What is a Client Portal?
So we've heard of a client portal, but what exactly are they?
In a nutshell, a client portal is software that allows you to interact with your clients, share files, discuss, chat, plan, organise and manage tasks and events in a private online environment.
Usually offering the ability to create individual encompassment for you and each client, client portals are significantly increasing in popularity within businesses who work with multiple businesses or clients.
When businesses incorporate a collaborative culture in their business by using client portals, they centralise and virtualise the way they work. All documents and files are stored online, teams can communicate internally or remotely online, schedule events and manage tasks. This helps to keep all of your employees in the loop and largely eradicate your inefficiencies.
Different brands of client portals can differ significantly, but it is certain that they offer much more than simply file sharing and project management. Some client portals however are aimed at niche markets and vary considerably. Collaboration with clients has existed throughout history. Today's technologies have increased the abilities of collaboration and whilst being a modern concept, many businesses see and reap the benefits.
The reason behind the client portal's rise to popularity is down to many factors. One of the most important is security. Many client portals offer 256bit SSL encryption, this is the same as online banking. Your data is also stored remotely, and datacentres employ physical security measures, to guard their servers. This means that data stored within client portals is very likely to be more secure than on a private server, PC or network.
On top of this, storage within remote datacentres means that usually your files are stored across multiple servers and are therefore more protected against physical hardware failure. Client portals are used by businesses wishing to forge better connections with their clients and work more closely. Client portals can also work for internal working with employees as a central hub of information and a platform to share and manage work. Businesses see client portals as attractive assets due to the flexibility they offer. They allow your work to be available 24/7 and with more and more services offering mobile apps and desktop sync applications, staff have ubiquitous access to their files.
Client portals are excluded of the crippling restrictions imposed on email, this means Client portal companies can offer more freedom. You can upload and manage larger files and manage versions easily.
Client portals usually include (but are not limited to) the following:
Store, edit and share wiki style or basic text documents online. Perfect for taking notes, meeting minutes or sharing information
Store files, share files, and comment on files to get instant feedback
Discussion boards on which you can discuss projects, tasks or requirements
Events calendar to manage your key meeting and events.
Assign and Manage Tasks to keep progress visible, set due dates and milestones and send automatic email notifications when there is an update
Advanced client portals offer the functionality to hold instant messaging conversations with clients or colleagues and store them for future reference
A client portal can benefit businesses by easing the workload of employees and helps them to provide excellent customer service. Client portals open up broader channels of communications for companies working internationally or remotely and allows businesses to expand their client portfolio.
Advanced client portal software offer a combination of File Management, Project Management and Enterprise Social Networking and are leading the way into the next generation with some of the most sophisticated business software available.