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When your business starts growing, you are likely to feel pride, motivation and inspiration – and, at the same time, a lot of frustration. Having to keep track of the customer data – each client’s details, preferences and points in their customer journey – is overwhelming. On top of that, you also have to ensure a personalized approach to each and every client. As Forbes states, using the research by Epsilon, 80% of customers indicate that they are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalized experiences and 90% of them state that they find personalization appealing. So how do you, as a business, meet this challenge and satisfy clients while maintaining your sanity?
There are many software that help businesses meet this need. For example, there are Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, tools that provide the ability to organize all customer data. They offer secure and easy-to-use tools for data storage, reporting, automation and better team collaboration. They facilitate business on your side – but do little for your client.
On the client’s side, you may have a knowledge base – a self-service tool where your customers can find how-to articles, manuals, troubleshooting guides, and FAQs without needing to contact your support desk. Being accessible without any logins, a knowledge base is a great source of information about your product or service, but does not solve any personalization issues or store a particular client’s search history.
Today, there is a tool that provides the benefits of both: endless capacity for storing personal details, like a CRM, and resources for finding answers to most questions, like a knowledge base. But most importantly, this tool enables communication between you and your clients, offering each of them a personalized space for one-on-one interaction. This tool is a client portal.
What is a Client Portal?
A client portal is a private, secure website where you can interact with each of your customers individually, sharing and exchanging data, including sensitive financial data. Forget long email threads that get confusing very quickly, making it impossible to find that particular message you are sure you sent. Forget messaging in external IM tools, where you have to scroll back and forth. With a client portal, you can streamline your communication with clients, providing them with the information they need when they need it, keeping all documents in one place, monitoring all processes involved and talking to them one on one. Your company portal is a reliable tool that both you and your clients benefit from.
Benefits of Using a Client Portal
Let’s look at what makes client portals so useful, for any business, regardless of size and industry. Suppose you are a large company, with hundreds of customers, each with their payment method, invoice history, standing orders, individual quotes and discounts. According to McKinsey, large corporate clients appreciate having a self-service client portal that functions as a single point of engagement, featuring a smart, personalized interface that only asks for information relevant to that client, tailored to the client’s previous answers to questions and based on client feedback. What is a client portal for? It allows you to organize information into sections that will always be at hand for your client: scheduling and billing, invoices, client agreements, policies, reports, and a lot more. You can schedule important events for the client to check out, send useful updates or policy changes while always knowing what the client has or has not done. Client portals accumulate and structure customer data for your corporation, while at the same time allowing each customer to feel valued and unique.
Now let’s look at a small business, down to a sole entrepreneur, like a coach or a personal trainer. What can a client portal do for you? You need to monitor your clients’ progress, give them homework and check its completion, while keeping track of where you left off and providing support to answer specific questions. In this case, a client portal gives you a handy platform to keep all this in one place, neat and clean, with easy customer onboarding and support. You can give directions and personal recommendations, remind clients about further steps and provide advice on tasks, while keeping all messages at hand both for the client and yourself. What a client portal does is give you peace of mind, and your customers a clear understanding of what to do, when and where.
Whatever your business is, a client portal can meet all your needs for client communication, customer data storage, and branding – giving you a huge competitive edge. Here are a few more benefits that a company portal offers:
A client portal provides a secure way to save and store clients’ personal, business and financial data. Once you set it up, encourage your customers to use the company portal, without being afraid of losing, discloing or compromising any confidential data. By granting various levels of access, you can always be sure that no sensitive details leak into the wrong hands. Once your clients know that you value their privacy and security and protect it, they trust you more – and the client portal helps you achieve the customer trust and loyalty that is every business’s goal.
Client portals are effective for organizing all your business and customer data in a well-structured, secure and logical way, where nothing gets lost in the depths of your desk drawer or the black hole of your inbox. With a client portal, you do not need a bunch of tools where each has only one purpose. You can store financial, legal, and procedural details, for each client separately, all in one place. You no longer need to browse through endless folders or email threads. At the same time, a client portal gives your customers a resource to get in touch with you or use self-service, whenever they need it.
Promoting your brand
Once you realize what a client portal is and start using one, you can customize all points of your customer’s journeys. Each client receives personal treatment – and also becomes aware of the brand image you are working to promote. Compare a client portal to a 5-star hotel where each guest has personalized service, at the same time noticing the hotel’s logo, corporate colors, branded goods and, more broadly, customer-oriented service. Keeping track of each client’s particular details and preferences, providing them with clear instructions intended personally for them, bringing to their attention only to what might interest them and giving them a tool to interact with you. A branded and user-friendly company portal immediately sets you aside from competition.
Why You Should Use a Client Portal
A client portal can replace the entire combination of a customer database, legal and financial software, a chat, a calendar, and a resource library. It can become your and your clients’ personal assistant, help desk, PR and event manager, all in one – totally secure, never tired or unavailable. Client portals save time and money, eliminate or minimize repetitive tasks, consolidate information, and effortlessly extend your branding.
If you are still wondering what a client portal is and how it can help your business, try one in action. A client portal from Nimbus Platform is your gateway into stress-free and highly efficient business operations. Analytic tools and built-in chats, well-structured lists and folders, easy data collection and feedback analysis, a vast library of customization options and easy assignment of access levels – these features of the cutting-edge software by Nimbus will bring the best customer communication and collaboration methods right to your fingertips.
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