Online Self-Service Portals – Nice to Have or Must Have?

In today’s always-connected world, it’s hard to imagine a person or company that does not have an online presence. The days of thumbing through a phone book looking for information are long gone. Today, people in both their professional and personal lives want answers quickly and accessibly 24 hours a day. Nobody wants to call and wait on the phone for 10-15 minutes when they could be finding out the information on their own in a fraction of the time. And what’s the easiest way to fulfill that demand? I’ll give you a hint – it’s not by hiring people to work for you around the clock. The answer is simple – an online self-service website that can be accessed 24 hours day.

With an online portal, you are essentially extending your office hours and customer support without having to pay for the staff to manage the hours. But, most businesses overlook the need and view the expense as a “Nice to Have” instead of a “Must Have”. To help convince you of the latter, here are the Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Customer Portal Experience:

 1. Offering Access to Self-Service Options Improves Customer Satisfaction

Think about it – if you provide a way for customers to find the answers they need in an easy to use format, they will be satisfied with your customer service. You can improve customer satisfaction without even picking up the phone, which sounds pretty good to me.

shutterstock_29143153-resized-6002. Extend Your Office Hours Without Increasing Payroll Expenses

As I mentioned earlier, your online portal becomes your “cloud” office. Many of the tasks your customers perform in the office will be available to them from the comfort of their homes. You will be able to virtualy extend your office hours without adding additional support staff.

3. Online Payments Allow You to Keep More Money in Your Pockets

People like to use online banking because it is easy, convenient, and takes virtually seconds to complete a transaction. Businesses like receiving online payments because the funds arrive faster and with lower processing fees. So if people like to pay online and businesses like to receive online payments, why would you not want to offer this service to your own customer base?

4. A Centralized Document Resource Center is Critical for Customer Communications

Since you don’t communication with your customers every day, it’s imperative to have a resource center available to house important announcement and documents. A self-help portal allows you to store common documents (such as the property’s various policies and due dates) as well as post important announcements for your community. This will help improve customer communications and relations.

5. If You Don’t Provide One, Your Competition Will

This is probably the most important reason to invest in a self-service portal. You know that your competition is or will offer this in the very near future. And when your customer is looking to stay with you or move on, this could be the deciding factor. Instead of rolling the dice to see what happens, it is in your best interest to be retain your customer by providing the best value around.

So, what are you waiting for? Turn that “Nice to Have” attitude into a “Must Have” experience. To learn how MRI Software can help you provide that online customer experience, check out our MRI Tenant Connect for commercial tenants and MRI Resident Connect for residential customers.

 

 

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