in StemSocial6 months ago (edited)


This is the fifth post in a series about Improving Service Desk Effectiveness. You can find the first four posts at the links below:

Now let's get started with today's discussion on Allowing Self Service.

STEP#4: Allow Self-Service

The Fact of the Matter

The modern labor force requires information on demand, using methods of their choosing. If a self-service portal does not offer a smooth experience or no portal, it has consequences. The customers become irritated because they are unable to resolve their problems. They have little choice but to call on the 1st level support techs to fix simple issues. This choice leaves techs mired in simple support problems.

Still, this problem exists. Many self-service portals fall short of good customer experience. If a self-service portal lacks design, knowledge base, and catalog of services, it is terrible. Customers cannot resolve issues themselves. The outcome of this is the lower productivity of service desk personnel and customers.

The Clever Solution: Create a Self-Service Portal Users Love

Employees need to have self-sufficiency. Give it to them! Use a "shift left" mentality to the service desk.

In an Agile world, teams are asked to move faster — reducing the length of time to delivery while improving each release's quality. At the same time, they are faced with increased pressure to reduce testing costs. – What The Shift Left in Testing Means from

Have a best-practice self-service portal. Enable customers to resolve their problems, check ticket status and service requests. When you empower customers to help themselves, you free up IT labor. Your people are now able to put all their effort into initiatives that move the business forward.


  • Engage user experience experts. These experts can come from inside or external to your business. They will help you improve your customer experience. In turn, they can make sure the portal is customer-friendly.
  • Ask customers for feedback and put yourself in their position.
  • Offer a great deal of user education.
  • Support portal acceptance and promote self-sufficiency.
  • Provide email, phone, chat, walk-up, and desk-side service. This service allows connection with users wherever and however they prefer. As portal usage grows, the dependence on such methods should decline.


  • Identify a straightforward service catalog. It should be in two parts—one part for internal technical personnel and the other for customers. The catalog needs to contain essential facts—the facts like estimated cost and delivery time for service.
  • Make automation a priority. Focus on the most common requests like password resets, for example. This focus decreases the touch time and turnaround time.
  • Provide reports of service status, such as known service outages and interruptions. Provide these on the portal and as a recorded phone message when they call the service desk. This reporting of status will decrease contacts and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Perform periodic customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys are for the measurement and continuous improvement of the customer experience.
  • Draw Up KPIs that matter. Metrics like reduction in call volume, ticket volume, and customer satisfaction. Measure these against the self-service portal and find areas that need improvement.


  • Make sure your service portal, including the service catalog, adapt for separate roles. If required, other languages.
  • Construct an extensive knowledge base with smart search and share. Allow customers to comment and vote on the knowledge and suggest new entries.
  • Provide a peer-to-peer forum for discussion and collaboration. Empower customers to assist each other. Have your service desk team moderate and contribute to the forum. You can receive valuable information from the everyday stumbling blocks of the customer.


That's it for this post. My last post in the series will be on Step #5 Uniting Services.

Feel free to drop your thoughts on this post or anything else in the comments below. I love to hear from and engage with you.


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