The self-service portal is the present and the future of how businesses and customers interact with each other. The easiest and the most effective way to serve your customers.
But, what is a self-service portal?
It is a platform that allows your users to solve and understand their problems on their own without having to reach out to you. There are two types of self-service portals based on your requirements or pain points: customer self-service and employee self-service portals. These two differ on the basis of their functionality and use case. But, the main purpose is the same.
According to research done by Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers prefer self-service portals instead of talking to representatives. That’s a huge chunk of customers that show the demand and need for self-service portals in any company.
And according to Salesforce, over 60% of companies will implement self-service portals.
These self-service portals are a boon for customers as it saves their time and for companies as it saves their resources as well as help them delight their customers.
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But if not implemented right, these portals can cause a great deal of loss for both parties. So, let’s understand what are the major challenges customers usually face with portals and how you can solve them.
Not Providing Real-time Support
Equipping your portal with all the necessary data, articles, and features are not enough. You need to take into consideration the scenario where your customers might need real-time support. And forcing them to switch between the portal and website for real-time support is not an ideal solution. You need to provide the option to opt for real-time support right from your portal. You can integrate any third-party live chat API or you can use the one that you have on your website for streamlined things in your backend.
Lack of Features
Some self-service portals lack core functionalities/features. This can be a hindrance to the support team as well as users. Not having a core or basic features will increase the burden on your support team as they will have to now help your customers navigate through your portal rather than the main product. So, make sure that your portal has basic features like profile management, change password, manage contact details, etc.
No Real-time Notifications
Another must-have feature for a self-service portal is real-time notifications. It is very important to provide real-time notifications for raised tickets, chats, changes made, etc. In today’s time, customers want answers in real-time and if you are providing them without actually notifying them about the same then you are not doing a very good job. They don’t want to log in every now and then to check progress.
So, make sure to provide real-time notifications to maintain transparency as well as to keep them updated.
Check out another amazing article by CRMJetty here: What is Salesforce Customer Portal?
Poor Optimization and Bad UI/UX
These two are among the major reasons why your users might leave you even after keeping up with the technology. If you are providing different portal experiences to your users on different browsers or devices then probably it’s not a good sign. Use the latest technologies while developing your portal and make it web as well as mobile responsive. Additionally, provide better UI/UX and easy navigation so it’s not a maze when they login to your portal. This will help you to retain your customers and provide them a better experience overall.
Make sure to have a self-service portal which makes tasks easier for your users as well as your employees. So, make an informed decision to invest in a portal that’s solving all these basic yet major problems that customers face when operating a self-service portal.