If you're looking for an Open Source Customer Portal or Client Portal software, there are a great many things that you'll need to consider before making an investment of time or money going down that road.
You've made a wise decision to use a Customer Portal because of the many advantages over antiquated and insecure methods of transfer and communications.
Definition of an Open Source Customer Portal
An Open Source Customer Portal is a software interface that gives customers complete visibility into their interactions with your company.
Customers are able to track key metrics, support requests, or other information such as reference documents which can be easily shared.
It helps strengthen the customer relationship and provides a transparent, secure and open forum for collaboration.
The Open Source version of our software is a configurable customer portal that can be matched with your website's UI.
The level of customization in this instance will entirely depend on the business type, but we thought it best to provide you with what open source gives you: access and freedom to tweak the customer portal to suit your needs.
In this blog post we will take a look at 13 reasons why using an open source customer portal can help make your business stronger!
Collaboration is one of the main benefits that an open source customer portal offers. You can provide your clients and partners with personalized and specific pieces of information that may be useful to them.
This could be a shipping company advising their customers of truck or airplane departure times so customers can place their orders using this information, which saves time for everyone involved.
The customer portal is a great way for partners to connect with each other and share knowledge. This can be anything from technical information, company updates or what the latest version of software that you're currently using is so they can update their system accordingly.
With a customer portal, you'll be able to provide your clients with immediate and up-to-date information about any products or services that they may have questions about.
You won't need to worry about phone calls being disconnected because of poor reception, email exchanges going unanswered for days on end for the same reason; all this valuable time can be saved for other important tasks.
The customer portal will also make it easy to contact your clients no matter what time of the day or night they happen to be working, without worrying about whether their email has been checked in the last hour- there's always someone available!
3. Customized Content
With the customer portal, you'll be able to tailor your messaging specifically for each client.
This means that if they've expressed an interest in a certain product or service, such as a mortgage rate change on their own home loan, then this information will go directly into their inbox with no need to search through company memos or reports.
An open source customer portal also allows you to create various customized landing pages for different types of clients.
This could be a page specific to an individual client that has all the content they need about your company and their account, or one with information on how to get started using the system in general.
4. Connected Devices
Client portals make clients’ lives easier by making information available to them on a variety of devices. This keep them connected wherever they are.
There is no need to stick to traditional working hours. In many cases this flexibility is not a nice-to-have, but a must-have.
Customers have the ability to track their support requests and the answers or resolutions they received for past requests, enabling them to use a customer portal as a knowledge source and avoid asking the same questions again.
Customers can manage and track their support requests, giving them confidence that their concerns and questions are being heard and addressed.
5. Better Communication
Client portals save the time it takes to authenticate if the client is who they say they are. Because the authentication will have taken place up front, it now only takes a successful login for a customer to be able to communicate with their service provider.
This breaks down communication barriers that can sour a customer relationship. Successful communication is the key to any relationship, and the customer portal does a lot of work for you in this regard.
There's no need to call their suppliers or partners when they can get all the information that they need from within your software suite!
6. Builds Customer Loyalty
Client portals can enhance customer experiences by offering extra channels for communication. When you make accurate, on-time information available to your customers, you are seen to be responsive to their needs.
This gives you a much better chance of retaining that customer. In many ways, your trust and accountability are built into your customer service capabilities, and a portal is an extension of that.
The software may help make it convenient, but it's up to your organization to make a customer portal experience effective.
7. Improved Customer Service
One of the biggest benefits that client portals have brought about is that they allow the customer to resolve their own queries. This is a boost for customers who do not want to spend endless time on the phone to their service provider.
It is also a boost for the service provider who is able to save on labor costs. The help center means clients can get ready-made results without writing an email or calling customer support.
With an efficient client service portal, clients can also create customer support tickets without leaving the help center.
8. Increased Productivity
Key documents such as contracts, estimates, and project plans can be accessed via the client portal. These can be accessed by internal staff and customers alike. This cuts down on the number of emails related to these subjects.
It also speeds up the process of getting a contract signed, estimate shared or project plan approved. Clients can get information on release plans, product updates and other announcements through a client portal.
9. Reduced margin of error
By centralizing company information, only the latest versions of documents with the correct branding and signatories can be shared.
With good content management, there is a vastly reduced chance that the incorrect documents will ever be on the client portal. An Open Source customer portal software can help you to do this.
10. Cost Effective
With an open source customer portal software you will be able to save on costs in multiple ways, with no need for licenses that have restrictive terms or high up front fees.
Cloud service providers are constantly competing over price, which means you could be paying less for an open source customer portal software than a proprietary one.
There are also economies of scale which are constantly driving the costs downwards as greater adoption of cloud technology takes place.
Not to mention the inherent cost savings to be achieved when processes are streamlined through improved productivity and greater access to the correct documentation.
11. Increased Responsiveness
When you give round-the-clock client portal access to your customers, it can improve responsiveness for you and your partners. Customers are no longer bound by working hours and can transact with you outside of normal business hours.
Even collaborative working with clients can happen better when people are able to operate when and where it’s most convenient for them. In a world where remote working is on the rise, this is vitally important.
A useful benefit which results from client portals is that of greater oversight and visibility. If you have many clients spread over large geographical areas and multiple time zones, being able to see the full picture is a bonus.
You can analyze this information and draw conclusions about customer behavior which can inform your strategy.
Cloud-based client portals utilize top-notch security systems to make sure your company’s information is safe.
Technologies such as firewalls, end-to-end encryption, and malware and virus protection are all modern tools which fit well with cloud services.
Effective Customer Portal Software Stands Out
If you want to improve your customer experience and communicate better with clients, the best thing that you can do is invest in a customer portal software.
This will make it easier for customers of all levels to get easy access to important information whenever they need it.
There's a big difference between empowering your clients to help themselves and setting them adrift without any sort of customer support.
The best customer portal software is more than just a corner of the internet where resourceful clients can track down answers; it's a coherent, flexible, multichannel solution designed to give customers easy access to detailed information.
Client Portals are very good at many things such as communication with clients and document management. Powerful collaboration is also easily within reach, and this leads to better customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Business processes such as placing and tracking orders is much easier because client portals are built with the customer in mind.
Client portals also have great knowledge management capacity as they can house large numbers of important documents in secure and organized formats.
With costs coming under control too, there really are no downsides, but just benefits to having a customer portal software open source provider.