There is no reversing it. Whether you serve customers or staff, your user experience now depends on self-service. Tidio found that over 67 percent of customers prefer using a form of self-service as opposed to talking with a customer service representative and 73 percent prefer to exclusively use a company’s website for support. This has DevOps teams, other creators and teams like HR to expect self-service IT capability to handle routine tasks to avoid long wait times and help tickets. With its autonomy and efficiency, self-service has enticed organizations looking to conserve resources and IT staff time. However, like any other platform, self-service IT needs controls to ensure security, data governance and budget accountability. The key to implementing secure and well-developed IT self-service is finding the balance between user empowerment and protective barriers.

Self-Service IT Use and Misuse

Self-service IT was built to help employees focus on higher-value activities and avoid repetitive, error-prone tasks that can easily be accomplished through automation. It does not aim to reduce the workforce but to support employees by giving them time for meaningful work, creativity and innovation. That said, self-service IT also can promote digital literacy among the entire user base. This aids in moving organizations one step closer to a true digital, CX business.

Self-service IT thrives in repetitive and structured tasks. Typical applications include HR and benefits portals, as well as high-volume IT services like password resets, software provisioning and knowledge-sharing tools. Additionally, more advanced functionalities such as self-service applications or infrastructure provisioning and AI-supported issue resolution, are becoming increasingly common.

The most common misconception about self-service is that it can be implemented and then left unattended. However, continuous training and support are essential to keeping the service running securely and correctly. With your team providing the service clear guidance on utilizing automated features, it enables users to satisfactorily resolve issues and achieve results.

Whatever the use of your Self-Service platform, there must always be a seamless path to human support. We have all experienced the frustration of poor Self-Service platforms. Microsoft found that 30 percent of customers shared that the lack of access to a real human was the most frustrating part of a bad customer experience. This is why it is essential to provide a clear path to human support in cases where self-service tools are not providing the desired solution.

Improving The CX-Level Experience

To further improve CX-level experience, tech teams should implement a dedicated support team, as well as an Omni-Channel approach.

  • Dedicated Support – All Self-Service platforms must have a product owner and support team who proactively seek user feedback and update the automation process based on that feedback. This will improve the customer experience and build a positive association with the brand.
  • Taking an Omni-Channel Approach – Just like consumers, self-service IT users want to use chat, SMS and traditional voice bots. Meeting customers where they need to be at that moment is key to success with self-service.

Challenges and Controls

While it is valuable to allow users and customers to interact with IT, these interactions need to be executed in a carefully constructed and automated fashion. Setting up barriers enables users to get what they need quickly and easily while maintaining critical controls. Otherwise, organizations risk self-service IT security, unauthorized network interactions and cost overruns. When implementing these controls, Self-Service platforms should include robust monitoring and analysis related to IT support and activity. This will give the organization a clearer picture of IT support needs.

IT Self-Service is here to stay. By ensuring a human pathway, implementing dedicated support, aiming for an Omni-Channel approach and placing barriers for security and data usage, businesses will be able to get the most out of their self-service, as well as their customer base. For more information, read our article in ITOps Times: Taming the Wild West of Self-Service IT. Then reach out to start a conversation.

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