avoid delays, improve customer service, and reduce workload.

What is a Self Service Portal?

A Self Service Portal refers to a website that performs as a searchable database for self service resources. Moreover, it helps users discover information, solutions, and support. It also helps users discover solutions without external or additional assistance. 

Self Service portals also enable users to browse and search through articles and assess FAQ sections. It also allows them to visit service forums and also interact with AI chatbots. Moreover, the portals access tools and software to detect the right solutions. It also helps customers connect to a live agent in case they require further assistance. 

Here are the components to look for in a Self Service Portal:

    • Service Portal
    • Virtual Agents
    • Knowledge Management
    • Communities
    • Service Catalogue

Types of Self Service Portals:

  • Customer Self Service Portal:
    It refers to the self service portal that addresses a customer’s issues and queries. Further, it is an easily accessible resource for both leads and customers. Moreover, this portal includes knowledge-based articles, FAQs, chat services, tutorials, etc. to help customers find solutions.
  • Employee Self Service Portal:
    As the name suggests is a self service portal for the employees within the organization. Similarly, it helps provide assistance to employees looking for resources and solutions to their common work queries. It also helps employees manage their payroll, understand compliances and regulations, update personal information, etc.

Benefits of Self Service Automation: How is it useful for Businesses?

  • Firstly, Self Service Automation helps businesses eliminate the requirement for redundant paperwork.
  • It also helps improve productivity for service partners and field techs.
  • Moreover, it helps enhance resource utilization by reserving resources in case of errors.
  • Further, it helps mitigate unnecessary costs by monitoring components, procuring real-time updates, and estimating downtime.
  • It also helps build relations between IT and business teams to enhance productivity and save time.
  • Above all, it helps streamline service management tasks and processes which improves the scope of insights.

Self Service Automation Examples

Self Service Automation software can generally interact and connect with any application or system in the business. Hence, it helps make various use cases for self service automation. 

  • Sub-Zero, a worldwide manufacturer, generally uses self service portals to send emails to business associates. These emails are automatically sent in case of any imperial task failures or delays. As a result, these business users can then troubleshoot and restart tasks.
  • Further, the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha enables its billing department to generate reports using self service automation tools.

Here are the Best Practices in Self-Service Automation that businesses must follow

  • Easily Accessible and Detectable for Users:

When it comes to one of the best practices to maintain self service automation it is pivotal that businesses make it easier for customers to find. Moreover, this will prevent the users from utilizing other channels to resolve their queries. Hence, it will help reduce call time for the support team and increase their bandwidth for more tasks.

Therefore, to help increase the accessibility for users businesses must follow these basic recommendations:

    • Firstly, integrate the self service option with the information architecture. 
    • Further, develop and design the self service portal to complement the business’s corporate presence online. 
    • Moreover, it is pivotal for businesses to optimize and promote their content organically through SEO tools. It will certainly help increase the traffic and will help with the website’s navigation and improve search results.
    • Above all, it is critical for businesses to index and ranks their knowledge and support pages.
  • Create a Convenient Self Service Automation Process

Businesses must create a convenient self service automation process to help users feel reliable, confident, and empowered. Moreover, the easier the usability of the self service portal, the more users would access it. 

Further, presenting large sets of information to users in self service automation coils overwhelm them. Hence, a user would naturally try to connect with a live representative, even for the minuscule queries. 

As a result, here are the suggestions to enhance usability:

    • Firstly, it is important to keep the design and interface simple.
    • Users must also understand the steps to easily resolve their queries.
    • Further, businesses need to place their content suitably for users to easily find them.
    • It is also important to develop and design the self service portal for probabilities and not possibilities.
    • Businesses must also use generic images and icons for easy recognition.
  • Comprehending User’s Common and Recurring Queries:

Businesses must keep their agendas and objectives simple and comprehensible. Moreover, businesses may have a different perception of a user’s experience. Although, maximum users just want to resolve their issues or find more information.

It is also important for businesses to identify frequent issues and a robust solution for their users. Hence, businesses that comprehend their customer’s issues can easily structure their self- service automation tool for appropriate resolutions.

Hence, here are some possible interactions with self service to help businesses delve deeper:

    • It is important for businesses to generate newer incidents in order to gain further insights.
    • They must also try to raise new requests to perceive how the user’s experience could be.
    • It is also important to keep updating the content to improve the user’s experience.
  • Multi-Channel Self Service Automation Options:

Businesses must offer their users a unified experience through various channels. Moreover, it also leads to a successful self service automation process that enhances the user’s experience. Hence here are the different multi-channels that businesses could utilize:

    • Accessibility for Website Self Service
    • Developing a Community Page
    • Options for Instant Chat, Phone, and Email
  • Assessing User’s Feedback for Optimization:

It is also critical for businesses to assess and analyze their user’s feedback to provide a superior user experience. Moreover, it helps businesses understand and identify the problem areas and provide a solution or rectify the process to improve services. Hence, there can be various techniques to collect feedback. Therefore, below mentioned are the high-level overview of tools and approaches:

    • Surveys to understand user satisfaction.
    • Loyalty surveys to understand business and employee relations.
    • A database of web analytics and search logs.
    • Requesting feedback on various questions from the customers.
    • Managing and gathering information from customer interviews and focus groups.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, self service automation and its best practices help reduce the burden of routine business requests and improve service levels. Moreover, the design is meant to decrease workloads by providing teams with the right set of tools. Hence, managing queries and issues becomes faster, smarter, easier, and more efficient.

Kelsey manages Marketing and Operations at HiTechNectar since 2010. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and Management. A tech fanatic and an author at HiTechNectar, Kelsey covers a wide array of topics including the latest IT trends, events and more. Cloud computing, marketing, data analytics and IoT are some of the subjects that she likes to write about.

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