Without the option of self-service portals, your helpdesk arsenal you could be missing out on crucial cost and time-savings benefits.
Whether you need help resetting your password, unlocking an account, resolving a printer issue, everyone is familiar with helpdesks; they are a source of assistance and guidance. In the context of IT the helpdesk enables the business to respond to customers more quickly and efficiently.
Integrating self-service portals as part of the helpdesk offer greater benefits by providing self-help. Businesses see a marked all-round increase in productivity and a reduction in operational costs. An increasing number of businesses recognise the importance of dedicated self-service portals as part of their helpdesk and the benefits they bring, 60% of all businesses expect to implement self-service portals in the next 12-18 months.
The greatest benefits can be had by the managed service business (MSP) whose core offering includes providing an IT helpdesk function that gives clients an efficient customer service experience. This article takes a look at some of the benefits self-service portals can bring to the helpdesk, If you do not have a self-service portal as part of your helpdesk packages then you could be missing out.
When is self-service technology right for your business?
What is Helpdesk Software?
Helpdesk software helps businesses automate service management; these services are either used externally by customers that have bought services from you or internally by employees who need assistance. For example, as an MSP the helpdesk is accessed by the client/customer to overcome IT-related obstacles preventing the client from carrying out their daily task, these tend to be things like needing to reset a password or unlocking an account.
Helpdesk software has long passed the point of nice-to-have but is an essential part of the service desk for any company. In a recent survey, 98% of respondents said using helpdesk software has improved productivity while 95% saw a significant increase in end-user satisfaction levels.
6 ways differentiating self-service support will increase customer loyalty
Benefits of IT helpdesk
- Increased productivity with self-help
Helpdesk and specifically software offered by the helpdesk such as self-service password reset are available 24/7; there is no downtime and no delay between finding an issue and having it resolved, for example, self-service password reset enables users to instantly self-reset their passwords without a service desk agent involved, no more twiddling thumbs.
- Reduced emails
Emails provide a world of ease for communication but this ease especially around raising support issues can result in large inboxes and haphazard organisation of requests, with support issues slipping through the cracks. The mailbox is not a to-do list or a ticketing system and as a business grows managing helpdesk requests through email becomes very inefficient. With helpdesk software, issues are raised and recorded in a central portal which provides the single communication point between end user and service desk. No more flooded mailboxes or lost issues.
As a business grows the number of tickets coming in grows, on average internal IT teams receive 492 tickets per month. As the business scales, service desk needs to continue to provide high first-time response rates. Helpdesk portal can enable businesses to scale effectively by offering a central point of contact for all users and offload repeatable issues to self-service portals.
For a truly efficient and streamline helpdesk MSPs need to look further than just a ticketing system, automation is paramount to provide effective service desk at scale and there is no better way than through the use of self-service portals.
Streamlining helpdesk with self-help
According to Salesforce, 60% of businesses expect to implement self-service portal as part of their helpdesk within the next 12-18 months, businesses recognize the benefits of dedicated self-service portals. Companies looking to move their helpdesk forward need to adapt to the anytime-anywhere model of working and self-service software provides customers with the instantaneous assistance they need.
What are self-service portals?
Self-service software is a collection of self-help functions that are open to the end users and accessible through a company portal. These functions provide self resolution of issues by the end user and include self-resolution of issues through the use of a knowledge base, password reset across one or more systems from on-premise Active Directory to linked cloud directories like Azure AD, Google and even databases like OpenLDAP, account unlock and management, self-logging of incidents and more.
Self-service portals offer end users first line support, and empower them to find information, request services, and resolve their issues faster and directly without involving any helpdesk agents.
As a business internally end-users can streamline work through minimal downtime, MSPs offering self-service portals are able to service customer issues as password resets and account unlocks 24hrs a day without expending any human resource, improving overall brand image.
There are financial benefits too, self-service software can help business cut down on operational expenditure by reducing the need to use support resources to only when needed. The total cost of ownership for a support ticket which requires support technician assistance costs on average $104 per ticket whereas self-serviced tickets cost an average of $2 each.
Service desk agents can focus on more pressing matters, with lower ticket volume agents can focus on tasks that require real intervention and allowing service desk to allot more time to customers that need it rather than on mounting and unappreciated issues like password resets.
Increase customer recommendations
There is also customer satisfaction benefits, a successful self-service portal strengthens the brand reputation by creating positive client interactions. A secure and intuitive flow, a range of automated functions and with the issue resolved at the end, offers customers a positive experience and saves on valuable resources.
Self-service portals that offer customised knowledge base can act as a useful tool for bringing in more website traffic, with articles acting as a source of knowledge that can be indexed, increasing credibility and brand awareness.
A self-service portal can act as a gateway into other services not just as a means of resolving issues, further functionality like single sign-on which can benefit from the security provided through self-service portals knowing that the right person has logged in and then offer the customer the ability to securely sign-in to other cloud services. Password management is another example that self-service portals can host.
Helpdesk is a great way of managing customers and streamlining the business however self-service portals can add a greater benefit by enabling users to self-help and overcome issues without depending on any helpdesk agents. This offers great benefits in productivity, cost and competitive edge which as an MSP are crucial to success.
Self-service portals offer the means for businesses to scale effectively rather than getting inundated with more issues that zap unwanted time from helpdesk agents, letting them focus on customers and issues that need input.
The best of all adapting an MSP business to take advantage of self-service portals is a simple process, offering it as part of a helpdesk package means it is part of an MSPs customer enrollment process. Customers get their own self-service portal, a single first-line support point.
The self-service portal is an essential component of any MSP business that is serious about customer support.
Majid Latif is a co-founder of LogonBox,, specialising in password self-service and identity management solutions, to protect businesses and increase productivity. With over 20 years in IT security, Majid was also part of the team that built the first browser-based, opensource, SSL-VPN, which was merged into the Barracuda Networks SSL-VPN.