It’s a fact, client portals are a fantastic customer experience driver for any professional hoping to build long-lasting relationships. But what are the key features your client portal should have? Here are our top 10 criteria.
You just found a shiny new tool category for your sales team in customer portal software, but you’re not sure how to make the most of it. Should you focus on collaboration, ease of use, or data security? Accessibility, efficiency or connectivity? Why not all of the above? When you first dive into the world of client portal software, the choices in front of you can feel a bit overwhelming. So, let’s get into the basics and what you should be on the lookout for as you try to navigate your way to the best client portal for your needs in 2022.
In this post, you’ll find our recommendations for the top scoring criteria you should consider when browsing for the right client portal.
A client portal is, as the name suggests, the hub of your customer’s interactions with your business. The ideal customer experience depends on choosing the right client portal software.
Think of it as the primary access point clients will use to engage with your business privately and securely. The best ones provide access to shared files, a live chat feature with collaborators, video call functionality, a scheduling tool, etc. Busy customers want digital spaces they can rely on to communicate their needs to a professional, collaborate on work remotely, access information on-demand, and more. In other words, customers want simplicity.
You might be asking how to create a client portal or how to build a client portal? But you should first focus on why you need one.
Client portals are useful when you want to offer a unique customer experience in a secure, digital environment. They’re especially helpful when you have a high volume of customers with specific needs. Having a great customer portal with the right features can reduce the strain of managing customer relationships. They help customer-facing teams provide a measure self-service with access to support just a click away.
Great client portals are designed with the customer experience in mind, while also providing a deep layer of security, privacy, and the best digital experience possible. The client portal login experience should also always be smooth and seamless.
The beauty of an innovative digital client portal is that they can easily adapt to serve any industry or team: finance, insurance, sales, marketing, interior design, construction and architecture, consultants, agencies, and so many others. They are fantastic customer experience drivers for any professional hoping to build long-lasting relationships.
Your customer experience hinges on smooth collaboration, which the right client portal solution will provide. Notification features, comment feeds, and online/offline status enable your customer-facing teams to react quickly whenever a client or customer interacts with the portal. Questions or requests can then be easily shared with the right people in your organization and promptly addressed. This flexibility to collaborate easily allows larger organizations to provide a premium customer experience service to a wider range of clients.
Any client portal worth having will support shareable documents of any file type and size. The possibility of e-signature is a definite plus. That kind of functionality will enable you to assess reports, client details, invoices, messages, and other attachments quickly and easily in your portal. If you’re working with external teams remotely, it should be simple to provide or receive feedback with everything centralized. To empower the best possible customer experience, you want a portal that allows you to easily review any crucial documents related to the business relationship.
Professionals or agents working with your clients shouldn’t have to browse through emails or notes to find key information. A dedicated client portal puts the customer relationship right there in front of you without the complexity or cost of a CRM integration. It puts the power in your hands; no more time wasted searching for lost emails or messages, trying to find that Wetransfer links that most likely already expired. Time efficiency, and after all, time saved is money earned and customers appreciate speediness and reliable service.
The right client portals will provide both you and your client with full visibility into the other’s activity. Relationships are built on trust; which portals provide in this way by keeping teams and customers connected. With the right client portal, you can get support internally easily by inviting a specific colleague or teammate to join the space. Everyone gets notified when something happens in a client portal, so nothing gets missed. While self-serve is widely appreciated and valued by clients, it also doesn’t mean a lack of support. Your agents can be ready to jump in and address customer requests as they come up.
Once upon a time, email was the primary method of communication between customers and a company. Today, chat functionality makes those interactions faster and easier for all involved. Instead of splitting the conversation between texts, phone calls, video calls, emails, or even solutions like Slack Connect – a portal brings the conversation all together into the same place. They cut through the noise with effective access to the right information and conversations stored together. If a new agent steps into the scene, they can pick up right where the previous agent left off with carefully documented chats and history at their disposal.
Let’s face it: we’re not all in front of our laptop or desktop 24/7. That goes for both customers and companies. To provide a better customer experience, it’s important to be where your clients are: mobile on the go. The best customer portal software enables and encourages access from any browser or device. Having a dedicated client portal makes that process easier so you or your clients can easily jump into a chat, video call, or review work from any device, anywhere.
Customers across industries want a smooth, painless experience when they engage with businesses. They expect to find everything they need in the same place, accessible at any time. That’s what a client portal is for: to let them find what they need with a self-serve experience with professionals on-hand if they need a bit more care. That’s the key to offering a cohesive customer experience.
Client portal software isn’t just for customers, it’s also a great tool for internal sales teams, customer service reps, or any client-facing professional. With everything in one place, professionals can stop wasting time going through emails, multiple apps or tools, a CRM etc. Having a dedicated client portal reduces the number of emails sent AND received with a customizable space that lets your team share files easily, coordinate work, and interact with the client quickly and easily.
Data protection is always on the tip of our tongues these days. Email can be accessed by malicious parties all too easily. Having a client portal means adding an additional layer of security to your business interactions. Clients need to enter credentials with every log-in, their access to spaces within the portal can be restricted, and encryption adds an extra layer of protection. Be on the lookout for client portal software that highlights security as a main feature.
Client portals are built with the user experience in mind to provide the best possible customer experience. Simply pursuing the right client portal software and wanting to put the customer first means you’re already ahead of the game. These are tools designed to save you time by organizing your information, so you can focus on the relationship and not on the context, history, or finding lost attachments. By focusing on the customer’s happiness, you will invariably make their lives easier and remove friction from every business interaction. That gets you a step closer to happy clients, which leads to more clients and better results for your business.
So where should you start if you want to try out a free client portal designed with your customer in mind? First, check the boxes: you need something that is accessible, enables collaboration, provides security and privacy, improves the customer experience, enables better communication and helps you work more efficiently.
Then, do your research into the various options. But, since you’re here, Welcome Spaces might just be what you’ve been looking for. Curious to see how it works? It’s free! And if you decide it’s not for you, then at least you’ve learned what to look for as you browse the best client portals in 2022.