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3 Examples of Excellent Customer Self-Service Portals

5 minute read

January 27, 2021

A self-service customer portal serves as the entry point to your unique collection of customer self-service options, usually composed of a variety of different options. The best customer self-service portals are located on the organization's website itself, since many customers go to the website to find support options.

Additionally, by having the portal hosted on the website, customers can find it easily when searching Google for support, since it's an extension of the website. This means that the URL for the support portal will usually look something like: domain.com/support.

Making sure that your self-service portal can actually be found is a key part of the puzzle—that's why you want to ensure that your portal includes options that are searchable and SEO friendly

That being said, let's take a closer look at how others have crafted strong self-service portals so that you can leverage best practices and start to visualize which options you want to include in your digital strategy. 

The Big Book of SEO

1. Qualtrics

Qualtrics is an organization that does customer self-service extremely well. The Qualtrics self-service portal is shown in the image below, which emphasizes all the self-service options that customers have access to when looking for support. The online community forum is one of the first options that customers can choose from, but if they want documentation, they can select a specific topic. Each topic leads to a page with help documentation and manuals.

qualtrics self service portal

According to Emily Gottschalk, Senior Editor at Qualtrics, the help documentation makes up a huge portion of the self-support efforts at Qualtrics, but the community is truly the cornerstone of their support. This is because the community leverages peer-to-peer knowledge to deliver support to much more complicated issues than the help documentation can address.

Emily states, “We have over 600 support articles that cover a lot of the ‘how-to’s’ of the XM Platform, but due to the millions of ways someone can use the Qualtrics platform, there will always be long-tail use cases that are difficult to provide full coverage for in our documentation. The community is another channel that helps us directly leverage in-depth knowledge from experts in the community. ”

Qualtrics does a great job at offering self-service options before the choice of contacting support. For customers that still want to speak to an agent, the option is offered at the bottom of their self-service page. Additionally, Qualtrics also offers an option to submit a ticket if customers still can't find answers but don't want to speak with an agent. 

Ultimately, the Qualtrics customer self-service portal is made up of the following support solutions:

  • Online community forum

  • Help documentation

  • User manuals 

  • How-to videos

  • Ticketing service

  • Email and phone support

To learn more about the self-service at Qualtrics and their online community forum, be sure to check out this case study.

2. RapidMiner

RapidMiner is another organization that has done an excellent job at digitizing their customer support journey. The image below shows the RapidMiner self-service portal, which offers customers four options: chat support (for both enterprise and everyone else), community support and help documentation.

rapidminer self service portal

While RapidMiner offers an array of different self-service options, their online community forms a large and central part of their digital strategy. With over 40,000 community posts and half a million members, their peer-to-peer support strategy has proven to be very effective.

In fact, since they migrated to a Vanilla community, they have seen their self-service efforts skyrocket. Notable figures include:

  • 80% decrease in average time to solution

  • 10% increase in page views/ traffic

  • 73% decrease in average time to first response

  • 90% decrease in platform costs

Be sure to check out the RapidMiner case study to find out more about their self-service portal and their journey to deliver better support to their customers.

3. Quicken

Quicken is another organization that offers an excellent self-service portal, seen in the image below. Similar to Qualtrics, Quicken offers customers a selection of topics. Upon selecting a topic, customers are presented with an array of help documentation and guides.

quicken self service portal

Additionally, the Quicken self-service portal also includes an online community forum, which actually handles almost 50% of Quicken’s self-help traffic, and due to the peer-to-peer efforts in the community, it has an average of 80-90% 'helpful' rating.

Ultimately, the Quicken self-service portal includes many different options for their customers to choose from, including:

  • Online community forum

  • Help documentation

  • User manuals 

  • How-to videos

  • Online chat

  • Email and phone support

Be sure to check out the Quicken case study to learn more about their journey to deliver excellent customer self-service.

Concluding Thought

As you can see from the examples above, many successful self-service portals combine an online community, help documentation, online chat and ticketing services. 

But why is an online community a huge part of successful digital self-support strategies? Be sure to check out our eBook, Transforming the Digital Customer Support Journey to find out!

Transform Digital Customer Support Journey

Support Customer Service

Sarah Robinson-Yu

Written by Sarah Robinson-Yu

Sarah is the Content Marketing Specialist at Vanilla Forums. Prior to Vanilla, Sarah worked in the public sector where she led and coordinated the strategic framework and operational policy development of business processes.

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