10 Ways Client Portals Can Make Your Business More Successful & Your Clients Happier
Making countless phone calls, responding to emails, scheduling appointments, and requesting documents from your staff and clients—you have so much on your plate. The last thing you or your staff want to do is hit roadblocks or waste time with inefficient workflows.
Having a client portal can make all the difference. These private, protected websites foster two-way interactions, including the transfer of vital documentation. This benefits you, your staff, and your clients with more efficient workflows and communication processes.
Below we discuss what a client portal is and how you can successfully implement one for your business.
What are Client Portals?
A client portal is a secure, private, and authenticated online platform that seamlessly connects the business with its customers and creates a safe place to send and receive information.
Businesses control who has access to which aspects of the portal. This access may include sharing documents, updating clients on a project’s progress, and sending files for eSignature
What are the Advantages of Client Portals?
Client portals streamline workflows, reduce repetitive tasks, and make it easier for businesses and clients to work together. These benefits increase business success, employee and client satisfaction, and referrals. Here are some more advantages:
- Empowers Clients
Clients can access the documents they need whenever they need them instead of waiting for one of your team members to assist.
A client portal provides a safe, centralized place where information can be stored and accessed. Paper waste is minimized, and document loss risks are reduced.
- Saves Time and Money
Instead of searching through emails, listening to voicemails, and performing repetitive tasks, you can have time for other, more meaningful activities.
With one place for communication, you can provide clients with personalized, application-specific information to support them.
Cloud-based client portals use innovative security systems to ensure the information they house is safe. Examples include firewalls, end-to-end encryption, and malware and virus protection.
Client portals enhance customer experiences by offering seamless communication channels. Making accurate information available at any time enhances responsiveness, which goes a long way to building long-term trust.
- Customer-First Approach
Another perk of client portals is the ability to empower customers to answer their own questions. They’re less likely to call you when they can easily find the information on their own. It’s also beneficial for service providers, who save on labor costs.
Client portals give authorized users access to relevant information. What is relevant may change by the application, such as standards or drawings for manufacturers, FAQs, troubleshooting tips, company and product details, and much more. With well-managed portals, information is always correct and up to date.
With a cloud-based client portal, relevant information can be accessed from many devices. Keeping the client connected, whenever and wherever they are, streamlines operations.
In most cases, client portal setup costs pale in comparison to other forms of document management and communication. Improving communication and document access boosts productivity, which saves costs over the long haul.
How Can I Set Up a Client Portal?
Client portal optimization depends on your business and your customers’ needs. Since there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, all parties can determine how the portal is used. For service providers, setting up a client portal is much simpler than it sounds. You’ll also show the customer that you’re serious about their project, and it’s easy to make changes as needed.
- You choose what the client sees.
- You consider what information or project data will be helpful to them, creating a customized experience that provides them with just what’s needed.
- If questions come up, you can tweak the portal to provide more or less access to data and project information.
- When milestones are reached, you can send billing statements through the portal.
As the name states, client portals are geared toward the customer. They’re a practical resource to stay up-to-date on project goals.
- You work with the service provider to understand what you’ll have access to at the beginning of a project.
- Once permission is granted, you’ll have access to relevant documentation and effective communication methods.
- If the service provider runs into issues, the portal can be used to create requests, make project adjustments, and send other communications.
- With a client portal, you’re always in the know. As a result, you can focus on the real issues rather than losing time on getting up to speed.
Who Can Benefit From Client Portals?
Put simply, any industry where interaction between customers and service providers is common can benefit from client portals.
By using a secure, branded client portal, built for accountants and accounting firms these tools make it easy to collect, manage, prepare, and share all of your firm and client documents securely online. In the healthcare sector, client portals connect patients with medical professionals seamlessly. Treatment improves by enabling effective, two-way communication. For the manufacturing industry, they create a safe venue to share specifications, product drawings, and other sensitive information. Client portals also provide visibility into project goals and the ability to share updates or request assistance.
How Do I Know Which Client Portal is Right for My Business?
Setting up a client portal with SmartVault gives you a competitive advantage without spending a fortune. Our client portal software lets you securely share files with employees, clients, and vendors in a branded environment.
When you store a document in SmartVault, sending it to the right people using a client portal is easy. In a single step, the document is made accessible to the other party, whenever and wherever they want. Automated alerts tell everyone involved when files are uploaded or downloaded.
With a SmartVault client portal, everything is in a secure cloud. Data is encrypted and backed up automatically, and it’s accessible from any connected device.