How to measure the performance of your self-service portal
When implementing or improving a self-service portal, whilst it might go without saying that you want to improve the overall experience for tenants while gaining cost efficiencies, you’ll need to break how you measure this down into different elements. While there’s no single right or wrong way to audit your portal’s performance, getting some consensus is essential in order to set yourself some targets and ensure that uptake is heading in the right direction.
Ideally, you’ve chosen a portal that can track the total number of times a self-service process has been attempted/completed, making sure that this also includes a breakdown device usage. If your current platform allows you to track to this level, you’re in a good place to be able to gather as much data as you need, and you may even have reporting ‘baked in.’ If not, you can still assess how the portal is performing with a little legwork.
Ask the right questions
In the simplest possible terms, the process of measuring your self-service portal performance will involve answering some key questions:
- How many tenants are registered on our self-service portal?
- How engaged are those tenants with the portal and how successfully are they self-serving? Regardless of how busy our portal may look, what proportion of users are actually reaching their completion goal?
- What’s the net benefit to our organisation? How much resource have we freed up and what’s our ROI?
Decide on the metrics you want to track
To assess how many tenants are self-serving, and the impact this is having on your organisation, start by looking not only at portal sign ups, but standard website metrics such as unique visitors, pageviews and visits, which will give you some basic figures. Beyond that, there’s a range of options available to audit your portal that will give you a much more detailed picture, much of which involves single-source analysis.
Abandon rate – how many tenants start but fail to complete goals within the portal?
Deflection rate – asses the ratio of incoming interactions on the portal against the total number of self-service visits and the success rates of contact centre customer service. A low deflection rate indicates that service isn’t working as it should.
Customer effort – how hard is it for tenants to find what they need? Are they repeatedly visiting the portal and calling/emailing/using live chat/visiting your office? If tenants are repeatedly asking for additional help in spite of a willingness to visit your portal, it isn’t doing its job.
Escalation rate – use cross-application reporting to see how many users are having customer service interactions within, say, 24 hours after using the portal, either by email, phone or in person. You can detail preferred escalation paths and examine whether these have a natural flow and are being followed.
Recontact rate – while you’ll expect repeat visits to certain areas of your site such as rent payments on a regular basis, very frequent repeat visits to the same tasks may mean that it’s proving difficult to self-serve.
Self-service score (SSS) – for you, the easiest formula to calculate an SSS may be to divide the number of unique users that are interacting on the portal within a given period by the total number of tenants who escalate. This will give you a simple ratio as a benchmark from which to improve.
Measure satisfaction – within your portal, give your tenants a prompt, for example: “Have you completed the task you wanted to do?” Short customer surveys can help you to glean further information about satisfaction levels from a user perspective.
Return on investment (ROI) – >Nothing says success like resources saved, which you can redeploy to more complex needs. As reduced tenant contact will be the main source of cost efficiencies, the ultimate sense check is: have live contacts from tenants declined overall?/p>
As a simple ROI measurement, you can calculate the estimated gross monthly savings by multiplying the number of customer interactions you’ve deflected (you can use a comparable previous period as a yardstick if you can’t get a more granular view) by the average saving for each. Use accepted channel shift figures as your average savings if you aren’t able to work out your own. While this may be a relatively ‘finger in the wind’ measurement, depending on how detailed your reporting is, it will give you an estimate of your monthly savings that can then be matched to the upfront and ongoing costs of self-service.
Measuring the performance of your portal should become a regular feature of your reporting as an organisation. If you’d like to get a quick overview of how different portals deliver on reporting capability, why not download our Self-Service Portal Comparison Chart?