What to include in your self-service portal
A basic self-service portal consists of three parts: a collection of knowledge base articles, a place to view, update and submit tickets and a community forum. Each of these components offer a different way for customers to get help and answer any questions they have. Let’s break down each of these options separately to see how they help provide a complete customer self-service experience.
When customers navigate to your self-service portal, the first thing they often do is search for content that might answer their question. A knowledge base should contain all relevant information about your product or service including a getting started guide, FAQs, step by step how to articles, and even troubleshooting information if things go wrong.
Most self-service portals will have a big, helpful search bar right at the top of the page - it’s the easiest way for customers to get help, so we want to make sure customers don’t miss it!
The next best way for customers to help themselves is through the use of community forums. A valuable part of your self-service portal, community forums allow customers to talk to each other about best practices, feature requests, and common questions.
Invite power users to help new customers get the most out of your product. Get product teams involved with feature requests and product feedback forums. There’s a ton of benefits to hosting a community forum on your self-service portal.
View and submit tickets
Finally, if all else fails, customers need to be able to contact support. Self-service software can help customers make the transition between searching for help themselves and contacting a human much easier.
On your self-service portal, include a contact us page with a simple ticket form to encourage customers to get in touch if they weren’t able to find their own answer. If you’ve enabled the option, customers can also view the status of their current and historical tickets in your help center. For organizations, it’s possible to allow an admin to view all tickets submitted from the same organization. Allowing customers to keep up to date on current tickets can reduce those “where are we at with this?” emails.