One of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is through an online customer portal. Not only is a happy customer always better for business but you will simultaneously reduce the number of inbound support calls and inquiries.
What is a Customer Portal?
A customer portal is a private part of your website where you can exchange information with your customers. It brings valuable customer tools into one easy-to-use online location. A customer can choose to visit your website, login to their existing account, view your product at their price level, and checkout with their account terms. Customers can also view order history, quickly reorder, and pay outstanding invoices – making their interaction with your company easier and faster.
According to Microsoft's 2018 Global State of Customer Service Report, 88% of customers worldwide expect businesses to provide an online self-service portal. Giving your customers access to online options is an important part of creating a satisfying customer experience and building brand loyalty.
Benefits of a customer portal include:
- 24/7 access to account information and order history
Customers interact with your company anytime and anywhere as long as they have internet connection. They login to their account, shop your catalog, view order history, and pay outstanding balances all without contacting your staff. Easy access to relevant information increases customer service satisfaction while reducing the number of inbound calls and emails.
- Easier and faster ways to order
Customers navigate through product, view invoices, and pay online in a matter of seconds. Full product listing and shopping cart capabilities make it easy for retail and wholesale customers to buy from your company. No longer do customers need to fax, email, or call orders into the office to view product details and place orders.
Business to Business (B2B) customers place orders online with their specific pricing, view real-time availability, and check out with their payment terms, making it easy and convenient to reorder from your company.
- Improved cash flow by accepting payments online
Mailing out invoices requires time to print/mail and even more time for the client to receive those documents and send payment back. Your customer portal enables you to accept payments online for your invoices - the fastest payment method these days.
Picture this: Your customer logs into your website, gets instant information about outstanding invoices, clicks on the payment button and processes the credit card payment. The payment is processed on the spot and in 1-2 working days, the money is available to your account. Payments can be that simple! The easier the payment process, the faster you get what is owed to you.
- Reduced data entry tasks
Using a company portal does away with time consuming processes. Day-to-day operations are taking care of itself and employees are able to focus on other important tasks.
When customers place an order online it is synced to your business software, automatically communicating order, inventory, customer, and shipping information. This full integration eliminates the need to manually enter orders while reducing errors and saving time.
Is a Customer Portal right for my company?
Online options benefit almost any business and are becoming the normal in commerce today. However, companies that include one or more of the following scenarios will experience the greatest value of a customer portal.
- Product pricing and stock changes frequently
- A significant quantity of business to business (B2B) orders are processed
- Your customers have accounts with recurring invoicing, reorder history, or customer specific pricing
- Inventory contains some complexity such as made-to-order product, product with options, or serialized product
- Orders are being manually entered by internal staff
Eagle Business Software eCommerce includes an integrated customer portal option that connects your website to existing customer accounts in EBMS. All customer account settings, price levels, terms, and history are maintained from EBMS and synced to the website.
Interaction with your company is seamless while keeping all information real-time. This one-stop shop for placing orders, paying bills, and account management makes daily interactions with your company easier and faster! And by providing better customer service options you give your business the competitive edge.
The exact setup of your customer portal varies depending on your business. Request a Demo to get started.