The market is moving towards a customer-centric world at an exponential rate. According to Walker’s study, customer experience (CX) is a major factor that will differentiate businesses in a competitive world. Their products and services will, in fact, not play a major role. This drastic change causes CX to become a priority among businesses. Overall, principles and practices combine UX and CX. UX and CX are fields of their own, but each will complement the other to improve portal designs.
The simple reason that UX is taking a key role in developing a business is that it records and affects the customer’s journey. This eventually determines the success of the business. It is no wonder that businesses becoming digital is the major way for them to succeed in this era.
How Are Customer Experience and Business Success Interrelated?
In the business world, every decision and every step has a positive or negative effect on its customers. Eventually, customers’ decisions work in tandem with the business to raise profit and leave positive impressions on more customers.
An improved CX will reflect these positive impressions:
- Better branding
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Customer loyalty
- Enhanced business ratings, recommendations, and reviews
- Brand awareness
At the time of planning a business idea, give a thought to the activities related to the business and try to prioritize the customer experience. Advance planning will increase customer retention rates, reduce customer churn, reduce complaints, and decrease product returns in eCommerce businesses.
In this day and age, when the market is so competitive, it is hard to find any business that would not benefit from providing a good customer experience. To understand the details of why UX is a factor in customer portal success, it’s important to understand customer portals first.
What Is a Customer Portal?
In a website, the design and sections are dedicated to customers having access to the company’s services and other information. It is like a hub that gives the customer access to get the status of their requests, receive any company-based relevant knowledge, and connect with fellow community members.
The self-service functionality, which is becoming integral to running a successful business, is the key to customer portals. For instance, a personalized space might allow customers to access a website, web application, and mobile application. Customer portals can be integrated with other third-party systems; customers can use a portal to review, change, and cancel their account and other relevant information.
Why Is Customer Portal Success Important?
As customers get familiar with technology that has the ability to recognize their requirements, they want independence in trying new things on their own. Any hurdle in finding the solution negatively impacts the customers, yet it is in the hands of the businesses how much information is given to their customers.
Customers can benefit from the UX of the customer portal in the following ways:
- High customer satisfaction rate
- Improved productivity rate of customer agents
- Robust security with advanced features
In simpler words, customer portal success and CX align.
Things to Keep in Mind When Designing a Customer Portal
Reimagining the user experience for CX in a customer portal drives success.
Know the Customer
The UX of the website and portal should be designed bearing in mind the concerns, requirements, and motivations of the demographic of people for which the UX is designed. Develop an overview of the customer journey in the portal with the latest UX to create a seamless customer interaction. Once steps are in place to guide a customer through the customer portal, further data becomes available to better understand customer personas and guide customers towards what they are looking for.
A backend that unifies UX and CX allows business owners to get in-depth analytics of the time spent by customers, oversee the business, and understand the bounce rate and other actions performed to name a few.
Information Sharing Security
With most businesses and industries going digital and the advancement of technology, customers feel safer in sharing their confidential data. Therefore, the basis of offering a customer portal is to offer robust security. Unlike other interaction channels like emails, instant messaging, and such, a customer portal can also store heavy files and high-quality images.
Good UX decreases the overall business cost. Prioritize features that give customers self-servicing functionality like FAQs, discussion forums, and online communities that help customers resolve their issues in a shorter span of time. Query or issue tickets processing is often reduced.
Marketing and Sales Booster
A customer portal should not be viewed in exclusion from the marketing and sales of a business. An effective customer portal with seamless UX has the capacity to promote services and products unlike any other platform. It is one of the best ways to showcase new products and reach existing customers. Customer portals can be leveraged in marketing and sales, which can be quite successful and at times better than any other online promotion. This feature allows the customers to choose the service or purchase the product without feeling pressured.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Customers of digital platforms expect answers, access to information, and service delivery in a short span of time. All delivery of information must be available to solve an issue in a timely fashion. With customer portal software in place, the customers’ personal information can be leveraged to customize solutions and answer their queries. Advanced customer portal software is designed and developed to locate the earlier queries of a customer, which can aid communication between the business and customer. Customer portal software also allows the users, not the admin and customer, to personalize accounts. It is a feature that guarantees an improved experience for the customer, which improves brand loyalty.
