A key measure of service portal excellence is how well it optimizes the end user / employee experience. Another vital consideration, just as important, is how well it meets the needs of service owners—the people designing, managing, and fulfilling the services that can be requested.
For end users (typically employees, though they may also include contractors, interns, suppliers, and customers), optimizing the service experience means higher productivity, engagement, and retention.
For service owners and fulfillers, optimizing the experience makes it simpler for them to automate business workflow processes. This provides a wide range of benefits, from improved operational efficiency and compliance to fewer errors and missed deadlines.
Note that in an ideal service delivery environment, a “service owner” isn’t necessarily someone in IT. It may be; but it may also be a professional from human resources, facilities, production, marketing, finance, or virtually any other functional group.
One key aspect of service excellence is that non-technical users—the people who actually own specific processes—can create and manage their own workflow automations, without constantly calling on IT.
Here are four characteristics of service portal excellence that optimize the experience for service owners. For a more comprehensive list, download our free Enterprise Self-Service Portal Scorecard. This valuable tool makes it easy for you to prioritize key features and compare your system directly to alternative platforms.
How effective are your service delivery and onboarding processes in today’s business environment? What areas offer the best potential for near-term benefit? Download our free Enterprise Self-Service Portal Scorecard to help you identify your top areas for improvement.
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
Not every service process (especially those outside of IT) will have a defined SLA. But for those that do, your service portal platform should provide:
- Flexibility: The ability to customize SLAs for different services based on the type and complexity of the service.
- Alerts: The ability to send customizable, smart notifications to specific individuals or roles based on triggers such as a task deadline approaching or overdue.
- Escalations: The ability to define and automate escalation paths based on specific conditions or rules.
Your service portal platform should enable you to easily monitor and track workflow progress. It should also show trends over time, to help you identify and eliminate bottlenecks.
The platform should make it easy for you to produce a variety of reports, such as aging (so you can take action on any “old” submissions that are still in “open” status); form submissions (see which forms and services are most popular); and approvals (data such as denial percentages and average wait time for approvals).
Your system should make it simple for service owners to change basic settings such as request routings, priority, and approvals required.
The best service portals meet everyone’s needs. They optimize the end user experience by building familiarity, convenience, and intelligence into the service request process. They optimize the IT experience by providing flexible security management, the ability to delegate ownership of task workflows to business process owners, and robust integration capabilities.
And they optimize the service owner / fulfiller experience by building visibility, accountability, and simplicity into the service creation and management process. Get a more comprehensive list of vital factors, by downloading our free Enterprise Self-Service Portal Scorecard.