IT folks are busy. Like, real busy. Stuff breaks, things get jammed, someone spills coffee on their laptop and expects the IT team to make it work again. In the middle of all of these issues, there are still the day-to-day tasks that come with managing hardware, software, people, networks, and whatever else happens to go wrong that day.

But, if there’s a shining light in the IT world that cuts those less-than-urgent tickets in half, it’s self-service. Self-service is a lifesaver, on both ends, because it helps your customers find what they’re looking for and it lets the IT team do what they do best: keep your business running smoothly.

Here are our seven tips for creating a killer culture of self-service, and keeping customers super happy.

Build a knowledge base

The number one thing about self-service is giving people the option to solve a problem themselves. 91% of users would rather read a quick how to or browse articles instead of sitting on hold or waiting for an email reply. Always remember: the bigger the library, the better.

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Continually improve said knowledge base

Now that you’ve built a library to refer to, it’s important to keep the information up to date. If an issue gets solved and helps a lot of people, that article needs to be front and center. What about those one in a million, random chance issues? Archive how they’re solved and someone will thank you later when those issues happen again.

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Offer updates

Instead of hoping people get the memo, send out an email when there’s an update. If you’re working on a mobile platform, this is especially important because everyone turns off push notifications. Keep the people informed and they won’t flood your team with tickets.

Offer more self-service opportunities

If an easy fix to a common problem exists, offer a quick FAQ instead of making users slog through endless articles and Google searches. Allow users to find common issues with little trouble. By doing this, your team can focus on the big stuff — not fixing the printer’s toner, again.

Keep it easy

Don’t make solving problems impossible. Keep your content easy to read and easier to solve. Your portal should be simple and effective. If it takes a masters degree to navigate, you’re doing it wrong.

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Trust user feedback

Allow customers to rate the level of helpfulness of your articles. If an article has a high success rate, self-servers will gravitate to it because they’ll see that others found that it worked. If an article gets the opposite rating, maybe it’s time to re-think the solution. Listen to the people.

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Strive for more

Just because your portal works right now doesn’t mean it’ll be as top notch in the future. The trick to self-service is keeping people engaged in solutions, but doing so without trouble. As your tech improves, so should your self-service. Strive for the best. Sweep the leg, Johnny.

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JIRA Service Desk helps IT teams solve problems and get stuff done. Working with some of the world’s biggest companies (over 10K of them) JIRA Service Desk helps teams achieve great things by keeping it simple and effective.

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