3 Things to Consider When Developing a Website Client Portal
Developing a website portal is a complicated task that requires creative planning and a lot of thoughtful design. Website client portals are supposed to be convenient and easy to use and developing a portal that ticks all the right boxes can be quite complicated and difficult.
This article will take a closer look at what a website client portal is, and how to design one that will be useful and valuable.
What is a Client Portal?
A website client portal, also called a customer portal, is a form of self-service that makes it easy for customers to quickly solve problems they’re experiencing or find answers to questions they have. Companies use these portals to manage their relationships with their customers.
With a well-designed client portal, companies can offer good customer support without directly dealing with any customers.
Customer support can be expensive and providing customers with self-service rather than having to contact your company is more cost-effective. Generally, customers also prefer to solve their problems through self-service portals rather than by talking to someone on the phone.
Although elements like responsive design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and security are important, there are three other main things to consider when developing a reliable website client portal.
Let’s take a closer look at these three considerations.
The overall design of a good website client portal will determine how effective it is and whether or not it’s easy to use.
There are two design factors that can heavily affect the user’s experience on a website client portal: customer support and accessibility.
The way the client portal handles customer support is crucial; this is the focus of the portal, after all.
The client portal must give the impression that the company values its customers and any difficulties they may face. It should be obvious that the company cares about its customers.
The support offered must be of the highest possible quality and it must be thorough. Even if the client portal offers self-service, it must still make the customer feel valued and respected.
It must never be difficult for customers to find the answers to their questions or solutions to their problems.
They should not have to scurry around on the website portal to find what they’re looking for. As such, it’s important that the main website has a tab that is labeled clearly and indicates where customers can find support.
The portal itself should also be designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate and use. Finding relevant answers or solutions should be fast and easy.
Although it can be tempting to make a website client portal as attractive as possible, the focus should not be on appearance, but rather on accessibility. If a portal looks awesome but doesn’t provide customers with what they’re looking for, it does not serve its purpose.
Don’t make customers scroll for ages before they can find what they need.
A good website client portal should provide value, and this is achieved through well-planned functionality. It is important that the portal meets every need of customers without overwhelming them with too much information. They shouldn’t be confused while using the portal to solve their problems.
There are several elements that will determine the value of the function of your website client portal. They are:
Customers must be able to report any incidents that left them unhappy. They should also be able to check for any updates on their initial reports so they know the company is working to solve their problems.
Many companies do not provide paper product manuals anymore, so it’s essential that product documentation can be found online. This is especially important for complex products, but should also be provided for services and simple products.
A company should not assume that customers will be able to make the most of their products or services on their own. Providing customers with an extensive knowledge base that teaches them how to use the product or service effectively is important. A good knowledge base can help solve problems quite easily.
Updates and Downloads
If a company sells products or services that require updates or additional downloads, it should be easy for customers to find said updates or downloads. Ensure that these updates and downloads are easy to find and just as easy to use.
Having an active online community not only creates trust and builds relationships with customers but also allows the customers to help each other with their problems. People like to get input from peers, so it’s a good idea to provide customers with a community where they can get together and learn more about your products or services.
The features available on a website client portal can take it from ‘useful’ to ‘highly valuable’ for customers. There are many features that are important for a good portal, and they are:
A client portal without a search box is going to be very difficult to navigate. Sometimes, problems are difficult to describe, but a good search box will ensure that customers find the solutions or answers they need.
It is essential to invest in reliable search technology that can provide customers with all and any information related to their searches. Search results should include all kinds of information, such as product manuals, data from the knowledge base, community posts, and even release notes if there are any.
Frequently Asked Questions
A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions can make finding solutions a lot easier for customers. With this feature, a customer can simply find questions related to their problems and get the information they need.
It’s a good idea to design this feature in such a way that the list can be dynamically filtered to only include relevant content. This will prevent confusion and make problem-solving a lot easier.
Providing customers with a virtual assistant can enhance their experience greatly and shorten the time they spend trying to find solutions and answers. By using a virtual assistant to answer questions, customers can get a more personalized response and feel more valued.
Often, technical questions can be difficult to deal with, but with a well-informed virtual assistant, customers can get precise and accurate help with their problems.
If a virtual assistant isn’t feasible, guided assistance using machine learning can also be quite useful on client portals.
Request a FREE Website and Digital Consultation!
Developing a website client portal is not an easy task, and can feel quite daunting at first. If you need some expert advice and guidance, GoingClear has a dedicated team of developers, designers, strategists, and marketers based in Boston, MA, that can help you develop the perfect website client portal. Contact us today to find out more!