For any business to grow, customer feedback is vital and must be taken into account. Effective UX in the customer portal produces vital information like what customers feel about the brand, service, product, and company, which helps identify areas that need improvement. Any dissatisfaction that a customer addresses on the portal can be used to rectify the issue. The feedback that customers leave on the customer portal can be used for deep analytics, business and product trends, and customers’ requirements. Additionally, the ability to address negative feedback on a customer portal is better than managing negative reviews on a public platform.
Improve Brand with Better UX and CX
A robust and effective UX design improves customer satisfaction by offering advanced features. This also increases retention of customers, loyalty towards the brand, and the public impression of the brand image. Customers’ perspectives on the portal also provide data on what customers are looking for next. A customer portal with effective UX leads to customer loyalty.
An effective customer portal, along with an enhanced UX, improves desirability of the brand and products to customers. Desirability is the best indicator of a business’s success.
Five Software Features a Customer Portal Should Have
The critical element in creating an effective customer portal with efficient UX is to ensure the portal accomplishes what customers expect without compromising the features that connect a company’s engine for up-selling and cross-selling or that give the user a unique experience.
As a result, these five features should be included to enhance customer experience in any customer portal.
One of the features that any customer portal should have is the ability to scale as the business grows. In the customer portal, the software should have an architectural build that accommodates heavy traffic without slowing down the user experience. The software must have the capacity to grow and expand as required by the business.
2. Robust Self-Service
A study conducted by Forbes in 2018 revealed that 71% of business-to-business providers, and 59% of consumers, were loyal to businesses that offered online self-service customer portals with seamless UX. For these respondents, the self-service aspect of the customer portal is like a knowledge base. Chat queues and tickets for service requests are no longer a necessity; rather, those are options consumers want to have at times. Most consumers now expect self-service to address their concerns on the websites, which offers the customers instant gratification on the digital platform.
Any customer portal software must have the ability to be flexible. No business intends to stay stagnant. Apart from the portal, software that scales as the business expands should also have the capacity to integrate other software with flexibility. A company that is developing a customer portal with UX as a core value will benefit from open-source software that allows adaptability. Programmers must be able to develop a portal that can offer features and tools that a non-technical member of the business can learn to use, and the portal must also offer unique features and solutions to the users and admins.
Customer portals—employed across almost every industry and the internet—often deal with sensitive, private, and confidential information. A customer portal needs to store personally identifying details, credit, and debit card information, etc. Customer portals should be built on a platform that has a robust firewall and security system in place. Encryption and SSL features are a must. Furthermore, the UX can be enhanced by offering easy, yet multi-layered authentication to access personal information by both the admin and the customer.
5. Deep Analytics
Like any other digital platform, the customer portal must have the ability to improve its performance at all times. As part of that feature, every customer portal should have built-in deep analytics and the data reading capacity to determine how it is performing. Deep analytics help the programmers and the business understand if certain features of the business or the portal negatively impact customer behavior. Portals should include tools that can report and examine the customer portal’s efficiency and effectiveness for consumers. These analytics help the business to continually enhance the user experience.
Finally, a customer portal that has UX as a core value to give the best experience to the customers should be built with functionalities that are beneficial for both the end-user and the business owner. Every business is different; each customer portal should be unique to the business while focusing on the UX of the target audience. Base a customer portal in software that can support customers and business needs for flawless delivery.
Successful companies invest in a customer portal with efficient UX. With the right software and a knowledgeable design team, building a successful and customized customer portal that aligns with business is not too difficult. It’s time to pay attention to customers.