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How to thoroughly promote your new self service portal

If you’re looking to your new self-service to help reduce the strain on the service desk and improve customer experience you need to ensure that your customers actually use it. 

If you’re wondering; how do I get my customers to use self-service? The answer is consistent communication. A great way to communicate a new self-service launch is by communicating in phases.

 

The Before Phase  

To purpose of this phase is to build suspense and excitement leading up to your go-live.

During this phase you need to think about the different personalities of the people you support and how you can best target them in order to effectively communicate what’s happening and what they’ve got to look forward to.  

It’s imperative that you make it clear what’s in it for them and why they should use self-service during this phase. If people don’t see any value in it for themselves, they won’t rush to use self-service and they won’t help generate excitement leading up to go-live.   

When you have finalised your release date or go-live, it is time to get creative and try some of the following activities to promote your self-service portal  

  • Give your self-service portal its own “branding” and maybe a logo

  • Make sure it has an easy to remember, snappy, URL

  • Design posters aimed to build suspense and put them up around the entire site “SELF-SERVICE IS COMING XX/XX/XX”

  • Send regular emails to build suspense and communicate why people should use self-service

  • Utilise free space on email signatures to promote the upcoming self-service portal 

  • Run drop-in sessions. Invite people to come and learn more about what’s going to be happening - better still go to them: Run a roadshow (Below)

  • Run a roadshow and go to busy areas around your office, like a staff canteen and set up temporary pop up stands to engage with people and talk about the project

  • Hold focus groups and help create your self-service champions 

  • Use handouts and social media to reach people both online and offline 

 

The Go-Live Phase  

The purpose of this phase is to generate excitement on the day of self-service launch.

Have a party and invite the business to join in on the celebrations and provide a relaxed environment to learn more about the self-service portal.

  • Get a cake, after all this is an occasion

  • Host a party and invite people to join in with the fun

  • Have a prize draw incentivising your customers to use the new portal

  • Give out branded merchandise to celebrate - mouse mats, coasters, pens – use your imagination

  • Encourage your software supplier to get involved - If not involved already

  • Update email signatures to communicate the launch

  • Send out emails and let people know what’s happened

  • Go crazy on social media and make a fuss - don’t forget to take photos

 

The After Phase  

The purpose of this phase is to receive feedback, publish results and continue communication.

  • Publish early results to show the impact that self-service is having. Not forgetting all those “quick wins” you promised to the business

  • Get customer feedback and use your focus groups to drive continual improvement

  • Ask for testimonials from early adopters and communicate social proof to the business

  • Consider your monthly breakdown reporting, and how you’ll demonstrate return on investment

  • Continue to communicate to ensure user adoption continues to grow and people stay motivated

 

Stick with it and with some hard work you will be able to embed your self-service portal into the culture of your organisation – whilst enhancing the customer experience as well at the IT “brand” within your business. 

 

By Paul Smith, Service Management Consultant, Marval

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