A self-service portal offers end users a quick and easy way to access your products and services. 90% of consumers expect brands to provide them with 24/7 online self-service solutions.
We’re used to the digital experience provided by e-commerce platforms. And we expect the same simple method of accessing product catalog and of post-purchase support. Below, you will find a list of issues you can solve and areas you can improve with a self-service portal for your clients, employees, and business partners.
1. High support staff costs
Problem: Traditional methods of support (like phone calls and emails) can strain your support staff, leading to long hold times. To avoid that, you have to maintain a large customer support team—and use a large percentage of your budget.
Solution: Self-service portals allow customers to resolve the most frequent queries and issues on their own, reducing the need for direct support interactions. By offering options like FAQs, knowledge bases, and troubleshooting guides, companies can significantly reduce the need for an extensive support team; this leads to substantial cost savings.
2. Sales, upselling, and cross-selling
Problem: Traditional sales methods can be resource-intensive, requiring the attention of a dedicated sales employee for every customer interaction. Maximizing the potential for upselling and cross-selling requires targeted interactions, which increases the sales team size.
Solution: Online sales portals can include personalized product information, pricing details, and recommendations; these enable clients to explore the catalog and make purchase decisions independently. Analyzing customer behavior and preferences to suggest relevant additional products or services can increase the likelihood of cross-sales without the need for the sales team’s direct involvement.
3. Inconsistent information across channels
Problem: When you have many sales channels, it’s increasingly challenging to provide consistent and accurate information. This may lead to confusion for both staff and customers, negatively impacting your brand image.
Solution: A self-service portal can serve as a hub, ensuring that customers receive uniform and up-to-date information. Properly managed and maintained content within the portal can be used as a reference—not just for your clients, but also for employees. It can also serve as your business presentation online, reducing misinformation and enhancing users’ brand experience.
4. Growth and scalability costs
Problem: As your company and customer base grow, managing an increasing volume of customer inquiries becomes more challenging and time consuming. Proportionally adding more support agents can be expensive and logistically challenging.
Solution: Self-service portals can accommodate larger user volumes without a corresponding increase in support staff, resulting in a cost-effective way to scale operations. Digital portals grow quickly, adapting to a larger user base without proportional increases in support staff. This improves efficiency and maintains service quality.
5. 24/7 Availability requirements
Problem: Your customers, providers, or business partners might require assistance outside of regular business hours. You have two options here: create an expensive 24/7 support line, or delay problem resolution (and risk customer frustration).
Solution: Self-service portals enable customers to find solutions and information independently at any time, ensuring round-the-clock availability and responsiveness. You can also employ additional solutions like chatbots that will reduce the workload of your support team.