A company’s level of customer service may make or break it. Customers who receive excellent service become loyal and will likely recommend a business, while poor customer service often causes customers to leave.
One of the significant reasons why customer service may be compromised is because of inadequate processes. This could be incorrect pricing, missed or late shipments, lost orders, etc. This is where a customer portal can come in handy to eliminate these problems and improve customer service and satisfaction.
But what is a customer portal, and does your business needs it? Well, keep on reading this article to find out.
What is a customer portal?
A customer portal is a solution that provides companies with a platform to interact effectively with their customers. The primary aim is to improve the rate of customer satisfaction.
The system can support customer requests, track key metrics, and share crucial documents. Ultimately, this will provide you with an excellent overview of your company’s customer relationship, making it easy to track your shortcomings and make the necessary improvements.
Another incredible thing about the customer portal is that if it gets integrated with other systems, it can allow customers to view and even make changes to their account data, such as canceling an order or changing their shipping address.
A customer portal is an essential tool businesses should invest in to improve customer service and satisfaction and retain their customers. A significant number of customers expect a company to have a self-service portal.
But does your organization need a customer portal? You are probably asking yourself this question. Well, there are specific questions you need to ask yourself to ascertain whether or not you need a customer portal. These questions include:
- How extensive is your customer base?
One of the most critical questions you must ask yourself to determine if you need a customer portal is how extensive your customer base is. If you have a larger base, you will likely need a larger size distribution. The likelihood that the customer base will follow a bell curve distribution in terms of size increases with the size of the customer base. In other words, a broader clientele base is more likely to consist of a few large clients, numerous medium-sized clients, and a few smaller clients.
It is no secret that meeting all your customers’ needs at all times can be more difficult the more unique your customers are. In addition, the more substantial customer base you have, the more personalized attention you’ll have to offer them.
This is where a customer portal can come in handy. By allowing your customers to self-serve, you free up resources to provide your largest customers with more individualized service. Customer support can help you organize your company’s processes and concentrate your human touch where needed.
- What is the profile of your clients?
According to research, 85% of B2B customers will stop doing business with a supplier after a poor digital experience. Of course, every business is unique, and clients of manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors might be accustomed to placing orders over the phone, over email, or using EDI.
However, just because customers accept traditional ordering procedures doesn’t mean they enjoy them. They might even consider your company “hard to do business with.” If it has been some time since your company last reviewed its customer profile, it is worthwhile to do so again—paying close attention to how they wish to interact with suppliers.
What sort of consumer experience are they seeking? Do they anticipate having a digital option since they favor using it to conduct business? Or do they favor working with someone, be it their salesperson or customer service representative? The responses that your customers give might surprise you. Most likely, they seek seamless self-service. And the foundation of that kind of client experience is a B2B customer portal.
- Is there a better method for my sales team to help customers?
In some sectors, one-on-one sales will always exist. Customers might require the in-depth knowledge that a seasoned representative offers or the product can require such a significant expenditure that it cannot be purchased with just one click.
Whatever the reason, many producers, wholesalers, and distributors still depend on knowledgeable sales representatives to add value for their clients. Knowing how your salespeople place orders and look up consumer data is essential. There is a better way for them to conduct business if they have to call customer support or, worse still, type an order into SAP when they return to the office.
B2B sales portals are the solution. Unbelievably, a customer portal may provide the same functionality by adding features such as customer account selection for searching for information, offering quotations, and completing orders.
- Do you serve customers in other time zones?
Self-service is necessary if your customer support personnel is centralized and you conduct business across time zones. Whether your representatives are at work or not, customers may access the portal at any moment and on any device. You can allow clients to browse catalogs, place orders, monitor orders and bills, and make payments via your portal without picking up the phone or sending an email, depending on the features you add. A customer portal is one of an organization’s most beneficial choices if it sells to customers in several time zones or worldwide.
- How much time is the customer service staff wasting on monotonous, pointless tasks?
Clients must contact customer support with even the most minor queries if you don’t offer self-service. This includes researching available merchandise, comparing prices, placing orders, following up on those orders, following up on those shipments, and so forth.
If we’re sincere, customer service doesn’t offer anything that SAP ERP doesn’t already offer. They merely read it to clients because that is where the data resides.
Your CSRs, who are well-versed in your goods, should not be used this way. It is very tedious. These issues can be resolved using a B2B customer portal. Removing the stress of routine questions frees your salespeople to concentrate on strategic, value-added customer advisory tasks. Because the work is more exciting, it engages workers better and lessens staff churn. This is one of the numerous advantages of a customer portal.