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How to promote your Service Request portal

• 19 Aug 2019

So, you’ve done the hard work and built a comprehensive Service Request catalogue for your service delivery department, complete with a self-service portal to allow your users to log requests quickly and easily.

You’ve built it, but for some reason your users are not playing by uplifting Hollywood film rules and don’t come.

Seeing your shiny new self-service portal abandoned in favour of other, more labour-intensive, channels such as e-mails and phone calls can be disheartening.

A lack of self-service adoption can be attributed to many factors, for example:

  • It’s not user-friendly – users tend to follow the path of least resistance and if your self-service interface is considered ‘fiddly’, they will simply circumvent it
  • You’re not giving them what they want – is it possible that users simply cannot find what they are looking for and have to resort to other methods?
  • They don’t know what they can do there – ensure that your customers are clear on which services you offer via your self-service interface

Often, however, low traffic to your self-service channel is simply down to a failure of communication. Your users cannot use it if they are not aware of its existence!

Here’s how to spread the word and help your customers help themselves:

1. Marketing your Service Request catalogue

Think like a marketer and promote your catalogue through:

  • E-mails
  • Flyers and posters
  • Buttons and pop-ups on the company intranet
  • Links on agents’ e-mail signatures
  • Company productivity suites such as Slack
  • Hold messages and your Interactive Voice Response system
  • Newsletters showcasing your most requested services and how to order them
  • Good old-fashioned conversations with customers

If you can, get your marketing and design teams on board to help create attention-grabbing collateral.


2. Consider a ‘roadshow’

Even if your furthest customer is the team down the hall, you can still take the show to them.

Book some time with various departments within your organisation to show off how your service request portal works and how it can benefit them.

This approach can be particularly useful if you are partitioning your portal to accommodate different departments such as HR, Facilities, etc. You can show them services specific to their day-to-day activities, making it more likely that they will buy in to the system.


3. Elect a champion

There will always be some early adopters who take to the new system with aplomb. Identify these enthusiasts and recruit them as ambassadors to help spread the word and show their colleagues how easy and stress-free it is to log service requests through the portal.

Conversely, you can also identify repeat offenders and approach them (gently) to understand the source of their resistance.


4. Run a competition or incentive programme

Who doesn’t love free stuff? As part of your marketing and communications campaign, you can offer users who use the portal a chance to win a prize. Amazon vouchers work well or, depending on your budget, the latest tech gadget.


5. Don’t give them a choice

This isn’t quite as Draconian as it sounds. It’s not about forcing users, but rather gently nudging them towards the right channel. For example, if someone phones up the service desk for something they could have easily requested via your portal, say: “Of course I can help you with this, but it is so much easier to do it via the portal next time. Let me show you how…”


6. Reconsider your self-service SLAs

In order to drive the right behaviour, consider making it worth their while by committing to higher Service Level Agreements for items logged via the self-service portal.


7. Rinse and repeat

What isn’t reinforced tends to be forgotten. Regularly advertise your service request portal through your various marketing channels so it remains top of mind.


Struggling to track your self-service metrics?

Gartner’s 8 KPIs That Demonstrate How Self-Service Initiatives Advance Your IT Service Desk

Read the Report


Gartner, 8 KPIs That Demonstrate How Self-Service Initiatives Advance Your IT Service Desk, Chris Matchett, 6 March 2019