Why Do you Need a Portal
The way the entire business community functions has changed drastically with improvements in smart phones and tabs. It has given professionals the freedom to work from anywhere and anytime, however the amount of information and mails that they have to manage has increased multi-fold.
This has given rise to the expectation that companies that are providing products and solutions should be available for service 24/7. With improving tech support, users are able to resolve issues on their own. It works to the advantage of the users as there is a need to get things done at anytime from anywhere.
With too many items to do on their list, they also need a place where they can see all their information. This is possible only when the CRM is extended by having a Portal where they can login and see the information they are supposed to see and also interact with the company. So, a customer self service portal helps customers to see all the product / service information, and if possible some Knowledge Based Articles to comprehend the usage of the product/service. Some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that can solve some of the known routine issues or provide information on the use of the features are also offered for the guidance required.
A customer self service portal typically serves each customer with access to his own information related to the purchase. Also, all other information that is useful for him related to the product along with a facility to interact with the customer support team if he is facing any challenge is also provided by the portal. An indirect benefit for the customer support team is that it directly connects the team with the issue, as the customer is already in contact. When a business is B2C and the number of customers is in 100s of thousands, it is the only way you can reduce the customer support bills.
Extending the same to partners, the framework becomes Partner Portal. Partners are nothing but consolidated bigger customers. Sometimes end customers call the partner directly rather than contacting the organisation. During that time if the partner has the right information, this portal helps him in dispatching it to the end customer quickly. Some of the requests that come from end customers could be as simple as – asking about when the product or service is going to be delivered. If for such simple queries, the partner needs to contact the support team and respond back, then there is a time lag and effort usage. However, if you have a portal and that exposes all the end customer information of the partner, such as, their current orders and status, current customer support tickets status, etc., it significantly reduces the communication bandwidth of the support team.
So, when your customer base is growing and wants to make most of the tech savvy clients and partners, the Portal is a great way for success.