Technological advances have created additional expectations for your customers. As a distributor, you have the ability to take phone calls and emails from your customers in order to help them with their orders and other information. This has been satisfactory in the past, but your customers are expecting more. You need to consider offering a customer portal for your customers.
A recent study revealed that 70% of customers say that they expect to have a self-service portal. This means that your customers are expecting you to have a distributor customer portal that gives them a visual means of placing orders, getting order information, and viewing other account information. Giving your customers a customer portal offers the following benefits.
Round The Clock Accessibility
Your time is not your customer’s time. Your customer may need access to their account information after your business hours, or on the weekend. If your business is closed for the day, there is nobody at your office answering the phone or getting customer emails. If you don’t have a customer portal put in place for your customers to look up their information or place an order on their own time, this is frustrating for your customer.
Increase Loyalty With A Customer Portal For Your Customers
Assuming all other factors are equal with offerings from your competitors, a customer portal can increase loyalty. If you have the means for your customer to access their account information online, and place orders whenever they can, then your customer will likely choose you over your competitor. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you.
Makes The Process Easier
Make it so that your customers do not need to search for the items that they order regularly. If your customer has a history of buying from you, it is easy for them to reorder items that they have previously purchased. A reorder button next to items listed in their order history makes it much easier for your customers to quickly order items that they need.
If your customers order a certain set of items regularly, you could add a template of the items that they order regularly.
Eliminate Manual Efforts
When your customers have access to their own information, it helps to minimize or eliminate manual processes. When customers can view information for themselves, it lowers the need for real-person involvement.
Here is an example of eliminating manual efforts. A customer may want to know when their order will arrive. Instead of calling and talking with someone at your company to find this information, they can look in their customer portal to see that the order has shipped and also get the tracking information of the order. This allowed the customer to get this information quickly while also freeing up your employee to perform other productive functions.
Better Customer Experience
A customer portal provides a visual experience for your customers. If you have pictures and diagrams of your product to see, they not only have item descriptions, but they also have pictures to see what they are buying.
Your customer can see open invoices. This helps them to make sure that they are up to date on payments and are in good financial standing with you.
Your customer can easily view and download any documents associated with products that they purchase from you. This would include documents such as certifications, testing results, HAZMAT specifications, etc.
Great Experience For Modern Day Buyers
Today’s buyers want to be able to have all of the information that they need right in a portal that is accessible at any time. They are looking for the visual experience, rather than relying on email or a phone call to get information or place an order.