Enhance Self-Service Portals with Efficient Workflows

Matthew Brown

Managing self-service portals can sometimes be a daunting task. Especially if you’re inheriting the work of others, finding a starting point for how to update your self-service content can feel like a major hurdle. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Here are some steps for creating efficient workflows for updating your self-service portals…

Step 1: Take inventory of all self-service content that exists today – Make note of not only the title and content but also when it was created and how much traffic each self-service article has seen in the past year. This lays the foundation for the workflows you need to create to update your self-service portals.

Step 2: Assess your self-service team and their strengths – Simply put, different employees are skilled at creating different types of self-service content. An employee that may struggle at creating content from scratch may be very good at revamping old content. Another team member that might not be a great writer may have an inventive personality for creating video content. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses, then delegate tasks accordingly to improve the self-service user experience for your customers.

Step 3: Identify areas of need and quick fixes first – One of the first workflows you create should be looking at current search terms and creating content based on frequent searches that yield poor or no relevant results. One employee can do the initial search results research, while another can create the content and pass it on to a colleague for editing and publishing. While investigating search terms, keep an eye out for any bad links or extremely dated content and make note of it so these pages can be recreated, edited, and republished.

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Step 4: Think long term and plan your optimal workflow – Once your self-service portal is in a good spot, solidify your long-term workflow for creating future content and assets.

Here’s a common step-by-step workflow for making self-service content…

  • Identify a relevant topic – Look at the metrics in your customer support software system to see what tickets are coming in. If there’s a plethora of tickets on a single topic, it may mean there’s a gap in your self-service content and you should create self-service articles to help educate your customers.
  • Determine the type of content – Is this content better as text or a video? Or both? Look at what content you may already have related to the topic before deciding. Don’t make another video tutorial if you already have one.
  • Gather information and create – Depending on the topic, how you gather information can vary greatly. You may luck out and have an agent who knows all about the subject matter, or you may need to interview an engineer in a different part of the world to learn more. This step in the workflow can have the largest variance of time.
  • Edit and check for accuracy – Once the content is created, it’s vital there is a process in place for ensuring the content is accurate and makes sense. Again, don’t hesitate to reach outside of your self-service colleagues for this step. If information on your self-service portals is incorrect it can cause headaches for your support and onboarding teams as well.
  • Publish and share – Don’t push your new content live and move onto the next piece right away. Share that you’ve created a new piece of content (either internally, externally, or both depending on your industry) and open the door for feedback and final edits. “Soft launching” content a day or two early is great for spotting those minor errors that set a good self-service solution apart from a great one.

Step 5: Set a Realistic Schedule – It's not enough to say you'll do these steps, set a recurring schedule for each piece of the process and share it with your team. Depending on the size of your business and volume of resources this could be weekly, monthly, or even quarterly, but make sure there is a standard schedule and stick to it. Otherwise, you run the risk of having outdated content and time-consuming update projects that can be a huge headache.

 

In short, efficient workflows for updating your self-service portals will save your company time and money. Know what content you have today and plan for your future content based on the intelligence gained from your software solutions and colleagues. Self-service options are a great solution for any support department to have, and investing your time in this area will pay off with happier agents and more satisfied customers.

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