Customer portals are like email signatures - ‘property’ owned by you that is very rarely taken full advantage of. Rather than an afterthought (i.e. more than a simple, but non-functional place where customers come to be frustrated); your customer portal and its functionality should be automated.
Why? To reduce call centre volumes, collect customer insights, drive traffic to key campaign pages, interface with operational functions and to help build a customer-centric culture.
All of which elevate your customer experience and propel your business into the realms of providing “great customer service” - a key differentiator in the ISP marketplace.
Here’s how automated customer portals are helping ISPs to enhance customer experience whilst helping to address internal operational challenges:
1. Reduce your contact centre call volumes
Forrester Research refers to our current era as the ‘age of the customer’. The bottom line here is that businesses who proactively shift their thinking to address the needs and demands of customers, are more likely to flourish. Makes sense. With such a competitive marketplace, customers who feel their needs are not being met can easily switch providers.
And few things hamstring a business’ performance more than tools that undermine its ability to provide great after-sales care.
Customer portals largely reduce the need for contact centres to deal with high call volumes for relatively menial requests such as changing service settings, upgrading products/services, enabling or disabling security settings and viewing and downloading invoices and statements.
This relieves both the customer and support staff from time-consuming (and frustrating) phone calls.
2. Collect key metrics about your customers
Customer portals in the form of mobile apps or web pages are great tools for collecting information on customers’ interests, buying habits and propensity to increase their spend.
This information is worth its weight in gold; enabling both product teams to design solutions that appeal to your customer base, and marketing teams to build far more targeted and profitable campaigns.
Using your automated portal as a system of insight will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your customers: who they are, and what they want in terms of products, services, deals and discounts. It’s always cheaper to keep a customer than to gain a new one.
3. Drive traffic to your website and create brand awareness
When your customers are able to perform a wide range of tasks via your website portal, they will naturally engage with your brand more often. This provides ample opportunity to communicate directly with your customers in a far more meaningful way.
Having collected key insights about their spending habits and preferences you’ll be able to use the ‘screen time’ to direct them towards targeted campaigns filled with upsell/cross-sell opportunities.
The more you customers interact with you, the more insight you gain, the better your product offerings become. Win win.
4. Customer portals interface with other operational and financial platforms
Typically managed in person by your call centre staff; activations, cancellations and other functions become automated workflows triggered by actions within the customer portal. These requests are then seamlessly processed through your automated operations platform to remove errors and dramatically increase efficiencies. [Read: 7 Benefits of Business Process Automation].
Call centre staff are then able to focus on more complex customer queries or requests that may require human intelligence to address. This type of automation allows ISPs to leverage their contact centres to add more value to the customer instead of addressing queries or problems.
5. Customer portals build a customer-centric culture
It’s about making things easier. No one enjoys having to call a service provider of any type to resolve a query or complaint, and customers expect businesses to know that.
A brand that is known to lag behind in technology will struggle to maintain its standing in today’s technology-driven times. Building technology-centric conveniences such as automated customer portals into your infrastructure fosters greater brand awareness while delighting customers in the process. But please - don’t do any of these 11 things.
SOLIDitech’s automated customer portals allow ISPs to meet increasing customer demands for more seamless and efficient service while alleviating the strain on your contact centres. Through our portals, your customers will enjoy around-the-clock access to tools, information and key staff that are available to assist if required to do so. At SOLIDitech we bring our customers the automation solutions of tomorrow and beyond. For more information on how automation can help you build a better performing business, download our free Guide to Automation.