The story is getting old – there is a new self-service support solution on the market that is “guaranteed” to post large cost savings to the business. The portal has everything – its in the cloud, offers first-rate natural language search capability, supports HTML 5 based rich content, and has connectors for socialized community support. When the deal is done and the switch is flipped you wait and find yourself with the same problem as your 1st generation support portal – your employees have to use it! To often there is to much information, or the information is difficult to navigate through antiquated user interfaces causing more pain to the end user and inadvertently driving that phone call to the call center and subsequently driving up your costs.
There is no doubt value to the Self Service portal. With relevant information and superior design employees are generally happy to help themselves. Knowledge articles especially those that include rich media content, can be extremely beneficial to non-techies. Incorporate forums or other socialized support mediums and you’ll find that your own employees can contribute back to your support networks, helping to reduce calls to the Service Desk.
Still, gaining adoption of a self-support solution is the most common problem to this type of support channel. The employee needs to:
- Know where to go to get help
- Have enough information about the problem to search for a solution
- Be able to find the information that’s relevant to their system and application environment
The above may sound like common sense, but putting them into practice is generally difficult, especially when the alternative is simply to pick up the phone and ask that IT guru for help on getting connected to that new office printer! To gain adoption you can push email promotions, provide webinar training, or even have your Service Desk instruct users calling in on how to find answers on the Self Service portal, etc – but this takes time and can cost even more money on top of your already high investment.
Support Automation: First Stage in Self Service Maturity Model
Diverging from the traditional support portal to client based technologies, such as Tific Proactive Self Healing as a first step to Self Support can be a big factor to achieving initial ROI through call deflection. Removing the need for the Employee to take action to fix their problems, clients with proactive self healing capability can be configured to address issues, proactively and automatically, that are common within your enterprise environment, in some cases even before the issue manifest as a real problem for the Employee. Known issues in this case may include:
- Connectivity (internet and VPN)
- System Performance and configuration
- Browser security settings
- Application configuration and errors
- Corporate Compliance (Antivirus / Antispyware / Encryption) configuration
- Notifications for Service Outages
Additionally, since the client is resident on the system the support automations, notifications and other content to which the Employee / system is exposed, is ensured to be relevant to that particular Employee/system environment. Combine this local software capability with tight integration of the existing ticketing systems and its easy to track through existing reports what issues occur, who is affected, and document in a standardized manner how the issue was fixed – all through automation.
The overall result is that proactive detection and automated remediation of issues can contribute to the ROI of the solution by deflecting calls to the call center typically by 15-20% but as high as up to 40%!
Using Support Automation as a “first step” helps to reduce costs of the service desk while gaining valuable information about your Employee / end point environments and how your users are benefitted by self service technologies, laying a solid groundwork for expanding your Self Service offerings including your portal usage as this model matures within your enterprise corporation.