Customer self-service portal features
1. Knowledge base
A knowledge base is one of the key features of any customer self-service portal software. When setting up a knowledge base, you can create categories based on your products, services, or types of customers, and then add knowledge base articles within those categories. You can further choose whether a category will be publicly available or remain internal. The internal is only visible to your customer support team in the agent panel. Articles will also have the option of being either ‘public’ or ‘internal’. It basically means that you can create knowledge bases for both, your customers and employees.
A publicly available knowledge base provides customers and prospects with instant access to the information they need and the ability to resolve product or service issues on their own before needing any further assistance from a company’s representative.
Having an internal knowledge base is a great way for companies to provide their support agents with easy-to-find information that can speed up their responses when interacting with customers, as well as streamline communication across departments, saving their time and increasing agent productivity.
2. Multi knowledge base
The multi knowledge base is an advanced functionality. It allows creating multiple separate knowledge bases on different domains within a single account. Each separate knowledge base will have its own unique design, content, and settings. The customer self-service portal feature is helpful for those businesses that want to distinguish their customer support portals between different products or services. Therefore, provide a better self-service experience for their customers.
3. Customer forum
Forums are a customer portal feature that provides businesses with an opportunity to build communities with their users. Thus, enable customers to interact and help each other by answering each other’s questions and sharing best practices. It can save support agents a lot of time. Customers can get help from other community users who have experienced a similar issue and found a helpful workaround.
All forum entries are transformed into tickets. As a result, support agents can always be on top of important conversations and offer timely assistance. When creating a forum you can add keywords for better SEO optimization. Moreover, select the department that will be responsible for handling forum entries.
4. Feedback and suggestions
The aim of this customer portal feature is to encourage customers to share their feedback with businesses. It could also be ideas for future product development or just an improvement. Each time a visitor submits feedback, a new ticket is created. So, the agents are notified immediately and can respond if needed.
In addition to feedback, it allows businesses to create suggestions (new product features); while also showing the progress of their implementation. Once you create a suggestion, the customer will be able to see it in the knowledgebase. Thus, will be able to vote for it or add their comments. Customers can also add suggestions. Those will also be transformed into tickets so the agents can reply if necessary.
5. Search widgets
Placing the search widget on a website enables visitors to search for the necessary information. Therefore, they can easily find the appropriate knowledge base articles, forums, and suggestion boards. It helps customers to find answers to their questions more quickly and easily. No need to search manually through all the content in the customer portal – save time and effort.
While customers are typing into the search widget; suggestions of available content regarding the inquiry will be displayed in real-time. Once the search results are shown; visitors can click on the relevant link and see the appropriate content in the customer portal. It’s also possible to enable multiple widgets that will search only in particular categories of the customer portal.
6. Ticket submission
Ticket submission is a customer portal feature that enables customers to get in touch with a company’s support team; if they weren’t able to find answers to their questions on their own in the knowledge base articles and community forum. The section allows customers to;
- submit support requests
- manage their own tickets
- read ticket history
- see the status
- track the progress of each ticket
Depending on how the customer portal is set up; users may or may not be required to log in or register to submit support tickets. Ticket submission functionality is included in most customer self-service portals.
Factors to consider when choosing customer self-service portal software
When it comes to selecting customer self-service portal software for your business, there are many critical things to consider. Such as, necessary features and the ones that are ‘nice to have’. Creating a list of requirements would be helpful in evaluating different tools and narrowing down your search. Take into account the following important factors when choosing the vendor:
- A set of available features and functionalities to match your business requirements
- Easy set-up and customization to meet your customers’ needs
- Ease of use for both, your customers and support employees
- Intuitive interface for easy navigation across the portal pages
- Security to keep your customers’ sensitive information safe
- Access to quick and quality customer support
- Understanding of all the associated costs as adding advanced functionality may require additional expenses
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