Tips and Strategies for Self-Service

HDI Leadership Forums hold speed-circuit discussions to share ideas

One of the features of the HDI Leadership Forums is the “Speed Circuit” discussion. Each table at breakfast is marked with a topic, and there’s a facilitator/scribe at each. People start at one table, talk briefly about the topic, and then move to a different table, usually after five minutes. This gives each person at the table about 30 seconds to comment about the topic from their organization’s standpoint.

The speed circuit discussions have proven to be a great way to let people hear about what other organizations are doing or not doing and paves the way for further conversations among the attendees. Often, the conversations after breakfast start with, “I want to know more about” or “I like the way you are doing.”

At the recent Leadership Forums meetings in Denver, the general topic was self-service, with some aspect of that as a subtopic for each table. We shared tips and strategies for each self-service subtopic:

Company Strategy

  • Saving the users time is what we promote as part of our strategy.
  • Have focus groups to govern what is needed and goes into the portal.


  • Do not lose the customers interests; design something they want and need.
  • Write knowledge articles that are written for the customer, not technical.


  • User-facing knowledge.
  • Password reset.
  • User-submitted tickets.
  • Voice authenticated self-service.

Costs (implementation and ongoing)

  • All resources have a cost associated with them (training, tools, staff, marketing, etc.).
  • Implementation partner (consultant).
  • Keeping the documents up to date is an ongoing cost.

Staffing Impact

  • Have a dedicated resource to maintain self-service.
  • Knowledge changes so often, so it still takes staffing to run this new user base.
  • Need more dedicated resources up front to get everything up and running; shift in responsibility and focus.


  • Created videos on use of portal.
  • Use of portal is a part of new employee training.
  • Have existing staff mentor new staff.


  • Percent of customers/end users logging into self-service portal.
  • Channel deflection (decrease in call volume, handle time, and FCR).


  • Patience, not rushing it through. Proper planning. Phased approach. Not doing everything at once.
  • Getting people to use it and want to use it.


  • Changing passwords; getting multi-factor authentication.
  • Application deploymentclick to install.

Gamified knowledge base to help people find things.

What would you do differently?

  • Would provide better product catalogvisuals.
  • More teams involved before rolling out.
  • More user reviews with pilot.

The value to the participants was getting to hear about the entire realm of self-service, including lessons learned and challenges in addition to successes. This is a microcosm of the real value of the Forums program: getting to learn from peers in the same roles and/or the same industry verticals.

There is not only value to the attendees, though. Their organizations stand to benefit as well, through the sharing of knowledge and experience.

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