No matter what roles we play, we’ve all been frustrated end users at some time or another. Sometimes it’s as simple as struggling to find the documentation we need, whereas other times, we’re sitting there doing nothing because we forgot our passwords and must wait for an administrator to reset them.
Whatever the case, an IT self-service portal is an essential tool for every organization these days, and if your organization isn’t relying on one to make life better for end users and your service desk employees, now’s the time to make some changes.
Let’s dive deeper into how self-service for IT works and how an IT self-service portal can benefit any organization.
What Is IT Self-Service?
IT self-service empowers users to get the information and services needed from their IT department on their own. This allows them instant access to the data and services they need and reduces operational overhead on help desk and IT operations teams.
IT self-service has fundamentally transformed the customer experience. Self-service has made it easy for your users to perform common troubleshooting tasks and get the information they need to do their jobs more effectively.
One common example arises when an end user gets a new mobile device. The self-service portal is a great place to have the instructions they need to connect it to their email and other corporate functions.
What Is an IT Self-Service Portal?
The portal is one of the most important aspects of IT self-service because the portal is the single, unified access point to the resources and tools your users need for self-service.
The goal of an IT self-service portal is to be simple to use and provide a great user experience. It should be simple to navigate and search for information and designed to highlight the most common workflows your users need.
The main components of self-service are the knowledge base for information, a help center that provides solutions to common uses, and a site to enter support tickets when the existing services in the portal don’t meet the user’s needs (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Key components of an IT self-service portal.
The classic example of self-service is a password reset. It’s one of the most common issues many users face. Self-help is extremely important in this space because users typically get frustrated when they can’t be productive.
Password reset also displays the power of automation. A password reset can easily be automated with the right help desk software. Instead of long wait times and endless frustrations, users can simply head to the self-service portal, enter a support ticket, and receive effective IT support in real time.
Benefits of an IT Self-Service Portal
There are many benefits to an IT self-service portal; let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Increase in Issues Resolved
Issues can be resolved much more quickly by the implementation of an IT self-service portal. In many cases, users may not even need to enter a ticket because the information they need is readily available in the portal.
Enhanced Productivity for Help Desk Agents
Simple repetitive service requests, like a password reset or questions about mobile device setup, take up a great deal of time for your support teams, and here’s where effective self-service really shines.
Instead of spending their valuable time with common issues all day long, support staff are freed to conquer the more difficult and business-critical issues. The portal also allows them to use their valuable skillset more effectively and keeps them on their toes when it comes to solving problems so they can continue to grow their skills.
Improved End User Experience
One of the most important benefits of self-service is an improved end-user experience. Users can find their own answers quickly and easily and many times don’t even need to enter a ticket. When they do, the resolution may even be automated. If not, the self-service portal keeps them up to date on the status of their request.
Overall Satisfaction Increased for All
This is important to call out because the experience becomes better for not only our users but also our support team. No matter which side of the issue someone is on, they’ll see streamlined and quicker resolutions.
As we know, time is money, and saving time saves your organization valuable money in many areas. You can reduce the cost of productivity lost due to IT issues. Some simple automation removes the human element from many commonly encountered issues.
Are You Using the IT Self-Service Portal Effectively?
If you don’t already have or haven’t fully realized the benefits of using an IT self-service portal, it’s time to make sure your IT self-service portal is working for you. If you’re ready to change the way your end users request IT services and streamline their support experience, SolarWinds® Service Desk
features a robust IT self-service portal
built to provide not only visibility into the status of their current tickets but also help them resolve common issues quickly without the need to submit tickets using knowledge base resources