The Importance of Customer Portals for Users & Businesses

The Basics on Customer Portals

Customer portals are secure, self-service websites designed to give businesses the ability to connect and share pertinent account and product information with users, while also allowing the user to easily search, enter, and view information. In this way, it is a centralized gateway between businesses and its clients (or employers/employees) for sharing information. Customer portals address users increasing interest in finding accurate information as quickly as possible by giving businesses an opportunity to keep content current and readily available.

The Evolution of Customer Service

Advancements in technology have changed the approach and expectations of customer service. In the past, dealing with customer service meant calling customer support or waiting in line at the store-front for the next available customer service agent. Providing a means for speaking to someone when needed is still an essential service that many businesses must provide, but self-service has emerged as the preferred choice for many people. This self-service approach means granting customers the ability to quickly access and receive information without direct involvement from businesses. This is more aligned with new expectations for companies to provide a streamlined experience across all channels. This means that the website, mobile app, customer portal, and physical location should all be in-sync with one another. Companies that can successfully accomplish this will receive high customer satisfaction.

Specifically, for the customer portal, it is valuable to steer away from the one style fits all portal design to tailoring portals to directly address customer demands. Approaching the portal design in this manner creates a personalized experience for the customer. The most successful customer portals have to provide complete and relevant content in an easy to use format.

The Benefits

Portals give the customer immediate access to their service needs and businesses benefit with a reduction in support costs. Customers are granted 24/7 access to make purchases and payments while businesses are open to many more opportunities for generating revenue. Both customers and businesses are able to use portals as a problem-solving tool, a time-saving option, and an approach to communication. Ultimately, having multiple streams of access helps a business reach the primary goal of meeting the customer expectation, and customer portals are a quick and effective way to do just that.