If you want to improve your service you’ve got to keep customers well informed and the best (and the most cost-effective) way to do that is through a customer portal. This way there’s no need to extend your opening hours, you can simply provide 24/7 access to information including client dashboards to provide access to all the latest service and performance reports.
Here’s why portals are best for service businesses:
- It saves time. A customer portal provides a way to access information without having to rely on calls or emails. What’s more, everything your customers need is updated in real-time
- It supports customer retention. Loyal customers have to be earned. Each interaction you have goes some way towards building or hurting that allegiance. So, the easier you make it, and the more added value you provide, the more they are likely to stick around.
The good news is that getting up and running with a service system with a customer portal is easier than you may think. But what should you look for when choosing the best service solution for you and your clients?
Go with the cloud
Because on-premise software can be difficult to deploy and maintain, an increasing number of businesses are looking to the cloud to meet evolving customer expectations. Benefits of cloud-based portals include:
- Lower costs. In addition to not requiring any expensive infrastructure, the cloud is easier for cashflow, with services provided on a pay-as-you-go basis
- Easy to get up and running. You can tap into tried and tested service management solutions that are ready to use and customisable to you and your clients
- With the cloud, your customers have real-time access to the service information they need; from anywhere on multiple devices
- Automatic upgrades. Cloud providers continuously improve their portal solutions at no extra cost to you.
To support your customers, give them a portal that reflects their organisation’s image and brand. Likewise, everyone has their own unique needs and priorities, so providing a one-size-fits-all dashboard can lead to frustration. Instead, look for a solution that lets you tailor the services offered and information displayed accordingly.
At-a-glance visual dashboards and reports
Make sure each customer can see all of their key metrics, without needing to call you. With outstanding jobs, KPIs, and more, all available via an easy to understand, user-friendly dashboard they’ll always know what’s happening. Not only will this lead to improvements in customer satisfaction (and therefore retention), but it will also reduce the burden on your team.
Bespoke customer updates
As well as automatically pulling in vital information, look for a customer portal solution that makes it easy for you to add a note or send a file (e.g. photo, PDF report, job sheets etc.).
Give customers some control
For many companies, customer issues are still dealt with via call/support centres. But the sheer number of calls received can make excellent customer service difficult; particularly for non-routine calls. As well as providing at-a-glance info, invest in a portal that gives your customers the ability to create their own jobs in the system, with notifications sent to your team for action.
Integrate across your business
You can provide a wealth of information via customer portals, including quotes and invoices. Speeding up time between brief and starting the work, you’ll benefit from a more efficient turnaround. What’s more, with the ability to update a job made quick and easy, assignments can be marked as complete by your engineers whilst in the field and invoices generated automatically for your back office team to process.
For more information on how our service software can help make your customers happy, contact us today for an informal chat.