Tuesday Jan 29, 2013

Five Best Practices for Self-Service Portals

Oracle

John Brunswick: Five Best Practices for Self-Service Portals

Self-service portals afford organizations an excellent way to reduce costs, increase the quality of customer service, and act as an ongoing touchpoint with customers. Delivering a compelling experience takes effort, but it supplies a powerful opportunity to turn your brand's customers into fans. Here are five best practices for self-service portals.

  • Catalog personas and processes. Self-service behavior is purposeful. Catalog types of customers and their objectives. Review current touchpoints via all channels and interview customer service and sales departments to better understand what works and what does not. This catalog can act as your design compass.
  • Architect user profiles. Personalized self-service requires an understanding of a user’s relationship with your organization, their demographic, and other profile information. Access to purchase history, social networking activities, and past self-service history can enable you to increase the relevancy of their experience based on their needs. Prioritize user attributes and plan to leverage this data.
  • Understand the lifecycle of relationships. Users’ views of information can shift based on their products, services, and the duration for which they have had or are using them. Take the opportunity to correlate value-added offerings given the lifecycle of those items.
  • Conduct behavioral analysis and testing. Authenticated users enable richer behavioral analysis than anonymous users. Review analytics on the basis of user segments and profile attributes. Enrich and refine the experience by leveraging A/B design testing strategies to allow personas to more easily meet their objectives.
  • Utilize social and community. Self-service portals supply an excellent way to offer value-added services related to your brand. Brainstorm about additional interactions within their experience, such as providing an online community or avenues for social interaction with your brand to drive affinity.

Check out this podcast in John's Best Practices series and learn more about self-service portals.

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Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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