24 June 2024

Get the most out of your self-service solution

Self-service portals can do more than just ease the workload for your customer service employees. Discover how they can act as an additional sales channel, deliver personalised advertising and strengthen loyalty programmes.


Kim Schultz


At a time when businesses are constantly looking for ways to optimise their service and increase customer satisfaction, self-service solutions have become a key element.

In a self-service portal, customers can find information and solve small problems themselves. A clear advantage of a self-service solution is that the work of developing it and its subsequent operation is largely independent of how many customers a company has. In other words, a customer service agent can service one customer at a time while a self-service solution can service millions of customers at the same time.

However, while self-service solutions are often seen as a means of meeting customer needs and easing the workload of customer service employees, a self-service portal offers a number of benefits that can benefit the company which you should also be aware of.

Here I will give my take on a few overlooked opportunities in a self-service solution.

An additional sales channel

An often overlooked potential of a self-service portal is to leverage it as a sales channel.

Self-service portals can be used proactively to promote additional products and optional services to existing customers, providing an opportunity to target the segment that has already proven that they have an interest in the company’s products. Therefore, there is a higher likelihood of making further purchases as they have already had a positive experience with the company.

For example, customers looking at previous orders can easily be given the opportunity to repeat the order or be presented with related products that they may not have previously considered. In subscription-based solutions, you can give customers the option to upgrade (or downgrade) their subscription so that it is more suitable for them. In this way, a self-service solution can not only increase the level of service and loyalty but add to the bottom line.

Personalised advertising

Through self-service portals, it is possible to collect valuable data about your customers.

By using these insights, you can then deliver relevant advertisements and special deals to customers who are logged in to the portal. For example, a customer who has purchased a subscription may receive advertisements for a new initiative and upgrades instead of advertisements for subscriptions.

Or if you can see from the purchase history that the customer has previously bought an iPhone, it would be relevant to advertise the latest model. It is also possible to send offers via email campaigns or notifications if you have developed an app – assuming of course that you have obtained the customer’s consent for this first.

Member-only special deals and loyalty programmes

Self-service portals are an obvious platform for promoting member-only special offers and loyalty programmes. By offering exclusive benefits and rewards, you can increase customer loyalty and incentivise repeat purchases.

A loyalty programme can also prove to be worth a lot of money. For example, American Airlines’ entire market cap was valued at around $6 billion in 2020, while its AAdvantage loyalty programme alone was valued at $31.5 billion. This means that the airline portion of American Airlines was worth minus $25.5 billion*.

This underlines the enormous potential value a successful loyalty programme can have. This is especially the case when developing a programme with bonus points, miles, or some other system entirely. It is like adding an extra currency to your business, but one you can sell, give out, and determine the value of it yourself. In Denmark, we also have several examples of large loyalty programmes such as Club Matas, COOP and IKEA Family, all of which have over 1 million members.

A competitive parameter

Companies that manage to implement efficient and user-friendly self-service solutions strengthen their position in the market. An intuitive and well-functioning self-service system can make a crucial difference in the competition for customers and especially for retaining customers.

In the digital world, competitors are never very far away, and it is often very easy to switch to a competitor. Therefore, by offering a fast and user-friendly experience, you differentiate yourself in a positive way and create a lasting impression with your customers.

Having a mobile and user-friendly online self-service solution also opens up the possibility of easily adding cross-platform app functionality via a PWA. It does not provide quite the same experience as a native app, but it can be launched and developed much faster.

You can read about it in my PWAs article here.

” In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away.”

Doug Warner, CEO J.P. Morgan & Co.

Ultimately, self-service portals are not just about offering customers a convenient way to get support. They represent a strategic opportunity to strengthen your business model, increase revenue and create a more satisfying customer experience.

By harnessing the full potential of self-service solutions, your business can position itself for success in an increasingly competitive market.

* https://www.forbes.com/advisor/credit-cards/travel-rewards/12-fascinating-facts-revealed-about-american-airlines-aadvantage-program/