What is a Self-Service Portal?
A Self-Service Portal is a website with self-help functions for employees, customers and suppliers to quickly and easily access documentation and information that is relevant to them. A self-service web portal provides personalised information such as invoices, policies, welcome packs, orders, support tickets and transaction history to improve the collaboration of information and streamline the way employees, customers and suppliers interact with your organisation.
Regardless of user location, self-service web portals are easily accessed on a desktop or mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, making documents and information available 24/7, 365 days a year. As a single access point for information, self-service web portals can be designed to replicate the look and feel of your company branding and website.
Does your business need a Self-Service Portal?
There are a number of key factors or ‘pain points’ that will trigger an organisation to develop a self-service web portal. The process of building a web portal can start from an internal requirement to improve communication between departments, or through external factors such as providing customers or suppliers with documentation (e.g. invoices or policies etc). Some of the key drivers of a self-service web portal include:
- Improve internal communications between employees and departments e.g. updating customer and employee details and holiday requests, improving HR processes
- Provide customers and suppliers with relevant information and documentation e.g. invoices, policies, payment transactions
- Share information and documentation between multi-location office premises e.g. national and international offices
- Streamline customer service processes e.g. allow the customer to raise and track their own support tickets
- Extend existing business systems with additional functionality
Self-Service Portal Examples
Cloud self-service portals are used to provide a variety of different users with varying requirements. A self-service web portal helps your organisation to serve the right information, at the right time, to the right recipient. It can help employees become more efficient and improve customer and supplier satisfaction by increasing the visibility of information. Common online self-service portal examples include:
- HR portal
- Supplier or partner trading portal
- Customer portal
- Product returns portal
- Sales portal
- Help desk portal
- IT self-service portal
- Customer portal
For further information on identifying a web portal platform to work with, read this article.
Self-Service Portal Security and Authentication
A market proven self-service portal solution should provide you with multiple, flexible levels of authentication and security. This will help you to determine how users access information and how they are recognised. Self-service portal security and authentication features you should look out for include:
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
- Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
- Single Sign-On
- Password Expiration Policies
- IP Whitelists
Self-Service Portal Benefits
Providing your employees, customers and suppliers with an online self-service portal can provide your organisation with a number of commercial benefits. These can include:
- 24/7 self-service access
- Reduced data entry tasks
- Increased visibility of critical business information
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Enhanced visibility of transactional information
- Streamlined business processes
- Improved internal and external communication
- Reduced internal email traffic
For more information on how to plan, build and deploy your self-service web portal, download the Quick Start Guide below or call us on +44 (0)330 99 88 700.