Implementing a Self-Service Portal

Self-service portals are fast becoming a must-have as business demands increase but there is more to implementing one than you think

A self-service portal is a customer-facing website which offers a collection of self-help functions that a user can access whenever they have a corresponding issue and execute the respective function to self-help and overcome their issue without calling on the service desk.

The self-service portal offers the first-line of help for end-users, in essence, a customer-facing version of the service desk. It can include functions such as resetting forgotten passwords across AD, Azure AD, Google, Linux; unlock an account should it be disabled; provide access to documentation, or offer one-click single sign-on. A well built and flexible self-service portal is invaluable to a consumer community that is always on and always connected.

The self-service portal offers the first-line of help for end-users,

Self-service portals do not necessarily offer functions to benefit the service desk only, business functions such as sales or HR can benefit too, for example, LogonBox includes self-service provisioning enabling users to complete an online enrollment form to provide necessary HR data before being created as a new user into the system.

Why is a self-service portal so important?

Self-service is becoming an ever increasing method by which end-users are looking to solve their issues or gather knowledge; a Zendesk survey revealed that 67% of respondents prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. In another study by Coleman Parkes, 40% of people who contact a call centre have first looked for answers to their questions via self-service.

End users want issues resolved promptly without waiting on the service desk, and this convenience enables a user to be more productive than if they had to wait on the service desk.

End users want issues resolved promptly without waiting on the service desk

Implementing a Self-Service Portal

Getting the right self-service portal in place is vital to receiving any of benefits the wrong solution can lead to disgruntled end-users, a study by Nuance found that over half of those surveyed are frustrated when a self-service solution fails to resolve their issue and they have to reach out to a service desk agent. When implementing/ rolling out a self-service portal, a number of core components need considering and in place before implementing and delivering a self-service portal.

Covering the Catalogue

The service request defines what the self-service portal offers whether that is password reset self-service or something else. This list of features is known as the service request catalogue and should offer the very things the business is looking to automate. For example, LogonBox offers several services, password reset, account unlock, single sign-on, password management and user provisioning.

Reviewing the Request Model

For each service request, the service request model needs to be understood and modified/ defined to suit. A service model is the repeatable steps that are carried out to complete the action, for example, a password reset the request model might look like this:

  • Identify the user
  • Authenticate the user
  • Select the system to reset the password on
  • Display corresponding password policy
  • Accept new password
  • Check it meets required policy
  • Reset password on the target system
  • Send the user a notification

Reviewing the Authentication Framework

Pivotal to every service is the act of identity verification, and a self-service portal needs a way to identify a user safely and securely. The right level of identity verification processes needs considering enabling MFA to access the self-service portal might not be for every business; weighing up the pros and cons for each option is another important step.

Compensating Human Interaction

With the introduction of a self-service portal, a business loses the human-touch, employees like to feel valued, and without any real human interaction, any solution needs to offer an excellent interface to compensate. A solution must be intuitive to use and offer an experience where a user is happy to interact with time and time again.

Consider Scalability

Self-service is about being on 24/7 and 365 days of the year so uptime is crucial to the success of a solution, based on the demands of the workforce a solution must not only be scalable but being available rain or shine. From a technical standpoint, this could mean investment in a high-available solution.

Complimenting with Education

Outside the realm of the physical software, the self-service portal needs complimenting with knowledge, well-written articles educating the end-user on how to use the portal and the benefits it offers helps provide context to the end-user.

Password reset self-service portals automate the password reset process and increase security but with accompanying articles on best password practises password reset self-service solutions can heighten security within the business (survey from The Ponemon Institute show IT professionals are still falling short when it comes to security practices in the workplace).

Getting Buy-in Through Marketing

As unusual as this sounds a marketing plan can be an essential step in the implementation process. Promoting the new solution through internal emails, announcements and even integrating it within the company handbook can play be an important step in getting everyone on board.

Summary

Self-service portals are fast becoming a must-have as business demands increase being able to automate repetitive functions has become paramount. There is more to implementing and rolling out a self-service portal than having a user log a ticket or replacing the tasks carried out by a service desk agent.

The demand for an always-on solution requires considerable thought, investing time on looking into service request catalogues, user identification needs and as well as internal marketing plans. For all these efforts the self-service portal is a critical value-add for both the business and employees.

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Interested in LogonBox after this introduction to self-service password reset? Try LogonBox and get started for free, LogonBox on-premise foundation is free for an unlimited number of users forever, with an affordable pricing model that scales as you do. You can learn more about LogonBox by checking out our website, blog, or simply by contacting us.

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