Customer Portal in Zoho Invoice
Customer Portal allows your clients to keep track of all the transactions that have taken place between them and your business. Bid goodbye to lengthy emails and collaborate efficiently like never before.
Read on to know how to enable the portal and provide access to your clients for your account.
IN THIS PAGE…
Customer Portal Settings
Follow the simple steps mentioned below to enable the customer portal for your Zoho Invoice account.
Sign into your Zoho Invoice account.
Click the gear icon on the top right corner and head to the ‘Organization Profile’ section.
In the organization profile page, click on ‘Change Portal Settings’ available next to Portal URL.
In the screen that follows, enter the name of the portal.
You can enter a welcome message in the space provided for ‘Banner Message’. This message will be shown to your clients as they log in to the portal for the first time.
Click on the check-box against “Send me email notification for every activity that takes place in the portal” if you wish to receive email notifications for every activity that your client does in the portal.
Click on the check-box against “Allow customers to forward documents from portal” if you wish to let your clients forward documents. Please note, the people whom they forward the document to will be added as contact persons in the contact information for that client.
Click on the check-box against “Send an email notification to customers when I comment on Invoices/Estimates” if you wish to have an email sent to your customers whenever you add a comment for any transaction.
Click on the check-box “Allow customers to view projects and timesheets” if you want to give your clients access to the time logged for each project/task.
Click on the check-box “Allow customers to edit their information” to permit your customers to edit their billing/shipping address and contact details.
Once done, click on Save.
Invite contacts to your portal
To give access to your clients, you need to individually enable the portal for each contact person associated to a contact. Once they log in to your portal they can view the estimates, invoices you have sent them, all on their own. You can collaborate and discuss with your clients on estimates and invoices. This will hasten the quotes approval process and payments.
The steps to enable the portal for your contact are as follows,
Sign into your Zoho Invoice account.
Click on Contacts and select the contact that you want to enable the customer portal for.
In the contact detail page on the right hand side, click on More to view more actions. In the list, click on ‘Configure Customer Portal’.
Insight: Customer portal will be enabled only when you have added a contact person for the contact.
In the pop-up, select the contact persons for whom you want to give the portal access.
Once you click on ‘Save’, Zoho Invoice will send an email to your clients inviting them to the portal.
On clicking the ‘Accept Invite’ link, Zoho Invoice will open up another page where your clients can create a password to log into the portal.
Your clients will be able to log into your portal and view the invoices, estimates and also download customer statements.
Working in the Customer Portal
Your clients can login to the customer portal using their email address and the password they created in the previous step.
The first thing that your client will see upon logging into your customer portal would be the dashboard. The dashboard displays important details such as, outstanding invoices, retainer invoices, and the last payment made.
It also displays the number of estimates that are yet to be approved. Clicking on the number will display the details of the said estimates.
Your clients can view the status of all the invoices and estimates they have received as well as the payments made in the past.
Your clients can view a list of the estimates they’ve received from you. If they are satisfied with the price, they can take your business forward by clicking on the Accept button. The client can also filter the list to display a particular type of estimate by clicking on the drop-down above the list.
Clients can also decline an estimate for a better offer by clicking on Decline in the More drop down that is visible once the estimate is selected.
Insight: You can always rework on the declined estimate by clicking on the ‘Edit’ option provided in your Zoho Invoice account to make an offer your clients clients can’t resist and update them.
Your clients can view a list of invoices sent by you in the portal. They can open the invoice by clicking on one of them. If the invoice is unpaid, they can choose to pay instantly by clicking on Pay Now. The client can also filter the list to display a particular type of invoice by clicking on the drop-down above the list.
Your clients can make payments by choosing a mode of payment. Various payment gateway options can be given to the client at the time of creating an invoice.
For making payments using Credit/Debit card, clients can enter their card number, CVV, expiry date, billing address and the country to make payment. They can also save the cards and use them while making payments for upcoming invoices.
Making ACH payments.
In order for customers to make ACH payments, you need to enable Allow this customer to pay via his/her bank account option for your customers under Contacts edit section.
Insight: Customers can also choose to save their account details for future transactions by checking the Use this account for future transactions option.
The client can keep track of all the payments made for invoices sent by you.
If you had enabled the “Allow customers to view projects and timesheets” option in the portal settings, an additional module will be made available in your customer’s customer portal.
The Projects module in the customer portal will list all the projects created for your customer.
When you click on one of the projects, you will see the following tabs:
All the billable tasks created for this project will be listed here. The details such as Logged Hours, Billed Hours and Unbilled Hours will also be displayed.
All the billable timesheet entries created for this project will be listed here. The details such Task, Date, Time and Status will also be displayed.
Your clients can comment in the customer portal regarding the project.
You can check and reply for the comments made by the client on the specific project from your Zoho Invoice account.
Check the ‘Display in customer portal’ box to make your reply visible in the customer portal.
The customer portal’s dashboard will display the total amount for Outstanding Invoices. Select Pay Now to view the number of invoices for which the amount is due.
To view more details of the outstanding invoices, click on the hyperlink below the Total Amount.
You can then proceed to make the payment for all your outstanding invoices using a Credit Card or through any one of the associated payment gateways.
The ‘Viewed’ Notification
Once your clients have viewed your estimate or invoice, you will be notified about it with a ‘Viewed’ icon on the specific estimate or invoice on your Zoho Invoice account.
Your clients can comment in the customer portal about the estimate or invoice they receive. This feature comes handy when clients ask for a better price on your estimate rather than declining it.
You can check and reply for the comments made by the client on the specific estimate or invoice from your Zoho Invoice account. Check the ‘Display in customer self service portal’ box to make your reply visible in the customer portal.
Your clients can view your reply in the customer portal.
A notification email will be triggered to your email account if your client
Accepts or Declines an estimate
Adds a comment on an estimate or invoice
Makes payment for an invoice
Updates their company details
Save, Print and Forward
Estimates and Invoices can be printed, downloaded as PDF’s and can be forwarded to other contacts by your clients from the options provided inside the More drop-down.
Insight: Once the estimate or invoice is forwarded to a contact by the client, that contact gets added up as a contact person for the client in your Zoho Invoice account.
Your clients can view a detailed ‘Statement of Accounts’ consisting of all the transactions between them and your company. They can also have their statements printed or downloaded as PDFs.
Clients can update and edit their personal details, company details and change their password using the customer portal.
Sometimes, you would want to know what your clients think about your service. Under such cases, you can ask your clients to rate/review your services. Your customers can rate and review your organization’s services through the customer portal. To know how, click here.
The ‘My Account’ section is used for updating & editing personal details of the client.
Clients can fill in their name and contact details. They can also edit their credit/debit card details.
Insight: Please note that the profile picture for your customer portal account would be fetched from Gravatar.
My Company Details
The My Company Details’ option is used for updating and editing the company details of the client. Clients can fill in their name and contact details including the Billing and Shipping address.
Clients can change the password they use to enter the customer portal by selecting this option.
Insight: The password changes only for the specific contact person using the customer portal.