At a certain point, your business grows. You have more clients to serve, more tasks to handle and more ideas to try. But how can you do it with the same team in just 8 hours a day, 5 days a week? Where do you run and what should you start first?
Growth is challenging. Some people decide to hire more people, others exhaust their current team. Both ways are not really cost or time efficient. How can you scale your business then?
Try to automate your processes. Work smarter, not harder. Settle your workflow the way you get higher results in 8 hours. This way, not only your team will benefit from it. As research shows, 69% of clients want to keep updated and solve issues quickly and on their own. Automation is a win-win for both sides – your clients and your team.
To automize your workflow, try Client Portals. In this article we’ll tell you what they are and how they can help you scale your business.
What is a Client Portal?
A Client Portal is a no-code website which companies create for collaboration with their clients. Using them, customers can access information about their orders, track progress, receive invoices and communicate with a business.
You’ve already seen the client portals in action, but maybe you didn’t know what they were called. The most widespread use-cases of client portals are:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) – A CRM tracks all customer interactions, and keeps a history of transactions and communications.
- Billing management – A business can use this to manage accounting functions, including creating online invoices, tracking expenses, accepting payments and paying bills.
- Order fulfillment – A company can use this to track orders and ship products to its customers.
- Marketing automation – This can automate repetitive tasks, which may include email campaigns, lead nurturing and social media posts.
You can also use a client portal to automate or streamline processes for managing projects easier and faster. In combination with other tools for internal team collaboration, client portals can become a powerful machine that scales your business.
But what if there is a client portal that encompasses both internal team management and external work with clients? It sounds surreal, but such tool exists! Meet client portals powered by Nimbus Platform.
They are based on Nimbus pages which allows them to become a hybrid solution for 2 side collaboration. That means all work is concentrated in one place and as a result becomes more cost and time efficient.
Learn more about Client Portals from Nimbus Platform™ to collaborate with your clients efficiently
How Can a Client Portal Help Your Business?
Client portals are most suitable for small and medium companies who want to scale their businesses with minimal effort. They can help to take pressure off the team by partially automating collaboration and communication with clients. Let’s look at the example of client portals powered by Nimbus Platform and what they are actually capable of:
- Manage all your activities online and in one tool. Upload your workings with a team on the portal and show it to your clients.
- Access your own data easily. Check out and customize a portal right from your workspace in Nimbus. There is a special icon in the left sidebar.
- Provide an easy and completely safe way to access and store information. Decide who will see and edit information in your portal and give accesses according to this.
- Keep track of all your clients’ activities and your interactions with them. Write down meeting notes, store client invoices and other project details on a portal, so both you and your client can see and check in any time to see how the project is developing.
- Share important information securely. Allow access only to you and your client and nobody else will see what’s going on on a portal.
- Create tasks and let your clients track them on a portal. Create reminders for your clients to pay invoices or show them at which project stage you are now.
- Stay in touch with your business. Present your business under your name and brand. Client portals powered by Nimbus Platform are fully customizable and can help raise awareness about your brand.
What are the Benefits of Using a Client Portal?
Before you decide whether you need client portals, take a look at the benefits they offer.
❗Spoiler: you will scale your business maximumly with minimum inputs.
1. Increases productivity by eliminating or reducing repetitive tasks
By automating a part of your process you can use your valuable time for other tasks. For example, with client portals powered by Nimbus Platform, you won’t need to refresh pages by yourself every time the project details change. This will happen automatically and save you a lion share of time.
2. Allows you to keep your processes streamlined
With a client portal, all your data is in one place and safe and sound. Your clients won’t need to check their mailboxes constantly or surf your website each time they have questions regarding your services and their particular cases. In Nimbus Portals, everything is even easier – a user friendly interface gives your clients easy navigation and access to all project details including reports, meeting notes, invoices and so on.
3. Improves your customer service
Client portals are a tool for you to stay in contact with your clients. It helps to inform them of things that are most relevant. They can ask questions, share feedback and have their issues resolved much faster. Since it’s an online tool, you don’t need to meet with them in-person to provide updates, which will also save you travel time and avoid additional calls.
4. Helps you stay more organized
When things are all in one place it’s easier to find information and stay organized. The additional perk of client portals powered by Nimbus Platform is that you can separate your teamwork and collaboration with clients. It helps to draw a line between information for clients and for your internal usage.
5. Improves your communication with your team members
You can monitor team member’s activities, such as when a client was contacted and the reason for the communication. If an invoice is issued, you can view it in the portal. With client portals powered by Nimbus Platform, you can also communicate with your team members via notifications, email, or chat messages inside Nimbus workspace avoiding unnecessary phone calls.
6. Helps reduce operational costs
You will not need additional IT support staff because the client portal is easy to build and use. This means you only train people on how to work with it. This will help keep overheadcosts down and save your businessmoney in the long run.
7. Increases your online security
When you provide your clients with a secure channel for collaboration, you win their trust. They’re more likely to feel safe and comfortable sharing sensitive information with you and your team which by default influences project results. In Nimbus Portals, you can manage your permissions and keep confidential information only between you and your clients.
What are the Key Features of a Good Client Portal?
