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What is the Importance of Creating an Online Customer Portal with a Sense of Community?

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posted Jun 20 by Rishabh Agarwal

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Have you ever spent time with a toddler who is discovering their independence? The moment a growing tyke learns how to do something new, they feel the need to try and do it themselves. There is a certain level of excitability that comes with their newfound independence and fierce determination – not to mention, a common distaste for being told ‘no.’ Sound relatable?

As grown adults in the modern age of tech booms, DIY-everything, and continuously rising customer service expectations, I don’t think we’re that far removed from the demands of a toddler who wants to be in the driver’s seat of their own experiences (and I’m not surprised).

Did you know that 89 percent of U.S. consumers expect brands or organizations to have an online self-service support portal?
A traditional business portal is generally one-size-fits-all, while an online community has the ability to create a more personalized experience for customers. But whether you call it an online customer portal, online community, or knowledge base, the essence is the same – you’re leveraging technology to meet expectations, address the evolving demand for customer self-service options, and improve the overall customer experience (CX) through empowered knowledge sharing and engagement.

Recent years have seen a big shift in customer support as technology rises to meet the evolving demand for customer self-service options, and self-service adoption is projected to keep rising.

Customers want, expect, and often prefer online self-service options to get help and answers.

91% of survey respondents said they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs (Coleman Parkes for Amdocs)

The catch? People are largely only interested in online self-support if it's well-managed, reliable, and accurate

80% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, with 57% reporting having stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience (Salesforce)

If you want to support your customers' desire to self-serve while simultaneously increasing loyalty, the creation of a customer portal alone isn't going to get you there – it’s just the beginning. You need an online community platform with support capabilities that increases the all-around customer experience.

When you use online community software, you're not only getting a portal to manage basic transactional data, you’re utilizing a solution to improve customer satisfaction and success on a broader scale. The good news? You’re in a great place to learn more. Keep reading.

Why Do Companies Create Online Customer Portals?
1. To Provide Self-Service Options & Reduce Customer Support Costs
2. To Provide a Convenient Place to Centralize Information & Tools
3. To Provide Scalable Customer Relationship Management
4. Elements of an Effective Online Customer Portal

answer Jun 21 by Monisha R Shetty
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