In today’s modern world it is imperative that companies and their customers can seamlessly come together. With a plethora of technology available, customers expect 24/7 support and information in an easy to access way. Self-service is quickly becoming the only way customers want to interact with a company. This is where customer portal software comes in to its own. You may have heard it referred to as an extranet, but customer portals are essentially private online channels where businesses can provide customers with what they want, whether that is support at the touch of a button, or frequently asked questions.
Whether these customers are internal or external, all that is needed is a web browser and an internet connection. Customer portals are secure, despite their simple usability, and can be accessed via a mobile app or logged in to via a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
If you are still keeping customers on hold in phone ques or leave them waiting hours for an email response, you should look into customer portal software. We are all consumers and we usually contact companies in regards to invoices, order status, delivery status, complaints, or queries. Having staff manning the phones to deal with these calls not only wastes company productivity but the time of the customer too. Implementing a customer portal where your clients can have secure access to anything they could possible want to get their hands on means your staff’s time can be better spent and customers won’t be left exasperate by lengthy phone or email wait times.
As outlined above, customer portals allow customers easy access to a variety of different information. However, the ability for self-service access 24/7 means that customers have the freedom to edit their own details whenever they wish. Having to call or email to chance your address, telephone number, or payment method can be a laborious task. Furthermore, many companies are only contactable during working hours, when the vast majority of the population are at work. Therefore, customer portals are a convenient self-service option that gives clients the tools to edit and access their own information or complete common tasks.
Each individual interaction with a customer or client can make or break the relationship. Loyalty is earnt and you are more likely to keep and gain customers if you make information and documents easily accessible. Customer portals can contain everything from company policies and FAQ’s, to educational or marketing materials. Individuals often view company portals as the one trustworthy place to communicate and garner information and resources about a business. If you fill your portal with everything a customer could possibly ever want, without the need for contacting you, are more likely retain their custom.
Customers like to feel special and customer portals mean that promotions and marketing can be tailored to the individual. Companies are constantly monitoring a customer through their saved wish lists, communication preferences, and response to email marketing campaigns. Analysis of this nature can help guide the production of exclusive content and promotion targeted to the individual’s likes and desires.
Customers that are part of a portal are often given incentives for signing up. Many e-commerce brands give a percentage discount on an initial purchase and discounts throughout the year or early access to sales.
Many companies will already have an extensive ERP system already in place. Transforming this into a customer portal is the perfect way to grow your business, improve staff productivity, retain customers, and improve their overall experience. Having a customer portal is a necessity for most businesses and many customers now expect it as a given feature.