March 15, 2017

Six Ways A Customer Portal Can Connect Your Enterprise

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A quick check of iTunes reveals a stark truth – there is no such thing as a greatest hits album for on-hold music.

Yet, there your customer lingers, phone propped on their shoulder, while they listen to some faceless jazz tune and contemplate exactly how they’ll react to this lengthy wait: They could simply complain to your customer service rep once they pick up the phone. More likely, they’ll spew their frustration in 140 character Tweets, or a colorful Facebook post.

Worst-case scenario: They’ll simply hang up the phone, and find a competitor of yours that makes it easier to obtain and solve product issues – then reward that business with their cash, accolades and future business.

In today’s reality, the consumer wants the drive the relationship with your enterprise. They can already purchase nearly any product or service without talking to a human; why should the customer support experience be any different?

Some recent statistics to support this customer-driven paradigm:
  • 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product issues themselves;
  • 70% of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application;
  • 85% of the relationship with an enterprise will be managed by customers without interacting with a human by 2020;
  • 77% of those ages 18 to 24 use mobile devices at least once per month for customer support.

A solution ideally suited for this new reality is a customer portal – simply stated, an application that your customers use to ensure that they can successfully use the products and services provided by your organization.

When deployed properly, a customer portal can serve as an added resource for your human capital, increasing productivity organization-wide – particularly, of your service team – and fostering greater customer satisfaction.

Here are six ways that a customer portal may be the way you can toss your customer the keys, and let them drive your mutual relationship down the road to continued happiness:

1). Real-Time: A customer portal can provide real-time access to data to your customers – they can see the status of their relationship with your company, without having to guess at the key details.

2) Personalization: You can customize the data your customers see – so customers with a particular type of relationship with your company can drill deeper, accessing historical data, schematics and the like.

3) Self-service: This is the secret sauce of the portal – the ability to be accessed without intervention by your support team. This minimizes inbound calls, freeing up your human capital for more urgent, mission-critical issues.

4) Increased Sales: By providing access to quotes and products, you can “upsell” consumers while they are within the portal.

5) Increased Satisfaction: By allowing customers to check the current status of their orders, tickets, repairs and the like, they’ll feel like they’re truly in control of their fate – fostering a greater sense of inclusiveness and satisfaction.

6) Increased Interaction: The portal can be a true two-way conduit between you and your customer, allowing them to append notes, images and other attachments that may add insights and relevance to your relationship.

Requirements for a portal solution can vary, depending upon the products and services your company provides, and the sensitivity of the information you exchange with your consumer. Netwoven has experience in many verticals, and with many different types of customers, and can look at your specific use cases and help you conceive the right solutions. You may find that Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a good starting point – its multiple templates can be further configured based on your data and business processes.

Don’t wait another moment – ready to toss your customer the keys to your relationship? Give us a call. If you contact us by the end of this month, we’ll throw in a two-hour consultation session, at no charge, so we can assess your specific needs and discuss an approach that may work for you.

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