In recent years it has become increasingly enticing for companies to ditch the paper. Whether driven by sustainability, time savings or ease, the paperless evolution has become a must-have in 2020.
Remote working has required companies to create work environments that minimizes the use of paper and focuses more on a digital work experience. Now it’s time to go beyond team workflows to client and external workflows. So how can you convert these client or partner workflows into paperless processes?
This is where a client portal becomes an effective alternative.
Since Charles Babbage invented the first mechanical computer (greatly enabled by Ada Lovelace’s concepts, of course) during the mid 1830s, we have seen remarkably significant developments in computing technologies. Today, we’re able to make it easy for digitization which is the conversion of text and images into digital form that can then be processed by a computer.
So, after that brief history lesson, let’s get on our way to creating a paperless workflow using a client portal.
A client portal offers you the ability to create a digital home for clients and your client facing team members. In this digital home, interactions will take place to be able to track and add value across your client base in an easy to track and manage way. Let’s explore the basics you’d need to get up & running:
Step One: Digitally transform your workflow data (documents, files, images, contracts, etc.)
Step Two: Choose a digital home to host data & setup according to your workflows
Step Three: Invite clients & team members to complete all interactions in that digital home
Following these steps means no more lost paper trails, email inboxes being file cabinets, and interactions that are auditable ensuring accountability.
Take a look at the other benefits of using a client portal to go paperless below!
It saves time
Why spend time searching through a store room of client files when you have a search engine in your portal? Alphabetizing documents and organising cupboards full of folders is labour intensive, even sifting through someone's desktop can be time consuming. By having the documents saved and filed properly in your portal means you can find documents within seconds simply by searching for a file name. In Clinked we also have extra filter options to further assist you in finding the files you need. Another way clients have saved time transitioning to client portals are by using the group homepage to display important information and helpful links. A recent study shows Australia’s digital expectations and found that a massive 85% of consumers expect to do business digitally. Why? They find paper-based transactions slow, inconvenient and unreliable. They expect quick, seamless experiences – whether they are interacting with your business on their mobile, their tablet or their PC.s.(3)
Approvals and signatures
Need an important document approved or signed by a client? Client portals have integrated e-signature software and approval systems to assist with this. Gone are the days of internal post and running around the office to find the person or department you need! Simply request the file to be approved via the portal and have it signed within seconds. Did you know needing to get a physical signature holds up 42% of processes, which adds on average 3.1 days to most processes!(2)
When handling sensitive information you need a way to securely share documents between yourself and your clients. Instead of sending via post or even the more commonly used email, secure client portal allows for instant uploads and downloads by authorised users. For example, if you are a solicitor you would need your clients to send you copies of ID, tax records and bank statements. Ensure your clients feel comfortable with how you are handling their private information by using an encrypted platform.
Can’t meet in person?
As physical meetings are becoming a thing of the past, a client portal is great for discussions and idea sharing. Tools such as a chat feature and discussion boards are fantastic for remote collaboration, they also mean you can have a copy of the topic of conversation if needed by saving the discussion to your computer. Another great way to meet remotely is via a video conferencing tool, so why not share the meeting link within the portal or have your video conferencing sign in page in your client portal homepage for your clients to easily access?
No more missing information
Ever misplaced an important document? By digitizing your documents and uploading them to a portal you will no longer be able to lose important information. Not only is all your content stored in a localised area, but you will also have a backup if someone ever accidentally deleted it!
Improves document security
Back when documents were held under lock and key in a filing cabinet it was classed as ‘safe storage’ though now we have the option for password security and encryption software, there’s never been a safer time to have your files in a client portal. At Clinked we even offer two factor authentication to ensure no one accesses your personal data.
As well as your company benefiting from going paperless, it also has a very positive impact on the environment and who doesn’t want to help the planet? In 2018 Bank of America went paperless and they also pushed hard for more efforts to recycle and oversaw 30,000 tons of paper being reused. That’s the same as saving 200,000 trees! (1)
Interested in going paperless with a client portal? Have a chat with one of our friendly team today!