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The Value Of B2B Customer Portals

You’re likely to have noticed that most marketing efforts are focused around generating new sales if you’ve ever worked with them. This has led to a loss of trust with customers that are better, more efficient, and more effective.

This could be a mistake. Even though account management tools, such as customer portals, may not have a direct commerce function to drive sales, they offer a wealth of benefits for customer loyalty, long-term relationships, and sales.

Even if your brand isn’t focused on digital commerce, there are opportunities in your commerce platform beyond just selling. Let’s take a look at the advantages of b2b customer portal, and how they can be more useful than you might believe.

Central Hubs For Account Management

Online portals offer customers a simple way to manage their accounts. This is a great way to provide your customers with a “home base”, where they can manage all aspects of their relationship with you.

  • Track in-transit orders
  • View your order history
  • You can manage your shipping preferences
  • Print invoices and receipts
  • Prefer a preferred method of payment?
  • Change company profile information

A web portal can provide all administrative and back office functions that customers might require.

Customers who prefer to be involved in their supplier relationships can use this tool. However, the convenience factor goes beyond data access. The customer portals are a paradigm shift in B2B thinking. They place a greater emphasis on the post-sale customer relationship than the more glamorous presale functions.

Portals Allow Easy Access To Data

This is a great tool for customers to access the information they need to make better business decisions. However, these benefits also apply to you. The customer portal is a great place to gather data that can then be used to improve your marketing efforts to increase revenue.

This is one of the few ways customer portals can influence sales. This is not their goal, but it’s a bonus. Customers who have their accounts can be a single source for all customer information. Your customer relationship management (CRM) and commerce functions will all be connected to the portal, which allows you to view all your data sources in one place.

This information is extremely valuable, especially for long-standing clients. This information allows companies to see the details of each customer’s product preferences and past orders. This gives companies insight into potential opportunities that can be leveraged via your site’s direct ecommerce functions.

Streamline Key Administrative Processes

We mentioned earlier that customer portals can include many administrative functions that maintain customer relationships. This is true, but it understates the benefits that a portal can provide to your internal operations.

Portals do not allow for direct sales but they automate key tasks that consume your team’s time. Portals allow your team to concentrate their efforts on more revenue-generating tasks, rather than on clerical work.

A portal allows customers to access their accounts 24/7. Customers can handle many account management functions themselves without having to talk to a representative from the company.

Customer Portals’ Long-Term Value

These points may be a common theme. Many of them are related to customer loyalty. This is the final point we want to emphasize. Customers who take the time to interact with portals are more likely to stay with you over the long term. Even if there is no change in customer/vendor interactions, the process of creating a customer account for your company is an investment in your company. B2B companies rarely trade down with vendors. Any switch to a different vendor must offer a similar level of service. If your competitors do not offer the same level of customer portals, it will be a major advantage that you can use to stand out.

 

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