Enhance your customer relationships by providing a customer portal that offers fast, secure access to projects, calendars and the ability to self-serve. Today’s technologies have increased companies’ ability to collaborate – the customer portal is a perfect example of this. They are increasingly popular within companies working with multiple clients thanks to their ability to provide completely secure 24/7 access to collaborative tools using just an internet connection.
What is a customer portal?
A customer portal is a private online channel through which you can provide support and information to your customers. You may also have heard it called an extranet – where information is shared securely with named external parties, or an intranet – where information is shared internally with employees.
Customer portals allow you to interact and collaborate with your internal or external clients and share information such as data records, schedules and documents. You can also use a portal to allow your customers to view, download and upload private information such as invoices and much more.
Customer portals are simple to access, but secure. All you need is an internet connection and a web browser.
What are the benefits of a customer portal?
Customer portals enable you to add value to your customers by providing them with a highly personalised, interactive service that’s accessible to them even when your business is closed.
They can get answers to their questions as well as have access to whatever information you want to share with them, including a range of self-service options so they can download policy information or complete transactions. The benefit for them is access to the information they need when they need it; the benefit for your business is reduced queries which frees-up your customer service and sales staff, as well as improved customer satisfaction which can help with customer retention.
When it comes to sharing information, customer portals trump email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). You won’t have the worry and costs that go hand in hand with supporting complex VPNs, but you and your customers will benefit from:
- the ability to securely exchange information, including financial information
- no file size limitations
- self-service access to a private repository
- the ability to upload and manage larger files
- version control functions
- a structured folder system (unlike FTP)
How we can help you
There is no right or wrong way to use a customer portal. Its uses will vary greatly depending on your industry, your organisation and what you’re trying to achieve.
Being browser-based, our customer portals work across any platform – from PC to Mac – and can include functionality that gives you the ability to:
- store, edit and share documents and files
- download or preview files or data records
- manage your key meetings and events via an events calendar
- assign tasks, set due dates and update your progress – useful for keeping projects on schedule
- send automatic email notifications when there are updates
- provide secure client messaging
- establish a searchable database of knowledge
As an example, we’ve created customer portals that:
- allow participants to enter diabetes meter readings online
- provide an area where customers can gain access to reports and manage participant information easily
- provide detailed management reporting, including all of a customer’s orders over a given period with a detailed breakdown of costs