What do modern customers expect from their digital experiences? Customers desire responsive, engaging and easy-to-use experiences across all touchpoints. Customer web portals are one way to create seamless and personalized experiences to ensure your organization meets these modern expectations.
Why Use a Customer Web Portal?
A customer web portal can meet the unique needs of your customers by delivering content, services and tools specific to each customer. Examples of common customer portals across industries include those that provide personalized online banking services for a retail banking customer, tools to monitor and control one’s water usage for a homeowner or customer onboarding help for a new software buyer. Creating a customer portal can require extensive resources but investing in great customer web portal software with the following elements can help you build an effective platform to serve your customers better:
1. High Availability and Scalability as the Business Expands
No matter what kind of business goals you have, any good portal software should have high availability and scalability. This ensures that the software is built at the architectural level to mitigate against disasters. Not only should the software be safe but also capable to handle a growing amount of work and expand if necessary as a business grows.
2. Robust Self-Service Capabilities
According to a recent study, 59% of consumers and 71% of business buyers say that self service availability impacts their loyalty. Self-service functions such as a knowledge base, service requests and chat services are no longer supplemental tools but necessities. These functions are now expected by most consumers and software that includes these self-service capabilities for the web portal will create an instantaneous digital experience.
3. Highly Flexible to Change With Your Business
Portal software can vary in flexibility and adaptability. Great portal software will be the kind that can adapt to your business needs. An organization with a dedicated team of programmers would benefit from open source software that allows for flexibility and integration. If the organization doesn’t have programmers on the team, find software that provides out-of-the-box features and tools that non-technical team members could learn how to use.
4. Security to Protect Your Customer’s Information
Customer portals can contain sensitive information such as patient addresses, customer credit card information and order invoices. A secure customer portal, with features such as encryption and SSL, will allow users to feel safe when inputting private information or accessing sensitive documents. Security is expected so be sure to deliver a secure experience for your users.
5. In-Depth Analytics Tools for Improving Customer Experiences
No digital experience should remain stagnant. Digital experiences should always be analyzed, scrutinized and improved upon; this is especially true for portals. Companies should be aware of how pages are performing, if the users know where to find certain information, and if there is an aspect that negatively impacts user behavior. Valuable customer web portal software will include comprehensive analytical tools and reports that examine the effectiveness of the portal and provide information that will be helpful in continually enhancing the overall customer experience.
6. Customer Centered Functionalities
Ultimately a customer portal should enhance the customer experience with the organization. When you are looking for software to start building a customer portal, consider ones that include functionalities that would best benefit your end users. No two customer portals will have all of the same functions because each business will have different goals. Whether the software has advanced search functions, multi language support or security hierarchy, choose the software that has capabilities that can best serve your customers.
While there are many components of a great customer web portal, the most important elements are the ones that will build a satisfying customer experience for your users and maintain a long-term relationship with them. A portal that is custom-tailored to your customers’ needs will be integral to your organization’s success.