8 Things a Client Portal Must Have

Customer relationships can be difficult to manage without the right software and automation tools. You need to manage contacts, provide customer service, perform sales force automation, and track marketing campaigns. But it’s still a challenge for customers to interact with businesses quickly and get their pressing issues resolved in real-time.  

Photo by Florian Krumm on Unsplash

A perfect solution is for companies to integrate a customer portal for easy communication, access to information, and data collection. This helps to engage customers and boost satisfaction in order to improve customer retention rate. In this article, we’ll like to discuss the features and benefits of developing and integrating a client portal in your business.  

What is a client portal? 


A client portal is a personalized platform where customers can login to their account and perform certain actions. This may include sending and checking the status of support requests, viewing and changing user account information, reading help center articles, and contributing to the forum.  


It helps to combine all self-service functions in one place and allow the customer to complete tasks by themselves. They wouldn’t have to submit requests to get information or fix simple issues. With a client portal, you can reduce the number of support tickets being handled by agents.  

The features of a client portal 


Software and automation tools help companies to improve internal processes and serve customers better. Schools, healthcare providers, law firms, financial institutions, small businesses, etc can use a client portal to deliver services.  

Below are some features that are needed in a client portal. 


  1. User-friendly.  


Many companies have digital products, knowledge base, and customer service channels in separate places. It’s not exactly convenient for customers to find such links on their own. You can enhance the experience by adding them to a single platform such as a client portal for easy access.  


A good client portal should be well-organized and include the functions that your customers need. But you need to choose a client portal software with clear navigation and good UX design. This allows customers to easily find what they are looking for and also enjoy being on the platform.  



  1. Security.  


Data security needs to be a top priority when creating a client portal for your business. When users submit their personal information, they trust that it would be safe and secure to do so. So companies are required to ensure that their client portal software has strong security protocols.  


Since customer portals are personal, they often display personal identifiable information (PII) that can be used to identify, contact, and trace each individual. Other sensitive data such as financial information can also be leaked. You need to ensure that unauthorized users can’t gain access.  



  1. Self-service features  


According to the stats, 67% of customers would rather use a self-service option than speak with a support agent. This is because self-service allows customers to find answers and resolve their issues almost immediately. All you have to do is equip them with resources that explain the steps. 


Self-service support tools often include an FAQ page, AI chatbot, knowledge base, and public community forum. A client portal should enable customers to update their personal details, read useful information, view and pay accounts, and change subscriptions without any issues.  



  1. Customisation and brand integration  


Every business needs to keep their branding consistent across all customer contact points. You have to select the exact colors, logos, and voice that should be associated with your brand. Then, you’ll make sure to consider them and design the portal in a way that suits your brand image.  


Whether you’re building from scratch or using third-party client portal software, you should make sure that the portal looks unique and professional. The client portal needs to be customized to match industry expectations and also come off as visually appealing to your customer base.  



  1. Integrations and automation.  


Since many companies use online applications to manage  functions, it’s a good idea to integrate them with your client portal. This may include your CRM, accounting, helpdesk, live chat, social media, etc. Such integrations allow you to retrieve data from other platforms directly on the portal. 


For example, by integrating the client portal with your accounting system, payments can automatically reflect in the client’s account and notifications on arrears can be communicated to clients. It also allows customers to edit or update their personal information (profile and payment). 



  1. Customer support ticketing system.  


Your clients should be able to submit and track support requests on the customer portal. A ticketing system turns customer requests into tickets, tags and categorizes them, and then routes to the most appropriate agent. 


A client portal should include an omnichannel ticketing system so customers can check the status of their tickets. They can continue conversations from other channels and also return to check or reference past support interactions.   



  1. Scalability  


When integrating a SaaS software solution, you should pay close attention to how scalable the platform can be. A client portal should be able to serve multiple users and a couple of support agents without any performance issues.  


If you’re a small or medium-sized business, you can start with a package that suits your needs right now. But you should make sure that the client portal has the capacity to support large teams and a growing customer base.  


  1. Analytics and reporting capabilities  


Every business needs to collect and analyze interactions with their customers. You need to know what customers are interested in and how they feel about your business. A  client portal should also allow you to export customer data.   


A client portal software should have an in-built reporting and analytics feature to help you analyze data and gain insights from client behavior. This allows you to identify areas of improvement and also improve your business.  

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