We all know a ‘bad’ client portal when we see one but what makes a ‘good’ client portal? Let’s go through the key points:
1. Easy navigation and user interface
A clientportal should be built on a solid foundation. People expect to navigate websites easily. If they can’t find what they want quickly, it can cause frustration and give others a negative perception of your brand. Easy navigation, responsive design, secure login and a mobile-optimized layout are essential. Other functionality such as forms, surveys, blogs, social media integration and a shopping cart or payment gateway for fast payments are useful features too.
2. Tracking tools
They provide a record of all customer interactions across multiple channels, which means you can create better customer journeys and improve the overall customer experience. Tracking tools can also help you identify gaps between how customers want to interact and the options you have provided. This will allow you to also create better marketing campaigns.
3. Integration with other systems
The best clientportals integrate with other systems. This allows you to get real-timedata from those systems, helping you analyze how clients are interacting with your website. For example, if you sell products online, you can integrate with your accounting system, which will allow customers to pay online. This will ensure you always know what’s being sold and at what price.
4. Powerful user management
This ensures users have access to the right information, while protecting against unauthorized access. Once a user logs in, they should only be able to access certain areas or functions they’ve been assigned to.
This enables you to measure results and improve customer service. You can use reports to analyze performance, compare departments or even compare your company’s performance with competitors. You also have access to a history of interactions, which you can use to improve the service you provide.
6. Customer Support
This is another important aspect. You can offer live chat support, so your clients receive a high level of customer care.
With a secure portal, you will remove any risks associated with sending confidential documents via instant messaging, emails or web forms. This will help increase the level of trust others have with your brand.
Everything You Need to Know to Choose Your Client Portal
To build your first client portal you can either hire a custom developer which is not always the most cost-effective process or try to do it by yourself.
Here are some tips on how you can start creating a client portal by yourself:
- Choose a platform. There are multiple options around the Internet with their pros and cons. We recommend you to try Nimbus Platform. Client Portals powered by Nimbus Platform have a user-friendly interface and are fully customizable.
- Create a plan. Before building a portal, identify the functionalities you want to include and how you will maintain them. Think of potential information on your portal, for example, general company description, reports, meeting notes and so on. By the way, you can easily drag-n-drop information in client
sportals powered by Nimbus Platform. It makes information organization even easier to manage and change.
- Identify your business needs. For example, if you include a CRM system, define the rules for how users will log in and use the platform. Identify who can see what data and what you want to allow users to do. You may decide clients can pay their invoices and send emails via the portal.
- Design and develop. Usually, building a portal requires at least one developer to help. Nimbus client portals are designed in a way where you can build them on your own. You can do that via your Nimbus workspace. It will take you a couple of minutes of work with the portal wizard.
- Implement. Once the design phase is completed, you need to test the system by uploading files and setting up security measures. You can invite a few clients initially during the testing phase to work through any bugs or workflow issues. Or you can test your portal with a team, giving them access to the portal only for the short period of time. Which makes it even simpler when you all work in the Nimbus workspace and know how everything should look like.
- Maintain. This should not be time consuming or difficult. This step ensures information is current and up to date. You may want to add new features, which will require further testing. With Nimbus portals you can choose which folders and pages, added from your Nimbus workspace, will be automatically updated according to changes from your team. This can greatly save you time on checking and refreshing information on your portal.
- Measure results. You can extract data from the portal to evaluate its effectiveness. The data can help you make informed decisions to increase revenue. In client portals powered by Nimbus Platform, there is a special option – Search Analytics. With it, you can see what clients are looking for, which portal sections they attended and pages that clicked. These analytics can help you better understand your client needs.
Why We Believe Nimbus is #1 for Client Portals
You may already know how to save time and effort with Nimbus Platform. We are working on adding Nimbus Client Portal. With it, you will be able to skyrocket your client collaboration and communication very soon. Go to our guides and learn how to create a client portal.
Now, let’s sum up what you’ve just read about Nimbus Portals and how you will be able to implement them in the future:
Raise your brand awareness. Nimbus Portals are fully customizable. Just add your own logo, name your portal and choose your domain and subdomain, for example, your.company_portal. com. This way, portals can become a part of your brand history and help to build trust with your clients.
Secure your collaboration with clients. Only the owner of the portal decides whom to grant permission for editing and viewing information in the portal. You can freely keep your clients’ invoices, meeting notes and other confidential data about your project.
Manage other Nimbus tools. You can connect your Nimbus pages to the client portal and concentrate all work on a project in one place, including teamwork and collaboration with clients. Nimbus pages will be dedicated to your internal work with a team. Here you can work on project details with your team and use a portal where you show the results. If you work solo that’s a good option too. Create wikis and databases inside Nimbus Platform and then connect only those pages which are dedicated to a particular project.
Create a better user-experience. Your clients won’t need to figure out your inner workings, they will see only information that is connected to their project. It will save time for both your clients and you. What’s more, your client won’t need to write to you each time they have questions and you won’t spend time on replying to those messages.
Discover your clients’ needs. You can check what exactly your client was looking for, which links they opened and how many times. This information can help you better understand your client’s needs and change project details accordingly. It can definitely save you
r time and eliminate the number of iterations.
You can view a demo of the Nimbus Portal here.
Get more insights on how to work with Nimbus Client Portals in our article >>
Chat with our Success Management Kseniia and set your Client Portal today!
Want to improve your company documentation? Read our post to find out how you can not only improve your company documentation, but also make it pop.
You see now how offering a client portal will increase your business success. If you are still not convinced, try our business plan for free with 14-day trial and see it yourself!