Best Practices for Self

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2003-04-21 Print this article Print

-Service Support"> Best Practices for Self-Service Support

  • Keep content fresh and up-to-date
    Customers shouldnt find outdated solutions when they look for help.

  • Configure your Web site so customers can easily find the self-service option
    Dont bury it in a "contact us" page or even just on the support page. Put links to it anywhere that customers might look for information.

  • Track both customers and employees use of the system
    Its important to know how customers are using the self-service options. (Do they mostly search? Do they browse?) Its also important to know which support personnel are adding to the knowledge base and answering questions.

  • Whenever possible, keep content in HTML
    Sometimes content will need to stay in its native format (streaming media, presentation, PDF), but, whenever appropriate, it should be in HTML to make it as accessible as possible.

  • Make sure customers can easily escalate from self-service to real support
    For many customers, self-service wont always work. Make it simple for them to have options such as mailing questions or real-time access to a support person.

    Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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