Ask KL: What is Self Service?

Regardless of what type of tool we're working on, chances are you need to teach people how to use it. Whether that's sales enablement tools like a playbook or marketing tools like a digital platform, there's always a case for self-service. Today, we all crave the simplest, low-touch experience possible. That's the beauty of the mobile age. But translating that into enablement isn't so easy.

So, how do we enable self service across the business? What does it really mean?


What Is Self Service?

I can't use these because I get so frustrated at them...

I can't use these because I get so frustrated at them...

“Self Service” enables others to access information or perform tasks without requiring
intervention from another individual or organizational unit. Usually, businesses implement self
service to drive down costs—think about the last time you called customer support for your
device of choice. It’s much more expensive for a human being to answer your call than a robot.

Today, however, we focus more on productivity. Just as before, this tends to save costs. The key difference? Emphasis on the end user. Empowering the business clears the path for getting the task completed, speeding time to market.

The greatest challenge when implementing self service lies in the delicate balance between
flexibility/functionality and ease of use. Can the service meet the needs of your audience without being frustrating or difficult? The more you try to do with a tool, the more complex it can become.

The right solution isn’t always a one-size-fits all. To do it right, you need to understand and
analyze both the skills, priorities, and requirements of your target audience and then add value. Conducting user experience tests is critical and often overlooked for internal tools.

I’m sure many of us have used self-service systems that make you want to tear your hair out.
They take too long, are too difficult to figure out, or you can’t perform the desired function
without an easy exit. It’s critical we analyze actual behavior and usage of the tool to ensure an
optimal experience and keep in mind the whole customer experience, internal and external.