Client portals can give companies a significant competitive edge by saving money through reduced overheads and streamlined business processes. Client portals also allow for a greater two-way flow of information for businesses looking to create stronger relationships with their clients, customers or partners. In this article, we'll cover the top three reasons why your business needs to introduce a client portal.
What are client portals?
Client portals make it easier to forge personal relationships with customers.
Also sometimes known as extranets, client portals are intranets that are partially accessible to authorised users (such as your clients) outside of a business or organisation. With a client portal in place your clients, customers or partners can access information you make available without that information being publicly available on your website. This could include information specific to each user, such as our own Client Connect portal that allows each of our customers to access information about their account with O'Brien Media – transaction histories and helpdesk case information – or more general information such as marketing materials, product information or pricelists.
What are the benefits?
- A client portal reduces customer support costs. When your clients or customers can track information and get their questions answered in one online location, you’ll have fewer telephone calls and emails coming in. Many clients actually prefer self-service to phone conversations because they can find answers quickly without having to wait on hold to speak with someone. Your client portal can also be used by customers to provide you with updated contact details or to submit other information that can be fed directly into software already in use within your business.
- A client portal creates a central location for all the information and tools your customers might need. Instead of juggling multiple logins, a portal allows clients to consolidate their information. As a result, customers are more engaged and have an overall more positive experience when dealing with your business.
- Client portals make it easier to forge personal relationships with customers. If your company has a growing client base, it can be hard to manage and sustain client relationships so that clients always feel like you’re paying enough attention to their needs. By using a client portal, you’ll have a scalable solution for managing relationships with customers.
A client portal isn't just for big businesses it's also a wonderful tool for companies that conduct most or all of their business remotely. For example, remote landlords might benefit from working with a property management company to keep track of tenant information and payments, which can be done through a client portal. When you can’t be there in person to manage affairs, the client portal facilitates communication.
A final thought
According to Microsoft's 2016 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report, 90 percent of customers worldwide expect businesses to provide online customer self-service portals. This is especially true in the UK where 94% of respondents' to Microsoft's survey said self-service customer support is a high priority. Providing an online portal is an essential part of creating a satisfying support experience. After all, customers that don't have their basic expectations met are more likely to leave for a business that provides them, even if their business is not as good.
Find out more
Whether it's a bespoke client portal solution, or something based on a popular content management system like Drupal or WordPress, we can develop a cost effective client portal that works for you and your customers.
Get in touch to find out more about the options available when it comes to creating a custom client portal for your business.