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25 November 2014

Self-Service: guidance for successful implementation

People are broadly used to Self-Service concepts in their daily life. Checking in for a flight, booking a hotel, or simply ordering a meal online from your favourite restaurant. Many business support departments, such as FM, IT and HR have adopted the Employee-Self-Service concept to enable employees to access support services, facilities and information easily and efficiently via the web or mobile apps. To exploit the full business value, any IWMS implementation that includes Self-Service software needs to comply with five starting points.

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1.    Keep it easy

Employees don’t speak the language of any back office specialist nor do they need to understand the complexity behind their requests. Employees need a simple tool that is easy to access and that includes only relevant information. Single-sign-on technology makes the accessibility of Self-Service easy; CAFM tools allow dynamic and role based user interaction, and smart Self-Service apps offer great user experience on mobile devices.
By combining multiple disciplines in one integrated Employee-Self-Service portal, you can offer a single-point-of-contact for support or service requests. This makes life easier for employees and customers, reduces the number of portals and software solutions, and enables for an efficient and effective follow up.

2.    Make IT attractive

Give employees a reason to visit and use your Self-Service portal or mobile apps by ensuring they experience their personal benefits from it. How? By offering content and information that is relevant. Relevancy can be based on previous behaviour such as requested services, or demographics including gender or job function. Once an employee has booked the same meeting room several times, it should appear on top of the selection list in the next booking request. If managers tend to ask frequently where the HR performance guidelines are stored, any manager that enters the Self-Service portal should see this question on top of their FAQs list. Delivering relevant content implies that CAFM software includes the possibility to configure specific rulings and intelligence.  

3.    Ensure follow up

To make Self-Service valuable for both employees and business, a successful implementation includes a full connection with back office processes to ensure an in-time follow up and delivery of any service request. By integrating these processes in one CAFM solution you can monitor service levels, identify potential escalations, and improve the communication with all stakeholders involved. Employees can use Self-Service to simply query the actual status of their request, check planned delivery dates, or view the planned work. Even after closing a request, integrated Self-Service allows you to validate the perceived quality of services with automated surveys and feedback forms.  

4.    Market and spread the word

If people don’t know your Self-Service solution exists, they’ll never use it.. Explain the benefits for employees in a well thought marketing campaign and repeat the message across internal newsletters, social media, intranet, or poster campaigns. Communicate how easily you employees can access Self-Service and ask them for feedback and ideas.

5.    Balance your channels

Employee-Self-Service is a proven concept in Facility Management, IT Service Management and Human Resource Management that improves service accessibility and increases efficiency in processing and delivery. Does this make Self-Service the Holy Grail for customer service? No. Self-Service works well for standardised and relatively simple service requests but due to its nature and design, Self-Service is not suitable for complex or special requests. That’s why Self-Service will never completely replace your physical Service Desk for employees and customers. Finding the balance between business support, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs, is also about balancing digital employee communication with personal and face-to-face interaction. 

Jos Knops
Director Global Product Marketing