According to research, 69% of customers want to resolve their issues on their own. 63% start with an online search or resources when they have a problem. This is because it saves their time from contacting businesses, particularly for simple questions. Self-service becomes essential during a crisis when there's a massive wave of support requests and customers who need support.

As the bar continues to grow, customer portal solutions have become necessary rather than a luxury for businesses. Around 90% of customers expect companies to have online portals. If you don't have it yet, go for customer portal development today.

Also, read on to know about different ways to use the portal to foster trustworthy customer relationships.

1. Proactive Support

Customer portal solutions empower customers to solve their queries on their own rather than wait for support. It helps businesses proactively support their customers. For example, a tech company can leverage a portal to prepare for mishaps that might occur during the update phase by keeping the customers in the loop via informative content. This can save their support team's time during the service issue.

Similarly, an eCommerce company can connect the portal with other solutions to manage their order details like shipment tracking, updating the card information, etc. With a portal, customers won't have to reach out to support and wait for a response; they can raise the ticket and get it done while on the go.

2. Education and Community

A customer portal development fosters customer relationships. It brings the knowledge base and community together from a single access point. This means that customers can seamlessly transition from subscribing to relevant articles to interacting with other customers. For instance, customers may find the starting tutorial videos helpful for getting comfortable with your brand during the onboarding process. With a community forum, they may learn how to use the tools effectively.

Apple's customer portal, My Support, provides an engaging learning environment where customers can find knowledge base articles and community posts relevant to specific products or use cases.

Most of the time, customers look to your business not because they have a problem; instead, they want to learn. A customer portal builds trust where customers know they can find answers and return. Thus, choose a solution that allows you to design a seamless user experience, customize the portal, and update the knowledge base regularly.

3. Online Presence

51 percent of customers prefer the response in 5 minutes, and 28 percent expect it on live chat. And to satisfy them, the skills of a customer support team are not enough. It's not practical to have agents working round the clock. However, online customer support enables businesses to provide customers with answers or at least start the process.

Instead of calling support and waiting on hold, writing an email, hoping for a response the next day, or moving to a real-time chat conversation, customers can simply log into their portal whenever they need help. For example, in a hotel client portal, guests can request invoices, book reservations, make edits to their room preferences anytime, anywhere.

A feature-rich portal also provides a form to allow customers to contact the support team without leaving the experience. While developing, businesses should add fields like product type or issue topic to the ticket form to make the resolving process easier. This way, agents would have the context of the issue that they need to resolve.

4. Receive Feedback

Customer portals help companies receive feedback on their product and services as customers can add the rating and vote on articles and comments on discussions.

For instance, you can use customer complaints or feature request data to get the most engagement in community forums or help center articles to have the most views. You can track knowledge base and community metrics like votes, subscriptions, comments to foster the feedback loop.

Lastly, you can offer self-service functions to ensure business continuity amid challenges like a pandemic.

Author's Bio: 

Mr. Maulik Shah is the founder & CEO of CRMJetty , a hub of innovative customer relationship solutions, provides ready to CMS integrate portal solutions for various CRM, including customer portal solutions and customer portal development. Maulik is a tech enthusiast and writes about the various aspects of e-commerce technology.