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Enhancing Employee Experience with a Service Portal: A Self-Service Success Story

Employee Experience Matters

Competition and new ways of working have changed the corporate landscape, making finding and retaining talent more difficult and changing the focus on the employee experience. A great employee experience is no longer about comfortable office chairs or free coffee; it's about creating an environment where employees can thrive, feel valued, and quickly access needed resources. This has been a game-changer for IT, where attempts to “do more with less” have led to embracing the online service portal and service request catalogs as a mechanism for scaling support. Now, the role of a well-designed service portal comes into play as another means of creating an excellent employee experience. This article explores a real-life success story of how a service portal transformed the employee experience in a leading financial institution.

The Challenge

This company faced several challenges that hindered employee productivity and satisfaction. Employees navigated multiple systems for different needs, such as IT support, HR queries, and facility management. None of the systems provided a true self-service environment, although some allowed employees to log tickets, which frequently went unnoticed.

This disconnected and ineffective self-service environment was challenging. For example, when hiring a new team member, managers typically had to work individually with multiple providers to make them ready for their first day: HR, benefits, payroll, IT, facilities, and building security, for example. This fragmentation led to frustration, delays, and a poor welcome for the new hires, who often found the company unprepared for their first day.

The Solution: Implementing the Service Portal

Recognizing these challenges, the company decided to implement a comprehensive self-service portal. The goal was to create a one-stop solution for all employee needs, accessible through a single, user-friendly platform. Although some had back-end ticketing systems, all corporate providers would be part of the solution, offering their services in this single-pane-of-glass approach. Third-party providers used for services like benefits and retirement plans would also be integrated via links to their systems for everyday self-service activities.

Key Features of the Service Portal

The company adopted its service portal to help employees navigate daily needs while scaling providers’ support. Automation and providing a true self-service experience were key goals. Their focus was on offering the following features:

Centralized Request Management: All requests and access to services were offered, covering the entire enterprise provided in a single location. The portal also included links to third-party service providers and applications.

Self-Service Options: The portal included an extensive knowledge base and self-service options, allowing employees to find solutions to common problems without needing to raise a ticket and gain access to automated services addressing their most common needs. Software requests, employee verification letters, and immediate security badge replacements are examples of some of the self-service options the portal provided.

Mobile Accessibility: Understanding the need for on-the-go access, the portal was made available on mobile devices, enabling employees to submit requests and receive updates anytime, anywhere.

Personalization and AI Integration: The portal used AI to learn from user behavior, offering personalized suggestions and automating routine tasks. AI also enabled the organization to add a “help” button that captured information from error logs and applications used to submit a ticket with everyday troubleshooting needs. This feature significantly lowered the time to resolve issues by allowing technicians to fix problems remotely and in the background, improving the employee experience.

Chat support integrated with AI: Chatbot support was via the portal and the organization’s IM platform. The chatbot used knowledge and AI to find answers to common problems and provide them to the employee. Transfer to a more “experienced agent” was used if it could not find a solution. A ticket was logged for every chat session, even if successful, for measurement purposes, allowing self-service solutions to be measured.

The Impact: Improved Employee Experience

With easy access to information and resources, employees could focus more on their core job functions, leading to a noticeable increase in productivity.

The user-friendly interface and the ability to quickly resolve issues through the portal enhanced employee satisfaction and contributed to a more positive work environment.

True self-service led to a better employee experience for the end-users and providers.

By reducing the time spent on managing and resolving employee requests using automation and modern technology approaches, the company also saw a significant reduction in operational costs. This came from automating common requests and using AI to support standard user issues and reduce the time needed to resolve problems.

They also used data provided by the portal for insights into everyday issues and employee needs, enabling the company to make informed decisions to improve the employee experience further.

Implementing the service portal in this company is a testament to how technology can positively impact employee experience.

It streamlined processes, improved efficiency, and enhanced employee satisfaction. It lowered provider operating costs. This success story serves as an inspiration for other organizations looking to improve their employee experience. In an era where employee well-being is directly linked to organizational success, investing in such technologies is not just beneficial; it's essential.

How Can You Design a Portal Your Employees Love?

This success story is not typical. Many organizations invest in new technology but fall flat when designing the final product or engaging with providers outside of IT. This is why the new 3-day certification course Innovating the Service Portal was created.

Innovating the Service Portal helps organizations transform their online portal experiences from a provider-centric approach to a customer-centric service portal. This course is a deep dive into the art of designing an effective service portal and request catalog, emphasizing enhancing the user experience.

Participants in Innovating the Service portal will learn how to:

· Deliver support centered around a modern service portal

· Define services and service offerings

· Drive great experience using digital design techniques

· Improve adoption to ensure program success

The course also delivers value to the business through:

· Improved employee experience and satisfaction

· Enterprise tool consolidation and savings

· Improved security using digital processes

· Scaled support via automation

Innovating the Service Portal is a 3-day instructor-led or virtual instructor-led program. It can be customized to be delivered internally, using the company as the case study and leaving the participants with a quick-start program for their portal initiative. Each student is offered a module exam at the end of the course, earning a certificate of completion upon passing.

A one-day workshop version of Innovating the Service Portal was offered recently. Here’s what participants had to say about it:

The class was great. I wish I could have brought our whole team and execs! I got more out of it than expected. Immediately, I will engage with the C-level to gain better sponsorship to implement more automation and standardization.

My organization is at the front end of developing our service portal. The workshop provided valuable methods fully focusing on the “customer experience” - know the personas!

The workshop was great and extremely valuable, providing me with the information I need now. We currently have an IT service catalog, but user feedback is not very positive. We are now starting to work on our 2.0

The workshop gave inspiration of options to better integrate with other portals and systems - hyperlinking to resources. I also appreciated the examples of service portals to consider what options could be present not just accepting what we do because it is a legacy process. My main takeaway is the shift in perspective and outline in the learning out of the process so I can bring that to discussions and lead the team's direction.

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