‘Build your own customer portal’ advises all, but, what after you have built it? How will you use the features to enhance your customer’s experience? Here,you will need tips for the same. Customer portal is now a necessity when everything is digitizing at a rapid pace. From improving self-service to cutting extra costs, customer portal is a one stop solution for all. It serves benefits like:

  • Saving the time and resources of your staff
  • Offering quick access to information about your products and services
  • Giving customers full control and comfort
  • Improving your brand’s image
  • Increased responsive rate

To get more such benefits, make a checklist of the following tips to follow while building a customer portal:

  1. List of FAQs

We all know providing an option of self service to customers is the best way to lower the site switching rate of customers. And offering a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) or common problems is a primary option to start with. The FAQ list forms are automatically based on the questions asked and content accessed most frequently within the last week to 30 days. You can even filter the list to only include content related to your products that the customer owns.

Manually creating a FAQ list is not always accurate, unless you are creating your list based on the reports showing search strings or top used articles. You can also provide virtual assistance or guided search for answering your customer’s queries.

  1. Provide Real-Time Suggestions

Situation: What if a customer goes straight for the option to create a support incident without even attempting self-service? At that time, this feature can be a huge boost to self-service adoption and its application. Now the question is how?

  • Customer just need to type a short or long description of their problem
  • Select all the required pull-down fields regarding product, services, and version
  • After this, the search technology will show all the possible solutions before the incident is actually created.

Particularly for common or repetitive problems, you can guide customers with:

  • Links to knowledge base articles
  • Forums discussions
  • Explain procedures through a manual 

This will encourage the customer to try self-service again in the future.

  1. Creating or Updating an Incident

Open a new support incident, check the status of an existing incident, add a comment or update to an open incident are some of the functions this feature allows your customers and staff. This enhances your customer’s experience and makes the user process efficient.

These capabilities are included in:

  • CRM (customer relationship management)
  • Customer service
  • Help desk platforms
  1. Product Documentation

User guides are one of the  most important parts of any product. It helps customers to tackle the complexity with your products. This is an easy method to guide everything and include every detail about the product through a manual book. You can even display video tutorials on different topics such as ‘how to use xyz products’, or covering all the common problems for the particular product, etc.

You can store these product manuals in a content management system like SharePoint or Documentum. And to access it via portal will require minor technical effort.

  1. Software Updates and File Downloads

If you have a software or a hardware company then giving customers the ability to access updates and download them is a must have feature. While offering this feature of the customer portal, make sure any reliable development manages it. This makes the self-service process easy to understand and access.

  1. Building an Online Community

Creating and maintaining a successful community requires a trustful relationship with the entire staff and customers both. You need to inform all the updates to your staff so that they can guide the customers further. Make sure you are active on media platforms. 

Showcase your products, services, company culture, etc on social media. Interact with your audience  by answering their queries in the comment section. These actions will bring a lot of traffic.

  1. Online Training

Training is the vital part of any process. To understand and apply it to use it with all its benefits, training is very important. Whether it is your staff or customers, make sure that the video training sessions, audio files or documents that you send are:

  • Correct in terms of information
  • Detailed from starting point to the end
  • Are clearly visible
  • Are easy to understand
  • Are easily applicable

Use a customer portal for this task. The only key is that anything the customer should feel easy to find every detail within the portal itself. Because they surely don’t want to feel like an ‘adventure of searching information through caves’ right? And in the age of 3D visuals, no one has time to go for a torch search in caves anyway. 

  1. Display Your Company

Embrace your portal design in order to attract more customers. Make sure your display is creative, matches with the purpose of your company, and has easy-to-read fonts. It should be:

  • User-friendly
  • Your company’s name, logo and motto should be clearly visible
  • Try displaying a message that contains an overview of the whole website effectively and shortly 
  • Support systems should be easily accessible
  • Label the self-service sections properly
  • Keep the white or light background colors for proper font visibility
  • Links and contact details should always be on the top as well as at the end
  • Bold readable fonts are trending these days due to its subtle and clean look
  1. Accessibility

Don’t let your customers struggle to figure out where to find self-service. Provide them with a tab or other control clearly tagged as “product support” on the main company website itself. Use the search box on the corporate site to retrieve support knowledge. Allow users to access their profiles hassle-free. 

Avoid complex processes that confuses people while availing self-service facilities or login processes. This will disinterest them to continue scrolling your site and eventually will lower the engagement count.

Wrapping Up

In order to keep your customer portal effective, all you need is planning and a bit of finishing on the execution. Don’t complicate or make your customer portal complex with unnecessary executions.

To build your own customer portal, plan what you want, from the motto of creating it to the layouts, and to the approximate budget amount. Then contact a developer to execute it for you.