Why Use a Customer Web Portal?
Firstly, 96% of consumers across the globe state that their brand loyalty is highly dependent on customer service (Microsoft). In fact, it’s the most influential factor for consumers in determining how much they trust a business (Dimension Research).
Furthermore, U.S. consumers are willing to pay 17% more to work with a company that has a great reputation in terms of customer service (American Express).
Dimensional Research also reveals that 52% of consumers have made an additional unplanned purchase from a company after having a good customer service experience.
In other words, offering great customer service is essential, especially since it clearly increases customer loyalty and retention. This can lead to a significant increase in profitability. According to Bain, a mere 5% rise in customer retention rates can result in 25% higher profits.
A customer web portal is essential to delivering great customer service. In fact, 89% of U.S. consumers expect companies to have a customer web portal. Furthermore, 75% of consumers say self-service is convenient, while 67% say they prefer this option to speaking to an agent.
However, to gain the benefits a customer web portal can provide, it has to be done right. For a portal to be great, it must have the following elements:
Scaleability and Adaptability
A great customer web portal must be able to scale with the size of your business. The last thing you need is to shift to a new platform because your current one simply can’t handle a higher workload.
Furthermore, your platform must be adaptable. Not only should it adapt to your business needs, but it must also be flexible enough for you to adapt it to your customers’ needs.
The portal must also be flexible in terms of access. Today, everyone is on the move constantly, which means that you can’t tie people down to one form of access – this refers to employees as much as consumers. Thus, your portal must perform the same on any and all devices people might use to access it.
Excellent Self-Service Capabilities
As previously shown, consumers prefer solving problems on their own and would much rather use a self-service portal than speaking to a live agent. By providing these services, you will immediately create a far better experience.
An Effective Search
If you are using your customer web portal to educate customers, you must make it as easy as possible for them to access the information they need.
Thus, you need an effective search tool. The best option would be a search engine that indexes all online content, and not just the content you provide via the portal. This way, customers can search the whole internet to find the answer they need via your portal.
System for Peer-to-Peer Interaction
Providing customers with a system that enables them to interact with other customers is a great way to expand your portal with vital information, while also creating a valuable community.
By building a community, you will increase customer retention because you will not only be forging a powerful relationship between your customers and your brand, but between other customers too.
Furthermore, nothing builds loyalty quite like making someone feel as if they are a contributing member of a community.