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Customer Self Service Portal: 3 Keys to Getting It Right

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February 16, 2021
Average: 5 (2 votes)

88% of customers around the globe expect organizations to have a customer self service portal, according to a recent survey. This means that if you don't, you're falling behind on customer expectations, which translates to lower sales.

Customers are already comfortable with self service – it's not a thing of the future. 79% of US citizens and 74% of customers outside the US have already used a self service portal.

And it's not just B2C businesses that are jumping onto the portal development bandwagon. B2B businesses are reaping the benefits too. Some of the brands that use customer portals include Infosys, Spire, and Airbus.

What's driving this use of self service technology? Do people prefer customer web portals over traditional customer support? And what are the benefits your business could get from web portal development?

What is a Self Service Portal?

First let's understand what a customer self service portal is not: A replacement for human service agents. Rather, it is a complementary, though still vital, addition. And while it can be developed from the same technology as an employee self service portal, the content and UX will be drastically different.

A customer web portal is a website that offers resources and information to aid users in resolving their problems related to your products or services. They should be able to do this without the help of your agents.

Why is Providing Great Customer Service Important?

  • Satisfied customers will refer other people.

  • People tend to be more willing to pay higher prices to brands with excellent customer service.

  • It is easier to retain customers than to acquire them.

  • Increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

  • Customer service is the face of your brand – and by default, of your values. Make it good.

A self service portal is a great way to boost your customer service.

According to Dimension Data, 73% of customers prefer to use a company's website, rather than using social media and live chat for support. 67% of customers would rather use self service than speak with a support agent.

Customer self service isn't a quirky little extra anymore, like a slot machine in a coffee shop. It's all but a necessity if you want to remain competitive.

Benefits of Customer Web Portals

Customer self service portals are excellent tools for:

  • Quick responses to common service questions. With customers wanting snappy solutions, making them wait for ten minutes while you scramble to find your coworker isn't the best idea.

  • Boosting site traffic.

  • Allowing your customer agents and other employees to tackle more complex or time-consuming tasks.

  • A more personalized experience for your customers, who can be welcomed by name and redirected to pages tailored to their needs.

  • Collaborative spaces where users can ask questions and share information.

What Does the Success of a Self Service Portal Depend On?

Developing self-service technology can be challenging. Today, not offering a great one can be as detrimental to your business as not providing one at all.

Its success depends on multiple factors. BluEnt's expert developers have highlighted 3 key techniques to ensure your self-service portal is easy to use and well defined.

Continuously Update the Content

Customers can have generic or highly specific queries about your products and services.

There can actually never be enough information on your portal. You need to keep improving and updating content regularly to meet the results expected by your customer base.

For example, when launching a new product, you need to give adequate information about the product – how to use it, where to find it, whether you deliver to a certain country, etc.

A major differentiator is how accurately your support team can anticipate your customer's requirements and behavior, which will help you tailor your content. Tools such as predictive analytics help enable this.

In fact, service teams that are high performing are 3.6 times more likely than lower performing ones to use tools like analytics.

Clarity With Photographs, Videos and Screenshots

No matter how high quality your content is, images and videos will always complement them. They help give a complete picture to your customers.

For example, if your product requires 'how-to' content, screenshots, or even better, a video, can go a long way in providing clarity.

This way, your customers won't have to make multiple calls for the same question, because they get a step-by-step demonstration on your portal. All they'll have to do is rewind or scroll up.

Make It On-The-Go

Optimizing a customer self service portal for mobile users may not be strictly necessary, but in BluEnt's opinion, it helps boost your sales.

With a mobile app created by a reliable software development company, your customers will be able to get the support they need from anywhere, at any time.

And your most loyal customers? They'll be thanking you the most.

Conclusion

It's not customers that make your business profitable. It's happy customers.

A customer self service portal will help your company carve out a space for itself as a trusted authority and reliable product or service provider.

With the three keys outlined above, you'll be able to deliver a personalized customer experience that results in satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, a higher ROI.

But we understand that not everyone has the resources to develop a portal. Lucky you, that's exactly what we do.

BluEnt offers software development services to help your clients get the customer satisfaction they deserve. Contact our experienced portal developers now to get started.

Want to see how we've helped other businesses? Check out our portfolio.

Maximum Value. Achieved.

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