What is the Customer Portal Software?

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Imagine that you just bought a new pair of pants online. Right after submitting the purchase, you realize that you entered the wrong shipping address. So you call the company’s customer service team and they put you on hold for 20 minutes.

After that time, the representative quickly resolves the issue and you no longer have to talk on the phone. But as soon as you hang up, you realize that you ordered the pants in the wrong size. Now you have to repeat the process for another easy change!

Before customer portal software existed, your only option was to make another call or send an email. Now you can update and monitor your queries using a self-service interface. That way, updates and basic questions can be resolved without a customer service representative. It is the principle behind any customer service strategy.

Customer portal software relieves pressure on service teams and brings more convenience to your customers. In this post we will review the key features to look for when adopting this tool.

What is customer portal software?

Customer portals allow access to the service without the need to chat with an employee. This makes it easier for customers to perform self-service functions. For example, checking the status of tickets and connecting with other users, as well as visiting FAQ pages and knowledge base articles.

The customer portal software can be described as a stand-alone customer support service. It combines a ticket system, knowledge base, and community forums all in one place. If a customer has a quick question, they don’t need to pick up the phone or write an email. Instead, you can log into your portal and review all the information about your service inquiry.

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3 key benefits of customer portal software

  1. They give more power to the customer. You can track support requests and read recorded conversations with service representatives. With this system, customers can complete the entire ticketing process, from sending tickets to receiving responses.
  2. They offer digital security. The only people who can access a portal are the customer and assigned support representatives. This ensures that a customer’s account information and files are protected by digital encryption.
  3. They help clients complete tasks and get answers without relying on others. This allows them to independently troubleshoot issues and to contact customer service teams when issues become complex. Under this approach, support teams receive fewer requests, allowing them to respond to customers faster.

When choosing customer portal software, look for the following features.

5 features of customer portal software

1. Create knowledge bases

All customer portal software should be able to build a knowledge base. When you brainstorm the relevant topics, look at the requests you received from customers. When a customer asks you to solve a problem that is not covered in your knowledge base, record the new troubleshooting steps and then update them. Stay tuned for these articles and always check for information that is inaccurate or out of date.

You can also create an internal knowledge base for your service agents. This resource can act as a point of reference when looking for solutions for clients. Rather than spreading information in a disorganized way, internal knowledge bases bundle it together, avoiding data silos and making solutions easy to find.

2. Include community forums

Community forums are another feature that can save your agents time. In this section of the portal, clients help each other by posting questions and solutions. This can reveal unique tips and solutions that your team may ignore.

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An example of a successful community forum is Apple’s official support communities. As the owner of various Apple products, troubleshooting tips and tricks are constantly needed. It is always helpful to reach out to other users as they have experienced similar issues and resolved them on their own.

3. Provide omnichannel support

It is important to communicate with customers through their preferred channel. Having a customer portal that can only be accessed from a desktop is not effective. Therefore, be sure to consider software that integrates mobile-friendly browsers and apps.

One channel your software should include is live chat. This way, if customers have questions about the interface, they can quickly contact your support team. Consider dedicating a group of reps to this channel so that they can answer questions before channeling them to your main support team.

4. Supports application integration

The support process will be more efficient if your portal can be integrated with other applications. After all, no matter how strong the software is, it cannot perform all tasks.

App integrations solve this problem. Some applications that you may want to integrate are those of calendar, scheduling, productivity, finance and social media.

5. Features a user-friendly design

Since customer portal software is made for customers, it should be designed for them, not your team. Therefore, when selecting a customer portal, make sure it is tailored to the needs of your clientele. This means an easy-to-use interface and clear and intuitive service options.

Customization can take the design and interface to the next level, according to customer preferences. Or, give your users the option to customize their own portal with built-in design features.

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To learn more about how to measure and improve your customers’ experience with your brand, check out the customer service metrics calculator.

Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.