A Customer Experience Portal is not just a place for an account login, but a place to provide a holistic experience for all who enter. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that to be truly successful you must provide your customers, members, accounts, and everyone you touch – amazing experiences with your brand.
When creating a customer portal, the customer experience is essential because this is where your customers will spend most of their time – whether they are creating or updating their profile; editing their payment information; inquiring on a product, service or order; or even finalizing a purchase. You, as a site owner, want that experience to be excellent from beginning to end because you want them to keep returning. Right?
What is a Customer Experience Portal?
A customer portal, or customer experience portal (CX) as we like to call it, is an area of your website which gives your customers access to services and information they need. It is typically private and secure, and requires customers to log into their account. Such a portal contains account information, a chat option, payment information, account history, case information, downloadable files, access to support, and a way for customers to upload information. Essentially, a customer portal is an area for digital sharing and personalized information center between an organization and its customers.
Why is a CX Portal an important aspect of your website?
CX portals are important for customer service because people expect a certain amount of self-serve capability nowadays. Nearly everyone is increasingly tech-savvy and capable of conducting information searches on their own. Expectations of excellent customer service in general are very high, and any barrier to getting answers can result in decreased customer satisfaction. Hint: We only want customer satisfaction to increase.
A Salesforce survey of 1,900 customer service leaders noted that high-performing service teams are the ones who consistently keep on top of changing customer expectations and acknowledge the urgency of solving customer problems. Offering a well-built, easy-to-navigate customer portal is something you can do to keep your customers satisfied with the high quality of service they expect from your brand.
A note on mobile: Many customers today have never known a world without cell phones. Their expectation is high that they can achieve the same tasks on a mobile device that they could on a desktop or laptop computer. The ability to easily login and access information from a mobile device is just as important, if not more, as being able to call and get a knowledgeable and helpful person on the phone right away. That means customer portals must be responsively designed and mobile optimized just like the rest of your website.
Benefits of Offering a CX Portal
For your company, CX Portals offer cost savings, increase in productivity, increased company cash flow by offering ease of online customer payments, improved customer retention, and the ability to gather data to enhance decision making.
For your customers, CX Portals offer access to your services anywhere and anytime, fast response times, simple order placement and the ability to track orders, an omnichannel access approach (can be accessed from a phone, tablet, desktop computer, app, online chat, among others), and enhanced personalized interactions with your business.
An American Express Customer Service Survey noted that “More than 6 out of 10 U.S. consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool (such as a website, mobile app, voice response system or online chat).” While a recent Statista survey found that “88% of customers expect a brand or organization to have an online self-service support portal.”
Those are some pretty convincing statistics, if you ask me!
How do I know what to include in my customer portal?
To get the most out of your CX portal, you have to think about your audience. In order to do this, we recommend creating a Customer Journey Map. This is a great visual tool for outlining all the interactions and experiences a customer will have with your organization, from pre-sales to ongoing support and beyond.
The best place to get started? Interviewing your customers and those in your organization who work with them on a regular basis. Have them answer questions like:
- How did they first hear about you? What was their first impression?
- What is their preferred method of communication?
- What are their key/preferred touchpoints?
- What is their biggest source of frustration when it comes to gathering information on your products and/or services?
- What do they like most about working with your company/organization?
Once you have a solid understanding of the various touchpoints and your customer’s needs and expectations, you can begin working with your team to start planning a CX Portal that will knock their socks off. Some key details to consider when putting together the plan include:
- What information is crucial to your Customer Experience?
- Where is the information pulled from?
- How will my user interface be built so that it is informative, intuitive, and friendly?
- Who has permission to edit, manage, and/or view the information?
- How will I encourage customer engagement?
- How will my portal be combined with human interaction for customer service?
- How will I be able to listen to my customers’ feedback and questions?
- How can I make the dissemination of information as seamless as possible throughout all points in the journey, both for the customer and the internal team?
Are you a site owner or administrator looking for more information on CX Portals? CommonPlaces can help you learn what steps to take to get the most value out of your customer experience portal.
How CommonPlaces Supports Your Customer Experience Portal Needs
We will be happy to walk you through those questions from above, and give you some great examples and ideas of how your portal can look and function.
CommonPlaces builds, integrates, and supports customer portals which allow you to serve your customers the best experience possible. Our developers will custom-brand your portal to seamlessly integrate with your website and offer an amazing customer experience to those who have come to expect brand excellence. Schedule a Customer Portal consultation with CommonPlaces today.