According to a Walker study, customer experience will overtake product and price as the main brand differentiator by 2020. And the best way to go about providing a holistic customer experience is to pay attention to the overall customer journey. Maintaining consistency throughout their interaction with you and your different departments is paramount.
Sounds easy, right?
But, in practice, it can be one of the most overwhelming tasks you’ll undertake.
The main hurdle is the misalignment of the goals of different departments. Because of which, the right information is not passed down to the right departments at the right time. For example, your support team might not understand the questions of your customers if they were not informed of the latest developments of the customer account. This not only frustrates your support department but usually results in your customers leaving your company.
And I am sure, no company wants or likes that.
To bring all your departments on the same page regarding your customers’ journey, a SaaS Client portal can be the perfect solution.
Well, first we will have to understand the concept of SaaS portals.
What is SaaS Portal?
SaaS is an abbreviation of Software as a service. Using this, your users can connect to or use cloud-based apps and software over the internet usually using internet browsers. Now, what a SaaS client portal essentially does is it puts your data and customers in a unified space that is made accessible to your customers as well. Not only that but it also streamlines the processing of the information in an organization. It becomes an effortless unified point of interaction for your customers whereas it brings all your departments on the same page.
Apart from helping you provide an integrated customer journey, let’s see why it is imperative for all the businesses, from small to enterprise level to adopt this solution.
Why SaaS Client Portal?
Did you know that the concept of SaaS dates back to the 1960s which was back then referred to as ‘time sharing system’. Even though personal computers became cheaper to own, the concept of SaaS seeped its way back into our lives because of the mobility it provides. Having a SaaS client portal eliminates the hassles of installing and maintaining applications for your customers as well as your employees. Everyone can just log in to their accounts and go about their queries or work without having to stick to a stationary desk. They can even reach out to you while traveling. This adds brownie points to your reputation with your customers.
- Pay as you go:
Now this point doesn’t directly impact your relationship with your customers but it definitely brings down your customer retention costs. Since you will be paying as you add more and more customers and bringing all your departments on the same page, you’ll see a positive change in your customer retention rate. Most importantly, since the right message reaches the right department with this enterprise portal, there’ll be lesser support tickets enabling a smoother interaction with your enterprise.
- Constant upgrades:
There are constant updates for every software or app that you might be using. The advantage here is that your customers and employees won’t have to go through the tedious process of first downloading the updated software, then installing the same in their PCs/laptops. With a SaaS customer portal, they’ll be using the upgraded version all the time without any of the above mentioned hassles.
- Data management:
This portal works as a data manager for both parties. You and your customers. Using this your customers can manage their personal data, orders, invoices, and if you have vendors, they can manage quotes, proposals, etc. Not only this but since this solution is customizable you can also integrate it with your CMS and manage your content from it.
- Fully customizable & scalable:
Every company plans on growing and expanding their customer base. So, if you invest in a static solution at the beginning that works for you when you have a limited number of customers, then you are going to face problems sooner than you expect. Apart from the future solution costing you more money plus data migration, there can be a lot of frustration from your existing customers for this switch. Because they will have to learn and understand new navigation and logic. Basically, what we are trying to suggest is that it will be a better idea to go for a solution that is scalable and customizable to accommodate your growing business’ needs.
- Customer self-serve:
A SaaS enterprise portal bridges the gap between your customers and your support staff. It gives your customers the liberty to play around the customer portal and look for answers to their questions as well as get a better hang of your products or services. With the knowledge base, they can simply type in their queries and get their answers. They can also update their details without having to get on calls or wait for your emails.
- No hassles of hosting & maintenance:
Since the software is hosted on your solution provider’s servers, you wouldn’t have to worry about any of the hosting and maintenance problems. However, make sure you are choosing a reliable solution provider as you might require prompt services in case anything goes sideways. Also, 24*7 services if you are offering the same to your customers. Otherwise, it will be hard for you to maintain a quality level in handling your customers and their queries.
- Communication consistency:
Since all your departments will have their separate logins and all the required information will be shared with them, it will be easier for them to communicate well with your customers. They will know exactly where the customer is in their journey, what price has been quoted, and what their previous queries were. All the departments across the company will have a 360-degree view of the accounts which in turn helps your company grow rapidly.
Before investing, do your due diligence and check if they have all the below-mentioned features to help you achieve your targets.
Must-have Features in SaaS Enterprise Portal
- Secure customer log-in:
Secure and single customer log-in to ensure your customers that their data is in safe hands and isn’t being misused for targeted marketing. This will not only build your brand’s credibility but will also get you a positive word of mouth.
- Control over access:
It goes without saying that you can’t share all your CRM data with your customers. Hence a solution like the SaaS enterprise customer portal should give you control over access of the data. It can have role-based accessibility feature as well where you can add contacts in a certain group and provide access accordingly.
- Enterprise search:
When we say enterprise search, it means the functionality of global search where customers could simply type in their query terms in the search bar and the portal fetches results from all over the database to help your customer navigate seamlessly through the portal.
- Customizable page layouts:
Every page or every module is different and serves different purposes. Some are to communicate with customers while some are to maintain CRM records and data. So, it is not possible that the default layout goes with every one of them. For proper functioning of any module, you’ll need to keep the right buttons, text, and actions at the right place and hence in such cases, you will need the feature of customizable page layouts in your SaaS customer portal.
- Clean and intuitive dashboard:
More than the right layout of the page, your portal needs a clean and intuitive design language throughout. Especially when it comes to the dashboard as it is the first thing your customers will see when they log in. So, make sure your SaaS portal has a clean, informative and intuitive dashboard for easy operations.
- Integrated calendar:
There is always some kind of interaction happening between you and your customers. Be it a quick call, weekly newsletter, unresolved support ticket, an appointment or a meeting. To give your teams as well as your customers an overview of these interactions, an integrated calendar is a must. This will allow your teams to manage their schedules effectively.
- Knowledge base:
Having an integrated knowledge base is a must as this is the basic functionality that all the companies provide at this point. It encourages your customers to self-serve and reduces the friction between them and your support team. As a result, your support team can take proactive measures and dig around to enhance your customers’ overall journey with you and lifetime value.
In the era where every small, medium, and enterprise company is becoming customer-centric, no company can miss out on the opportunities that come with staying in touch with their customers.
A SaaS customer is definitely an upgrade from emails, calls, or online chat which your customers are eagerly waiting for.
So, let’s catch your business up to speed with a cloud-based customer portal!
CRMJetty is a hub of innovative customer relationship solutions. Our tools ensure that you can render enhanced interactions at each stage of your customer lifecycle. So, if you are searching for a portal development company, we are here to help you in building the right customized portals. Something that your customers will love. We have served in this industry for a decade and have built SaaS portals of various magnitudes and with different logics like customer portal, self-service portal, web development portals, etc. Get in touch with us to create customized portals and we’ll help you kickstart your journey towards growing with portals.
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