Functionality, navigation, design, coding integrity, and much more goes into the web portal development process. But it doesn't end there. You have to work with developers and ensure that the solution meets their requirements. In addition, it should engage customers, provide relevant information, meet industry requirements, etc.
Web portals enhance customer experience. If we look at the stats, over 88% of the users expect a digital self-service portal to address the basic queries. If customer service is excellent, 93% are likely to repeat the purchase. Hence, it pays to follow the web portal development steps thoroughly for businesses who want to keep up with changing customer behavior. Ensure that the web portal consists of all the essential elements such as:
1. UI and UX
The first impression is the last. For your customers, that first impression is the look of your portal. If the design is attractive and easy to read with smooth navigation, they are likely to use it. A clean design helps customers focus on the content instead of getting distracted by graphics. However, that's not enough. You need to improve the overall user experience too. So, focus on the portal loading speed, placing buttons, navigation, and how efficient you can make it.
Just imagine, if a customer can quickly raise a ticket with one click, why would they put in the effort to call a support team? Now that's possible only if they can find the option to raise tickets quickly in the first place.
Hence, a clean design and intuitive interface are vital to providing a positive customer experience.
When thinking about portal functionality, there are a few things to consider. Like, is the portal mobile responsive? Does it provide effective reporting? Are the security features of a portal adequate? In addition to these, you need to focus on the features from the user's perspective. See if the registration, login, customer feedback, ticket generation, survey features are working correctly.
Ensure that all features such as knowledge base, community, live chat, voice search, and others are included in your web portal. Missing out on these features can prompt users to abandon your portal services. Hence, they are essential for your portal development process.
3. Fresh Content
The primary reason for having a self-service portal is to allow customers to solve their queries on their own. To make this possible, you need to provide customers with relevant information with user manuals, how-to guides, steps, FAQs, and more. On-site blogs will also help keep customers updated about the latest products, company events, and industry-specific information. Featuring blogs is a great way to engage customers. However, you must update the content regularly.
Fresh content helps gain trust and loyalty from customers along with SEO. A new customer can learn valuable information about your business or products and services. For example, say you provide tax services and have a featured article on the tax laws from 2015 on your main page. What do you think your client would do? I certainly would reconsider. I want to know that the business is alive, knows about the market, and is worthy.
Whether it’s a website or a web portal, SEO is important. Optimizing your site content helps you get more traffic and increase ROI. Without SEO, it becomes difficult to reach everywhere. For instance, you have shared a blog on legal services. The content alone won't help you generate traffic. You need to optimize it using keywords, analyzing their SERP, and organizing them systematically.
When your portal is SEO-friendly, it provides crawlers and spiders a clear picture of your site's content.
Do you know that placement of customer reviews on Amazon is the result of SEO? The reviews that provide relevant information and have proper keyword usage are shown at the top. The same can work for your business if it's SEO-friendly.
So, make this element part of your web portal development.
5. Compatibility and Responsiveness
It is essential to know what your customers want and whether the solution is upto the market demand or not. Hence, research is one of the essential web portal development steps.
While researching, we often try to understand our target audience, their needs, and the types of services to be delivered. As a result, we miss out on technological progress, which is essential considering the rapid change in browsers and browsing habits.
Switching from Chrome to Firefox and Safari can be daunting, so the portal must be compatible with different browsers. Not to miss, it should be device friendly too. Statistics indicate that people prefer mobile phones to conduct online searches. 95% of smartphone users rely on mobile devices for searching local products and services.
To effectively reach them, businesses need to be sure that their web portals are responsive.
Failing to provide a responsive and compatible solution may exclude a large part of your customer base, which can have costly consequences.
6. Social Media Integration
Social media integration is no longer a novelty. On the contrary, it’s necessary considering no one likes wasting their 5 minutes on a manual sign-up.
Besides, it makes sharing information convenient. Customers can share your products, their reviews, and more with their family and friends. You can connect and engage with them -n contests, posts, polls, and discussion groups.
Tip: Along with social media integration, consider integrating required third-party apps or make the solution flexible enough to integrate other extensions as the business grows.
With technology advancement, new and more advanced security risks are threatening the company's integrity. A web portal must prevent security breaches on the frontend and backend, from malware and malicious attacks to unauthorized access. At the database level, any loophole in the SQL query can result in SQL injection. Hence, the development team should meet all the coding standards.
They should include features like role-based access so that only the authorized person can view the data. This would reduce the chances of data manipulation. It will streamline the internal and external processes. Internal staff and external customers/vendors can access relevant information via a secure login, reducing dependency.
Tip: Look for the developers' skills. The more proficient they are, the better will be the result.
Portals improve interaction. So, integrate multiple channels to facilitate real-time communication with customers. For example, offer live chat, chatbots, email service, social media chats, and community.
Provide them ways to come to you directly or indirectly, in the hour of need. For instance, if they have a query and hesitate to contact a support team, they should be able to get help from the community - people like them helping one another. For basic queries, they can chat with an AI chatbot and should be allowed to switch to a live chat at any stage.
Overall, your web portal should keep the communication ongoing. It should make the interaction easy and comfortable.
Cost of Portal Development Process
The final cost of the portal depends on factors such as functionalities, tech stack, developers' expertise, elements to include, developer location, etc.
Web portal development steps can affect the cost too. If you have researched the industry and the development team well, you can get a whole set of quality features. That's like saving money too.
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