In a report titled , 40% of the surveyed consumers said they prefer self-service over human contact for their future communications with companies. And, a whopping 70% expect a company website to include a self-service portal.
Surprised? Don’t be.
Consumers have made the transition from being dependent on businesses to being DIYers (Do it yourselfers) because they’re busy and they need instant online access to their data. Today, your clients want to do almost anything, anytime—all on their own. From a business standpoint, it has made life easier for business owners: no more fretting over day-to-day activities.
We thought of keeping pace with the above trend and launched the Zoho Books’ Client Portal.
The portal frees business owners from frequent requests to send copies of invoices and estimates, from sharing quotes on email, and from the time-consuming estimate approval process. Using the portal, businesses now initiate a conversation and jointly collaborate with clients to seal the deal right away. Your clients can view and pay invoices, and update their personal information, like credit card details and their billing address, with the portal.
In addition to these features, we’ve made some enhancements to the Client Portal that we think you’ll love.
1. Customer reviews – to gauge customer satisfaction.
Reviews are a great way to know how your business is faring. With the portal, businesses can solicit and quickly capture feedback. They can address customer grievances before they escalate or become public. Moreover, owners can market their business by sharing positive feedback on their website or on social media platform like Twitter.
2. Bulk payments – easy for clients, profitable for you.
Let’s face it. Nobody likes making payments, not to mention paying multiple invoices one at a time. We may not be able to make bills go away, but we can make them easier to handle. Along with partial and full payment options, the Client Portal allows your customers to make bulk payments; this makes it easy for the customers to clear all outstanding amounts with a single click. In addition, businesses get paid quickly and save a few extra dollars with the low transaction fees that come with bulk payments.
3. Real-time alerts – to stay informed.
For many business owners, waiting on customer payments can be stressful. The Client Portal alerts business owners when customers comment or make payments on open invoices. Similarly, you get notified when customers view, accept, decline, or comment on an estimate, eliminating time spent on manual monitoring. These notifications work on your mobile as well (Android for now).
4. A refreshing UI – because looks matter.
We take our feedback seriously. So, when our customers asked us to work on the look and feel of the portal, we decided to give it a makeover. With the fresh coat of paint, it looks more vibrant, modern, and perfect for your business.
5. Share projects automatically– trust us, it saves time.
Now, along with invoices and estimates, the Client Portal automatically shows the projects on your customers’ dashboard. The customers can view the project amount, logged hours, billed and unbilled hours. And you save time that you would usually spend sharing this information.
6. Offer flexibility – to print, forward, and download.
Finding an invoice or an estimate in an overflowing inbox can be challenging. Based on the selected time period, the portal not only lets your customers view past transactions, but also lets them print and download those in bulk. Moreover, your customers can forward them to their colleagues for reference.
Want to chat about the Client Portal? Leave a comment below, or send us an email with your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.