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Supporting Self-Service Adoption with the Right ITSM Tool

Self-service can relieve the pressure on your busy IT help desk. Use these tips to find the right ITSM tool and build your portal and knowledge base.

When it comes to lowering ticket and call volumes, there’s nothing more effective than self-service. If you can direct customers or employees to an easy-to-use, searchable self-service portal to solve issues, you’ll likely see a reduction in both tickets and calls/emails coming into your IT help desk.

But for self-service to be successful, you need the right IT Service Management platform and an accurate, user-friendly knowledge base.

Tips for Creating a Knowledge Base

Creating a knowledge base doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few tips for creating an accurate and easy-to-navigate knowledge base:

  1. Make sure your knowledge base is up to date.
  2. Use clear and concise titles for articles.
  3. Organize articles into logical categories.
  4. Write informative articles that include all the necessary information.
  5. Use images and videos to help illustrate points.
  6. Allow customers to contribute to the knowledge base by submitting feedback and ratings on articles.

B&I Contractors, a mechanical systems contracting service company based in Florida, recently switched to TeamDynamix ITSM, in part, to better facilitate self-service. And since the switch, they’ve had great success with self-service adoption.

“One of the big things we were looking for is how can we have our users help themselves,” said Jay Reymond, Senior Engineer in IT.

They recently had an instance where having a knowledge base worked out wonderfully: “We have a vendor who told us that they were going to do an update and needed every user to create a new login using SSO,” Reymond said. “This is a 20-step process, and we had 280 users that needed to do this. Instead of sending out instructions in an email that would likely be ignored, I created a knowledge base article with step-by-step instructions with screenshots and sent the link to that article to all of the managers explaining they needed to have their users do this. Within a very short amount of time, most of them completed this task. Being able to make it nice and pretty on the knowledge base with everything just one click away made all the difference.”

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Credit: Pixabay

Improving Your Portal with Knowledge-Centered Service

Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) is a great way to improve the efficiency and accuracy of your knowledge base and, in turn, provide a better self-service experience.

KCS is a methodology that focuses on creating and maintaining an accurate knowledge base so that customers can help themselves. By adopting KCS, you can not only improve customer satisfaction but dramatically reduce the per-incident cost incurred by IT and reduce the volume of issues and requests coming to the help desk.

Self-Service Best Practices

For self-service adoption to work, it must do the following:

  • Provide the ability to publicly access answers and services through customizable views.
  • Be easy to use so you can reduce call volumes while giving your customers the resolution they need.
  • Respond to multiple devices and support those with disabilities.
  • Be easy to set up and configure.

Ideally, your ITSM software should offer an out-of-the-box self-service portal with a knowledge base (KB) that’s easily configurable and can be personalized with your organization’s branding WITHOUT any coding or scripting. In addition, the portal should be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and fully accessible.

Here are three questions you can ask about portal and KB capabilities when evaluating ITSM vendors:

  1. Can I create a portal with my own branding? The portal should allow for branding and design without requiring HTML or technical resources to code the content.
  2. Does it integrate with your knowledge base and offer automation? A good self-service portal connects to your knowledge base with the ability to search across articles using natural language and tagging.
  3. Can you manage the knowledge base content easily? You should have the ability to manage publication dates and evaluate usage. The knowledge base also needs to accommodate a feedback loop, taking comments or even net new content, and pushing that through an iterative review process (the KCS method).
For more reading visit the TeamDynamix Resource Hub.


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Andrew Graf is the Chief Product Officer for TeamDynamix. His passion lies in helping organizations thrive in an ever-changing environment. As a co-founder of TeamDynamix, Andrew is well versed in the common issues facing leaders in Mid-Large Enterprise, Healthcare, Education, and Government – as tech spend rises and needs for increased IT Maturity rise, he is able to help map out a way forward. Andrew believes that success comes when customers, team members, and the company are all aligned. In his role, he uses his insights to focus on customer lifecycle strategy; building a strategic product vision that will ensure customer success in both the short and long term. Andrew heads up the Advisory Boards, CIO Council, and Focus Group Program. He also works closely with partners for strengthened integration and cooperative vision.

Andrew was previously a technology and business process consultant with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting serving mid-market and Fortune 500 clients. He sits on the Ready Education board and was on the Edusourced boards. Andrew graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Management Information Systems with a specialization in French from Ohio University.



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