5 Online Customer Portals to Enhance Your Customer Experience

May 4, 2022 | Read: 7 minutes


Online customer portals are reinventing customer care.

Take a moment to consider how you interact with your customers…

How are you interacting with them?

How are they able to interact with you?

Customers aren’t always the most patient people. But, let’s be fair: if they have a problem, it makes sense they want it fixed ASAP. It’s best not to keep them waiting for the information they need.

With self-service tools, customers can enjoy stress-free, straightforward journeys that get them the results everyone wants, fast and keep them from going to your competition.

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What are Online Customer Portals?

Online Portals (also called Customer Portals) allow your business to engage with customers with minimal effort but provide massive gains.

Portals are hosted on secure web pages or apps that allow customers to complete tasks or access information themselves. For example, you might send them an invoice to pay, or details about an appointment.

As these portals are all web-based, they can be accessed anytime and anywhere with an internet connection. That means 24/7 customer service!

With portals, you can offer customers peace of mind, speed, and accurate customer service. They’re a great way to save everyone time and get results, fast.

5 Online Customer Portals to Enhance User Experiences:

1. Online Booking Portal – Streamline communication:

online customer portals - booking portal

The ability to organise our lives online at the click of a button continues to be revolutionary. With that in mind, shouldn’t inquiring and booking a field service job be just as easy? 

An Online Booking Portal is the first step you can take to streamline customer interactions. Without adopting one, you may be missing out…

Consider the following scenario:

Another great aspect of a booking portal is the information it can let you capture. 

A basic form could be as simple as asking the customer to provide a name, email address, and phone number. 

However, you could take this a step further by customising your portal in an attempt to discover useful customer data. Your form could ask the customer to indicate the type of request they’re after or state their availability. With this information, you can tailor future interactions.

Not only can portals reduce admin time for your staff, but Online Booking Portals also act as a 24/7 window of opportunity. They open you up to new customers and can help boost sales online.

2. Estimates Online Portal – Clarify the cost:

Online Portals are all about enhancing the way you interact with your customers. It won’t surprise you to hear that customers want to know how much a job will cost. But they also want to be confident that payments are handled securely.

online customer portals - Estimate portal

Your engineers may have already done an initial assessment of the job and now need the customer to confirm they’re happy to go ahead. Rather than dealing with this over the phone, or by email, an Estimate Portal keeps things simple.

Estimate Portals can do more than simply relay cost-related information. These portals act as secure access points, particularly if integrated with services such as Stripe. Using this method, customers can quickly fill in their payment details and process them securely.

This digital solution significantly reduces the potential for errors. Like those caused by unclear notes, forgetful minds, or crackly phone calls.

Not only that, but it’s a more environmentally friendly process, reducing the need for printing and signing papers. This also helps save time and additional costs for your business. 

Estimate Portals offer a digitalised solution that means customers can access, review, and even send a payment online and be confident that only they can access and review their unique query. How great is that?

3. Engineer Profile Portal – Reassure your customers:

No one likes being left in the dark.

The anxiety brought on by uncertainty is something that you no doubt try to avoid; it’s why you make plans, seek advice, or research information before making a decision, right? This is also true of your customers.

Consider the following two scenarios concerning a man named George.

George is an elderly gentleman who lives alone: he’s not the most confident person and he doesn’t like to cause a fuss, but unfortunately, his boiler has stopped working and he needs help:

Scenario #1:

Scenario #2:

With just a little bit of information and minimal additional effort, you can provide customers with peace of mind and satisfaction, even before a job has started!

It’s certainly true that we as humans connect to names (didn’t you sympathise more with “George” than if we’d just said “Customer X”?), but we also connect with faces too.

In this regard, an Engineer Profile Portal is a great way to give your business a distinctly personal edge with a pleasing visual touch that helps build trust with your customers.

That level of trust is invaluable and super important to maintain! Not only would a trusting customer be more likely to use your service again, they may also spread the word and bring additional business to your door. 

4. After-Sales Care Portal – Obtain quality feedback:

In your business, it’s not just attracting new customers that’s important, it’s also about how you support them after you provide your service. Understanding what a customer thought about your service is the best way to do this.

You’re never going to improve if you don’t take the time to learn from the people who are using your service. While it’s true that obtaining useful customer feedback can be tricky, it is immensely valuable once it’s in your hands.

That’s where an After-Sales Care Portal is especially helpful.

When a job has been completed you might consider sending a simple message to your customer that requests some feedback. Whether you automate this or not is up to you – but making the effort to obtain feedback (good or bad) is important.

  • It shows you care what your customer thinks,
  • It shows you value their opinion,
  • It gives you the chance to reflect and improve

In addition, direct feedback can help you identify if a customer is dissatisfied before they post a negative review online. This can transform your customer care into an active, rather than a reactive system.

There’s a great deal of value to be found in being able to record, monitor, look back, and learn from the feedback of your customers.

An After-Sales Portal ensures that feedback won’t be lost or ignored altogether. It gives customers the freedom to respond in detail, encouraging them (subtly) to respond swiftly, too, without too much pressure.

5. Invoice Portal – Improve cash flow and reduce debtors:

Similar to the Estimates Portal, the Invoice Portal is a secure place that will provide a clear and simple breakdown of payment.

Customers can rest easy knowing payments are dealt with swiftly and with less friction.

No one likes chasing payment and you certainly don’t want customers to feel hassled, even if they genuinely are responsible for late payment. 

Another particularly positive benefit is how easy these portals make it for you to track invoices online, which ultimately helps reduce debtors and non-payments by letting you keep on top of details in an easy-to-manage location, online.

In addition, you could consider setting up simple reminders to send to customers, thus automating the process of securing payments and letting you focus on other tasks. This works both ways as well, so you and your customers can feel confident that records are organised, safe, and easy to manage.

Get started with online customer portals:

As with many of these online customer portals, by streamlining your processes and taking simple administration tasks online, you can benefit in all sorts of ways! 

If you’d like to explore software tools that can transform the way you deliver your customer service experiences, then look no further than Commusoft. We’ve got the resources you need to create world-class customer journeys that are sure to delight your customers.

Explore our Self-Service software, below:

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I'm eager to tell compelling stories and share great advice that helps field service businesses to build on their success.

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