Live chat and your customer portal: a match made in heaven

Alongside the rising preference for self-service options, customer portals are growing in popularity.

They present convenience to busy customers. They keep all your useful content in one place and empower your customers.

But as useful as customer portals are, they’re even better with an integrated chat option.

Here’s why every customer portal should come with a live chat option as standard.

What is a customer portal?

A customer portal is a secure website that your customers log in to. From it, they can access everything they need to serve themselves. It acts, in effect, as a central hub for each customer to manage their service.

In other words, a customer portal is a secure, personalised self-service portal.

Customer portals keep everything your customer needs in one place. You’d use a customer portal to share relevant files, such as policies or welcome packs. Customers can use it to place and manage their orders, as well as track their deliveries. They can receive their invoices or quotes, and raise issues when they need help.

With a customer portal, you put the control and power in the hands of the customer. You make service accessible on the customer’s time.  

Is self-service enough?

Not every problem, though, is a cookie-cutter issue. Sometimes, no matter how in-depth and comprehensive your support files, they aren’t enough.

Think, for instance, times when a solution calls for decisions outside of policies. Or for flexibility away from step-by-step instructions.

Or, as another example, instances when new bugs, faults or issues arise. That is, an enquiry not encountered before, and so not addressed in your help files.

What about times that the required solution is too complex to work through alone?

So, what happens when things get tricky beyond the scope of a customer self-service area? The customer feels deserted or frustrated, forced to wait for you to address a raised issue.

When self-service options fall shy of the mark, live chat bridges the gap.

With it, customers can hit the handy chat button, available from every page of the customer portal. They get speedy help and can start solving the issue right away.

Help customers help themselves

Herein lies the core of what makes live chat and your customer portal a heavenly match. By combining the two, you blend self-service with the backing of real-time support.

So, customers can get quick answers as and when needed — helping them to help themselves.

A customer can raise and track an issue from their customer portal. But doing so involves waiting, presenting a hurdle to great customer experience.

In comparison, they can ask their quick question via chat. This way, they get an answer in real-time and continue with their day. Live chat software, then, is great for saving time and reducing customer stress.

Plus, an in-portal chat option keeps everything in one place. This means minimal disruption to the customer’s journey, and only one touchpoint. (Unlike, that is, if you were to rely on email or telephone support.)

Live chat and your customer portal

When you add a live chat option to your customer portal, you show that you haven’t deserted your customers.

You show that you’re available and ready to help if they need it, while still empowering them to help themselves.

So, is it time you added a live chat option to your customer portal? Get started today with a free trial of WhosOn.

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