Saturday, May 12, 2018

Self Service Portals, What Do They Do?

In an age where a majority of businesses have a digital presence on the internet, it is important to design one’s digital storefronts in a manner that makes it easy for customers to browse through them. A self-service portal plays the role of a front door for one’s digital store that allows customers to interact with the company in a variety of ways.

Self-service portals are basically websites that provide customers with access to various aspects of a company, they are mostly used by companies to provide their customers with access to “self-help” customer support and interact with certain parts of the business itself, such as resetting passwords for their accounts, tracking orders and more. Self-service portals are quite common in customer support since it has the ability to provide customers with access to help whenever and wherever they want.

The beauty of a well-designed self-service portal is that it has customers carrying out various tasks that normally, a support agent would be responsible for, all by themselves, this makes providing support less costly for businesses and significantly reduces the time needed to support every customer. A well-designed self-service portal will have a customer log their own ticket, and then give them a great degree of control over choosing the kind of help that they need.

A self-service portal can really make a business’ support functions more efficient, however, in order for a self-service page to be useful, it needs to be designed exceptionally well. Surveys show that 73% consumers have the ability to solve problems on their own, but only if they are provided with the proper tools and access to the right kind of information. If you are thinking of creating a self-service portal for your customer base, then there are several things that you must keep in mind during the designing process in order to make your self-service as effective as possible.

The first thing that one needs to plan out is the service request catalogue of the portal; this catalogue basically provides a customer with a list of all the products/services that you have to offer or various categories of problems that they need help with. The catalogue will act as a guiding map of your self-service portal that will direct customers to various knowledge articles on your portal; these articles provide customers with detailed how-to guides, tutorials and useful information that they may need to solve their problem. Knowledge articles should be to the point, provide quality information that is easy for the customer to understand, a poorly written knowledge article will only lead to further confusion and hinder the self-help process for your customer.

A core aspect of implementing a self-service portal is to make your customer’s interaction with you as pleasant as possible, meaning that it is important to develop a portal that has an intuitive UI and makes the self-help process as simple as possible for everyone. A well-designed self-service portal should also have a monitoring feature that basically gauges each customer’s user experience. Gathering data on user experience can be as simple as asking the customer to rate certain aspects of the portal out of 5, this information can be critical in helping you figure out what can be improved in your portal in order to further enhance the user experience.

The list of advantages that a well-designed self-service portal has to offer is quite long, it provides customers with a greater level of information about your products and services, empowers them to deal with their problems without having to rely on the company too much and also helps in enhancing the company’s reputation in the customer’s eyes. 

Even the most thoroughly designed portals have their drawbacks though, the biggest one being that they sacrifice the feeling of support being “personal” in exchange for enhanced efficiency. This lack of a personal touch can make the customers feel that the company does not care for them that much, resulting in customers feeling devalued.

All in all, the effectiveness of a self-service portal comes down to its design; a portal that is well-made will always provide customers with reliable support and a poorly designed one can result in dissatisfied customers, frustration and a bad reputation.

You can visit this website to find out more about how you can efficiently set up a self-service portal for your customers.

Google to warn when humans chat with convincing bots

Google says it will take steps to ensure that humans are not fooled when they get called by software bots that can convincingly mimic the human voice. 

Anyone called by the bot will be told they are conversing with a machine, Google told tech news site the Verge.

The vocal skills of the Duplex bot were demonstrated at Google's I/O developer conference this week when it was shown booking a hair appointment.

The demo left one technology expert "horrified" by what she had seen.

Source - BBC

What is cryptocurrency, how does it work and why do we use it?

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous.

It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost uncrackable code, to track purchases and transfers.

Cryptography was born out of the need for secure communication in the Second World War. It has evolved in the digital era with elements of mathematical theory and computer science to become a way to secure communications, information and money online.

Source - Telegraph