Who doesn’t want to get the work done in a way that reduces the time spent? Nobody, right? That’s why, business world is going through a digitalization process today. Every company is craving for methods that would maximize the “work environment efficiency”. One method which we will cover today is basically the client portal. The topics that we will go through are
- What is a client portal?
- Why is building a PISA client portal important?
- Benefits of building a portal for customers
- How to create your own client portal?
- Here is a quick review
In this definitive guide, we will start with the definition of the client portal while giving some examples. Then, we will move on to the importance of creating a practical, interactive, secure and accessible(PISA) client portal. After that, we will talk about how you may create your own portal. That's it! Our journey ends with a quick review. Now that you know the roadmap, let’s get on with it.
What is a Client Portal?
A client portal is basically a sharing mechanism between a company and its customers. To better illustrate, it is a collection of information that is accessible by customers through digital getaways. The company offers its clients a secure point where they may login to access, view and download private information.
Some examples would clear the subject better i believe. Think about the online platforms of banks that we use to check our balances or debts. These are the perfect examples for client portals that we use in our daily life. We log in securely to these platforms and we may obtain the necessary information just by a click. Another great example might be Bosch Home’s online customer portal. It handles returns, process warranties, provides self service chat functionality and hosts installation videos which help the customers even further.
In a digital world, where obtaining data is much easier compared to the past, client portals are gaining more popularity to secure information and make it accessible by the users when they need it. The main criteria that a client portal should have, basically follow the PISA rule.
Why is Building a PISA Client Portal Important?
Practicality is the first issue to work on when creating a portal for the clients. It should be easy to comprehend and user friendly so that the customers are not having a hard time figuring out how to find information when looking for it. It should offer the customers an interface that allows them to access the information that they are looking for, and download it in a straightforward way.
Most of the digital marketing teams today are working on the user friendliness of systems that are used by customers. This is the main issue that enhances a product to gain popularity among customers and leads to increase in the market share.
An interactive client portal might also keep the company in the process while offering customers a gate to the information. Wouldn’t you want to be informed for what information are the customers looking for? That might help you to know your customer better and offer them solutions when they need it. You know those help robots that are appearing right on the screen when you do not do anything for sometime right? These are signs of an interactive system, the system understands that you need help since you did not do anything for sometime by an algorithm and tries to help you. That’s why having an interactive portal might be useful for your customers.
Security is the most important point when creating an access point for the customers. The information shared by the customers is usually highly confidential for the third parties so it should stay between the clients and the company. Creating a secure entry point for them would be the main criteria that you should work on when data privacy is getting more and more substantial.
You remember the data scandal of Facebook, right? Now, think about Facebook as a client portal that the users are logging in. The timelines might be thought like private information about a customer. The data should be kept as private information between the company and the customers. However, this was not the case when it came to Facebook. That’s why the security of the data is really substantial and a hot topic in the business nowadays.
Lastly, the portal for your customers should be accessible by them wherever and whenever they want. So, it should be offering services 7/24 and it should be available in any area by the customers to obtain the maximum customer satisfaction. You should be offering them the information they are looking for at the point of interest.
I’m sure that you also lived that moment when you tried to log into an app but got a service error while you had something urgent to do. You remember the feeling right? That’s why being accessible all the time and everywhere is really important, since in this fast paced environment, having a bad image in customers’ mind is a really unwanted case.
Alright, these are the main issues that you should take into account to create your portal. However, what should be your driving factor to create a client portal. In other words, what will you gain after you build your portal?
Benefits of Building a Portal for Customers
For starters, now you have a secure entry point for your customers to obtain information about themselves. This would help you to decrease your effort for the company’s CRM activities because now you are offering your customer to obtain the service that they need by themselves. In other words, you are offering “self-service”.
You will save more time
CRM activities are usually really time consuming. Let’s consider the example of a bank. Customers will be always looking for information about their savings, debts, etc. right? That’s why, the digitalisation process of banks was one of the prominent ones in the market. Without an online platform, the clients would be looking for solutions through either the banks or mobile channels which is really time consuming for a company. Building an online platform may help you to channel those needs of customers to an online channel. While the customers are accessing to the information that they need on a digital platform 24/7, you may just save your time.
You will save more money
This is not a very different topic than time actually. The more time you save, the more money you save. Let’s continue with the same example of a bank. In order to meet the desires of your customer, if you do not have a digital channel, you would either need to create a mobile team that can answer their questions or you would need more banks or ATMs, right? Well, now with the help of the digital channel, you may reduce these costs while providing an efficient service. The customer may just find out the data that they are looking for by a self-service method which is namely client portals.
You will increase customer satisfaction
The customers want to access the information they want at anytime and anywhere, right? Now the customers are happier by obtaining the information even outside the working hours and just by a click on their web browser or their mobile phone. Another advantage of the digital system is that now there is no waiting time for the customer, the service is instantenous just by a click. That’s where the process of digitalisation is going, and that is why the client portals are so important for the success of a company.
Well, you know what the client is looking for when it comes to creating a client portal and what are the benefits that you are gaining, but how to create it, is another issue.
How to Create Your Own Client Portal?
Alright, you are ready to create great user friendly portals for your customers that will allow them to access whenever and wherever they want in a secure way.When it comes to creating the portal, there are several ways. The most common ones that are used in the business are as follows:
- Use white label client portals
- Create your client portal using WordPress
- Use google drive as a client portal
1.White label client portal
White labeling is basically providing a service through a third company which is commonly used in the business world. This portal will be labeled just as if it is yours when in reality the provider is another company.
White label client portal is basically a software that allows your company a professional interface where you may offer the information that your customer needs using the portal that another company provides. This is the most common solution for small and medium enterprises. Now another company provides you the professional interface that you need while your customer’s confidential information is still secure with the 3rd party.
2.Wordpress client portal
WordPress also offers client portal plugins that would help you to manage your customers. You may add them to your existing site to offer your customers an interface that would help them to get the required information simply by logging into their accounts. After the login, they may view, and download the necessary information. Let’s consider that you are an eCommerce company that wants to provide customers services such as portals to manage their billing and shipping profiles, process their returns or track their shipments. Then, a wordpress client portal would be really beneficial for you. Or another example might be membership sites where users may easily manage their profiles, change details like membership plans and subscribe to new services on their own.
3.Google drive client portal
The last option you have is using google drive plugins to create your portal. Google Drive also provides you the opportunity to offer your customer basic needs. However, this option has some drawbacks. First of all, your customers will need a Google account that is associated with their workplace email, which is not the case always. Another drawback is, a branded client portal experience isn't available in Google Drive natively. Instead, your clients will be sent to a generic folder or file. So, basically google drive acts as a cloud rather than a user-friendly portal in this case. Therefore, it actually eliminates our PISA rule when it comes to practicality. That’s why it is not a common way to offer customers a portal.
Here is a Quick Review
A client portal is basically a sharing mechanism between a company and its customers. The portal you are offering should be practical in terms of customer interface, interactive so that you are keeping up with the customer, secured cause your customer’s private information should be safe in your hands and accessible by the customers wherever and whenever they want in order to maximize the usability of the system. The client portal will help you save money and time while increasing the satisfaction of your customer. To have these benefits, you may create your portal using WordPress, google drive, or you may ask a company to build it for you,a.k.a. white label client portal.
Well, that was it. Now you are ready to go on and build your own client portal in an efficient way. You know what is it, what are the customer expectations from a portal, and how to build a client portal. The only thing that is left is an idea to build the client portal around which is up to you. Good luck!