Benefits of a Customer Support Portal During Remote Working

Jon Allen December 21, 2021

In a time of Covid-19 and remote working, businesses must rely more and more on digital communications and online interactions to remain in touch with customers, partners and employees and be fully operational. Nevertheless, remote working, digital communications, and online interactions are nothing new, as we have all been living a very ‘switched on’ lifestyle for years, requiring us to be accessible at the click of a button, keeping us connected 24/7 in multiple ways. There is no surprise that businesses are adapting to new, innovative ways to deliver a great customer experience through digital technologies like customer support portals. With the world currently being put under tighter restrictions due to the pandemic, now more than ever businesses need to be on the front foot and adapt in order to give themselves the best opportunities of surviving and even coming out the other side of this in a better position.

So, what exactly is a customer support portal and how can implementing one benefit your business for the better? A customer support portal is an online, web self-service experience, where customers can access information and get support for your company’s products and services. Through a customer support portal, a customer can access vital information, ask questions about a product or service, and ultimately self-serve. By building a branded customer support portal, you are significantly improving the customer service experience and increasing customer retention. Not only can your customer support portal be the place for customers to go for answers to questions and solutions to problems, but it can also be used as a main generator and source of reusable, user-generated content that is highly relevant to future customer inquiries. With 88% of customers now expecting a business to have an online self-service customer support portal, it is no surprise that we are seeing more organizations move to this.  We are coming into an age of true ‘self-service’.

Benefits of a Customer Support Portal

So, if your business is considering implementing a customer support portal, what benefits can you expect?

  1. Reduce customer support costs

A traditional way of providing customer service is through having a physical customer service team in a contact center.  This has been the way to provide customer service for many years now. A customer will have an issue with a product or service and then call a contact center where an expert or advisor offers a solution over the phone. This sounds simple but what once was a very effective way of dealing with customer issues, has quickly become too costly to scale for companies to meet ever-increasing customer service expectations and demands. As customer service expectations and demands increase, companies can no longer overlook the growing support costs involved. We must not forget that whenever a customer service member answers the phone, or uses the computer to reply to a chat or an email, or even waits idle for the next support request, there is a support cost.

However, the beauty of a customer support portal is that it allows customers to search for solutions specific to their issue 24/7 without waiting on hold or engaging support staff, saving them time and saving you money in support costs. And, customers tend to have similar issues, so having a support portal allows customers to access previously used answers and solutions which may answer their problems. Allowing a customer to self-serve means that you have fewer support costs while providing a better customer experience.

  1. Build strong customer relationships and grow revenue

For all business owners, having loyal customers is key to ensuring continuous revenue growth. But as we all know, building a loyal customer base can be difficult and something that requires a long-term strategic approach.  A successful, strategic approach ensures that your customers will continue to choose your products or services over your competitors. This is easier said than done. We now operate in a market where customers can easily find a similar product, at a cheaper price with a simple Internet search. With this in mind, it is vitally important that you have an online customer service experience as a differentiator for your brand that promotes better engagement and encourages customers to continue to use and invest in your products or services. Similarly, people expect a super-fast, digital customer support experience that allows them to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. A customer support portal has the ability to do this. Such a platform allows customers to easily self-serve without having to wait and it increases the chances of them returning to self-serve again. A customer that is loyal to you is not only going to return, but they are likely to recommend your product and services to a friend, further expanding your customer base and revenue generating opportunities. While you are providing an enhanced customer experience and increasing customer satisfaction, you’re simultaneously protecting and growing revenue for your business. In these uncertain times, customers have more questions than ever before, so ensuring that you provide them with a self-service option to effectively and efficiently meet their needs is crucial for encouraging your customer to return, allowing your organization to continuously grow.

  1. Increases productivity business-wide and focus on new revenue streams

Leading on from reducing customer support costs and growing revenue, a customer support portal will free up resource time so your business can increase productivity and allow you to focus on new revenue streams. When a customer has a query or a problem, they can access the customer portal to self-serve reducing the need to call your customer service team. Furthermore, research suggests that customers actually prefer to not call for support and would much rather self-serve via a customer support portal. As a result of customers using your customer support portal to get answers and solve their issues, your support teams gain valuable time back to assist in other areas of your business. For example, knowledgeable product experts may now have time to provide real-world insights to product management to improve products and services. Patterns of questions asked or problems reported and solved could uncover gaps in product functionality or professional services offerings that could be offered a revenue-generating value-adds to your portfolio. These are just some of the examples of how businesses repurpose or redirect knowledgeable customer support resources.

What are the takeaways from implementing a customer support portal?

So, what exactly can you expect for your business once you create a customer support portal to augment the customer service team and contact center? Without a doubt, you will improve your customer experience.  When customers self-serve, they are likely to find a solution to their problem on their time without having to call a customer service team. Furthermore, while you’re improving the customer experience, you’re increasing engagement, promoting return visits to find and interact with useful resources, and ultimately promoting continued investments in your products and services.  A customer support portal builds brand trust, and a brand that can be trusted is likely to attract new customers.

Through a self-service customer support portal, you are allowing your business to provide a better customer experience, save money on support costs and put more of a focus on areas of need

Want to speak to one of our experts to find out how a customer support portal could benefit your business or organization? Get in touch today or request a demo.