It is not enough to offer self-service if users are not aware that it is available or understand the advantages. It is essential that Service Desk markets the self service solution, its content and the benefits it provides in order for more users to resolve their problems via the self-service solution.
Give the self-service solution a name
Decide on a name for the self-service solution. A good name will have a positive effect on users’ impressions of the solution and can also simplify communication. You can either choose a descriptive name of what it is, of the content, choose a playful name where the name speaks for itself or a combination of these.
Examples of names:
- Self Service
- Support portal
- Support & Guides
- Guide & Tips
- IT self service
- IT guides
- The IT Compass
Marketing in the long and short term
Produce a plan for how you will launch the self-service solution and market it on an ongoing basis.
Launch and establish the concept
Launching the self-service solution is the first step in communication with users. Produce a launch plan when the self-service solution is to be launched. When launching a new self-service service solution, there are two main routes. Either you bang “the big drum” by communicating to everyone using many channels at the same time. In this case, you will generally describe the self-service solution, which areas are supported and the procedures for this in accordance with your chosen support strategy.
Other organizations work better strategically by doing the launch stealthily and communicating in stages or in connection with a defined project, e.g., for a pilot group with a migration to a new platform or new software version.
Regular marketing with the focus on content
In order to sustain the activity in the self-service solution, ingoing marketing will be required. You can market the actual self-service solution as an occurrence and describe its overall advantages and where to find it. The most effective way is to emphasize the content of the service. This often works most effectively when a new a version of an operating system or software application has been introduced into the environment, e.g., forgotten passwords during vacation times. In these cases, it becomes a natural thing to describe in greater detail the guides and the assistance users can get, rather than market the actual self-service solution. It is a good idea to make users aware when new articles are pubilished.
You should also be proactive before and during the period the questions arise. Produce a calendar of when changes are planned to occur and anticipate common questions that will arise.
Encourage users to grade and comment on the guides or ask for suggestions regarding anything that they think is missing. In smart self-service solutions, you can see the questions users have asked but not received an answer to.
Identify channels of communication in an organization or create your own sites.
Use the office as a place to market the self-service solution. The office is a particularly suitable marketing place during the launch. Spread the message in coffee rooms and meeting rooms.
- Distribute flyers/printed material on the day of the launch.
- Produce T shirts with information for service desk for the first few weeks.
- Put out flyers on lunch and coffee tables.
- Put up posters on the coffee machine and in meeting rooms.
Newsletters and magazines
Newsletters and magazines are very effective during both the launch and regular marketing. Write a new feature or article, preferably with a descriptive picture or video. Link or refer to the self-service solution, preferably to a suitable guide or category.
The Intranet is a suitable marketing channel, similar to newsletters and magazines. Put up a banner, text link and video or write a new feature or link to the self-service solution or a relevant guide.
The service desk’s e-mail footer/signature is an excellent place to always remind and encourage users to search for answers to questions and link to the self-service solution.
Example as standard in the signature:
- You can use our self-service knowledge solution to find answers to the majority of your questions.
- Get answers to your questions around the clock via self-service!
- Search for answers to your questions around the clock!
You can also temporarily market specific guides that are topical at the moment.
Automatic voice responses are also excellent places to bring the self-service solution to the attention of users. The voice response should be given before the user is put in contact with service desk and as a voice message when the Service Desk is closed.
Examples of voice responses:
- “You can get answers to your questions with our self-service knowledge solution 24/7/365.
Telephone, chat and e-mail
Tell and remind about the self-service solution in every communication with a user by phone, chat or e-mail. If the answer to the user’s question is available in the self-service solution, always refer to an appropriate guide. If the answer is not available in the self-service solution, make it a routine to create a new guide.
Take the opportunity to relate about the self-service solution at internal meetings. This works best of all in connection with current support needs in the business.
Instructor-led training courses
If you carry out instructor-led training courses, you can market the self-service solution by using the content of the service. Print out the guides or let users click their way around the service and let them practice every element in an e-training course.
The self-service facility
Highlight relevant guides and news in the self-service solution. There are often automatic FAQs showing the most popular guides at the moment, a place to show recommended guides and new features.
Identify, train and involve selected users and key persons within the organization, so-called super-users, to produce motivated ambassadors for the self-service solution.
Good luck! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about how you in particular could maximize the benefits of self-service.
Therese Walve, Marketing Manager, ComAround