A lot of our work hours are spent reading & responding to internal and client emails, with the vast majority of employees receiving up to 121 emails per working day. Even if only half of these emails had to be actioned, how much time is this cutting out of your day? Time that could be better used if focused elsewhere.
Businesses may simply be asking too much from email alone and a client portal could be the solution to minimise time spent in your inbox and increase productivity. Let’s take a look at some of the pain points in heavy email use within the workplace - especially when emailing clients, and see how using a central digital location like a client portal can overcome them.
1. Stop misplacing files when emailing clients
How many times have you (or somebody you work with) sent a client email and attached the wrong file to the wrong recipient? Or maybe you’ve been on the receiving end. If that file contains sensitive information about another business or client, such as an invoice or proposal, sending a file to the wrong address could negatively impact both parties and their relationship. Beyond the compliance issues of sharing confidential information with unauthorised third parties and the big fines that come with it, such mistakes may impact the brand reputation and make it harder for your current customers to trust you again. Clients may also speak negatively about your service, which will spread doubts for future potential customers. There is also the risk of a security breach if the data gets into the wrong hands. Lastly, the possibility of emailing clients and forgetting to attach the document… we’ve all done it!
So how can a portal alleviate these specific problems? The answer; by having a central location accessible only by authorised parties. You can simply upload the documents and view them within the portal, instead of sending client emails where you may be victim to hacking.
2. Better navigate the use of the dreaded Email Storm i.e “Reply all”
“Reply All” can cause multiple problems when not used correctly, and three instantly come to mind. You either: risk using it too much and frustrate your colleagues/clients, forget to use it when needed and miss out an important contact as a result, or even use it accidentally and end up sharing your ‘personal opinion’ with everyone – all of which are counterproductive. An example of an email storm; On 28 May 2019, an employee at the United States House of Representatives sent out a message to an email group called “Workplace Rights 2019.” The group contained every single House employee’s contact details. The email replies lasted over two hours!
If you were trying to communicate ideas with a team, a simple group chat would be a lot more efficient and would save a lot of time. With the Clinked chat feature you can also have individual conversations, meaning instead of emailing clients or jumping on a call, you can simply send them a quick instant message.
3. Get rid of limited file attachment sizes
When emailing clients or colleagues with files you may encounter some problems when it comes to file sizes, mainly because of the file size limits that are set by email providers. For instance, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL have a maximum attachment support of 25MB, and Outlook is limited to 10MB without OneDrive. It’s understandable, as otherwise the email servers run the risk of being overwhelmed with large emails and causing it to stop working efficiently. However, it’s inconvenient at work when you do have to send large files, whether that’s a one-off occasion or on a daily basis.
The great thing about our Clinked client portal is there is no limit on file size or format, so you can upload until your heart's content!
4. Fight the lack of security for sharing files
Security is a one of the top priorities for all businesses, especially where client and employee personal data is concerned. When emailing clients, colleagues or other stakeholders, the risk of data breaches (as well as hacking and spam) is always going to be higher than when using a robust encrypted cloud-based solution, that offers two-factor authentication and content access permissions. An unfortunate part of email is that your file attachment will be available to anyone who receives it, unless you use a third-party cloud tool to protect your document with a password. If you are very tech savvy, there are ways to encrypt your client emails but it’s very hard to do which is why not many people know how!
Two handy file features of the Clinked portal is the ‘Share’ and ‘Request Files’. With both functionalities, you can safely share files with & request files from external parties. You can also restrict file access with additional password protection and an expiry date if you wish. So rather than emailing clients requesting they send over documents, they can have a link to directly upload into the portal.
5. No longer miss important client emails
It’s easy to overlook important client emails if you’re receiving a high volume of emails per day. Some of them may even get marked as spam and you may not see them until it’s too late! Hours can be wasted by searching through inboxes and email chains, not only this but it can lead to a lack of accountability when someone simply ‘didn’t see’ the email. Recipients (whether that’s the client or an employee) won’t be able to make progress on their side of a project if they have to wait around for a response from you. Either way, productivity is reduced.
With a Client Portal you never miss important updates. Get notifications within the portal and via email and make use of our audit trail functionality to ensure accountability. Clinked online portal also allows "reactions" and @mentions, so you can acknowledge updates and comments without overflowing everyone's inbox.
Implementing a client portal solution for your business can help reduce frustrations around heavy (client) email use in the workplace and increase productivity
Implementing a client portal should be extremely easy. The great thing about Clinked is it is completely out of the box, so as soon as you sign up, you can start using the platform there and then! With other communication and collaboration features such as announcements and discussion boards, you won’t ever have to worry about accidentally copying the wrong people into an email or sending an incorrect announcement to the company. Your data stays secure within the platform and you are only emailing clients to let them know updates awaits in their favorite portal. If you need a little more inspiration, here are some of our 5 top use cases of client portals which should help give you a better idea about how it may work for you!
If you’d like to complement your client emails with a Clinked online portal out, give it a go for free! No card details required.