The self-service portal selfie: Up and running in a flash

Case study It’s only been six months since William Schrikker Group (WSG) started using its self-service portal, “Selfie.” After a tremendously successful start, WSG leaders want to expand the portal’s capabilities. The level of commitment within the organisation was great, and even before the self-service portal went live, several department leaders expressed their wish for their own portal.

WSG is a youth care organisation made up of six business units that specialises in counseling children with disabilities and children with a disabled parent. In 2017, the WSG customer service team introduced Selfie the self-service portal. Customer service is the front office for IT, facilities and functional application management and forwards calls to specialists when needed. All 1,100 WSG employees can use the self-service portal, with around 30 active operators.

Promotion is priority

Anne van Beusekom, services coordinator and project leader for the self- service portal, said: “When Selfie went live, we put a lot of time into promoting it. Everyone was so used to walking by the customer service desk. We really needed to prove the added value of the self-service portal.”

A marketing plan was set in motion. Calls logged through Selfie get priority over calls that come in through other channels. Colleagues who call customer service get to hear a recording that says “we also have Selfie now.” Alternatively, there were posters taped all over the building saying: “Want to know where your call is? Check Selfie.” Thus, the biggest hit of Selfie has been the track-and-trace functionality that allows users the ability to track their call what’s going on with their call.

Get others involved

Other than the “marketing initiative,” this wasn’t the only initiative to make the portal popular. WSG employees were heavily involved in the roll-out of the portal. “We gave workshops, went to all thirteen meeting points all over the country, and created a newsletter. We even held a competition to come up with a name for the SSP,” van Beusekom said. “When the portal went live, we had a party. We said ‘treats are on us’ and bought cake.”

Hacks for getting off to a quick start

When building a self-service portal, don’t focus entirely on the front end. The front end is simply the look-and-feel, which does attract people, but behind all of that is likely the most important feature of the portal. Users expect action. Once they’ve taken the time to enter information into the form, something needs to happen – of course.

Remember, too, that jargon and technical terms can create confusion for users. The WSG implementation and roll-out team chose not to use any technical terms in their educational and marketing efforts. Throughout roll-out of the portal, product mentions including “email” and “calendar” were used, but not “Outlook” or other technical terms. Throughout the project, the WSG team also created guidelines with its communication department regarding the tone of voice for all educational materials.

The communications team provided appropriate feedback and provided guidance for why some things needed to be changed.

Selfie from support

Selfie quickly became a winning ingredient for the business and soon the organisation’s leader realised its business-focused efforts could use a little “selfie help.” Specifically, it wasn’t always clear which department did what when it came to business support. After the implementation of Selfie, business support saw added value in a service catalogue. So, the business support team asked for a service catalogue for all of business support, made up of sales support, finance, staff and organisation, communications, IT, facilities, functional application management.

“This year we want to have two services in the Selfie test environment for each department. This way, we can let a group of customers test our services. The goal? Making this group enthusiastic. We want everyone to follow our advice: Is your request not urgent? Check Selfie. If it is urgent or consultation is needed, the individual can call for additional support,” Van Beusekom said. “When the service catalog is ready, all employees can easily contact business support via Selfie. No matter the time or the location.”

The success of Selfie has actually led to a rise in calls. The reasons for this are simple. The service desk now also receives questions from other departments besides IT and facilities. This mean employees come with their own question simply because people know how to find support through Selfie then they are pointed to the correct department.

Some internal leaders think that increase in call is great thing. For example, when a disruption occurred in the past, people would say “This thing never works,” which had some within the service desk asking “Why is this the first time I hear this?” Apparently, internal users didn’t see a point to logging calls, but Selfie is changing that culture now. Employees now understand that logging calls does help. They log their call and that call is their proof of their action, and now they know that their call is being processed.

Van Beusekom said: “Customer service resolves 80 percent of the calls. We’ve discovered that we can solve many calls with knowledge items. This means customer service has time for more complex problems, which makes their work more fun. Even though there is an increase in calls, we now help our users quicker and better than before.

“And despite the fact that the number of reports is rising, we are now helping our employees faster and better than before. A win-win situation,” she said.

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