Managers, ever had a crazy “What is going on?” type of day? Your company’s phone lines are ringing nonstop, your call center is overloaded and you’re putting out fires left and right.
Must be a full moon!
When those dreaded “Mayday! Mayday!” type days happen, a customer portal can help you save your sanity – and your customers’ loyalty. A customer portal helps reduce the number of phone calls to your company’s service center and improves the customer experience when they can find what they need online. It also helps your employees prioritize who needs help.
When it comes to a customer portal, here are the top six reasons why it’s a “must have.”
1. Improves customer service
Customers expect to quickly find the information they need about your company’s products or services online. Providing them with access via a customer portal helps clients know exactly where to go to find necessary information – even when they’re on the go. About 75 percent of customers believe that companies should have answers to common questions available via smartphone. Customers who find the information they want in a timely manner are happy – and as you know, happy customers mean repeat business, possible referrals and better company performance.
2. Facilitates customer engagement
A customer portal also helps your business improve customer engagement. Customers can interact with your company when and where it’s convenient to them.
Curtis Bingham, executive director of the Chief Customer Officer (CCO) Council, says that customer engagement adds value to both the customer and the business. “For companies, those benefits are increased revenue and greater profitability. For customers, the benefits are greater satisfaction and more purposeful experience,” writes Bingham.
3. Reduces labor costs
When your customers can find information online, it also prevents them from calling your business. This reduces the number of phone calls to your company’s service center, helping to lower related labor costs.
CRM expert Paul Greenberg told a personal story of how an online customer portal has affected his buying habit. “I have a refrigerator that needs water filters,” he explained in a Hubspot interview. “I found a site where I bought two fridge filters, and then the site asked if I wanted to be notified every time my filter would run out. Every six months for the last seven years, I get an email that says, ‘You’re due for two fridge filters.’ I click the link, [get] to the site, click buy, it ships.”
4. Prioritizes critical customer needs
A customer portal enables your employees to focus on customer needs that are high priority. Used with a workflow engine, a customer portal can also automatically alert your team about critical incidents.
5. Streamlines service processes
Via the customer portal, customers can easily view shipping statuses, track account information or access important documents on their own. This eliminates hassles for both you and your customer while fostering self-service.
6. Supports your sales
When integrated with CPQ software, a customer portal allows clients to customize your products per their needs. It also provides customers with information about pricing. Nancy Nardin, president and founder of Smart Selling Tools, writes on her blog that pricing information is important to improving sales.
“Withholding pricing can most definitely back-fire… your prospect will likely go elsewhere,” writes Nardin. “You can and should make it easy for your prospect to learn your pricing with a self-service model. You will build trust and surface qualified buyers at the same time.” CPQ software allows customers to add accessories, upgrades, add-ons and other features for a seamless guided selling experience.
Ready to learn how a customer portal can improve your company’s level of service? Request a free demo of Axonom’s Powertrak CRM extension today.