“Often [companies] believe that their bottom line is suffering because customers aren’t buying like they used to.” – Gallup1
It’s true: customers aren’t buying like they used to buy. But it has nothing to do with spending. It has to do with connection. People give more to those from whom they get more. As Gallup research indicates, “[Consumers] expect businesses to earn their money; they won’t just hand it over.”2 How do you convince your prospects and customers to convert and stay loyal?
You deliver the value they crave through a Customer Engagement Portal.
What is a Customer Engagement Portal? A Doorway to Better Relationships With Buyers
A Customer Engagement Portal is a secure, logged-in online environment. It provides exclusive, relevant content to members, and usually includes gamified features to make their experience more entertaining, educational, and valuable. It may include a specific curriculum, product and service information, and special perks, such as sales, discounts, or other rewards.
Why should companies build speciality websites for their clientele? Customer engagement is one of the biggest predictors of organic growth. In consumer electronics, for example, engaged customers make 44 percent more visits per year to their preferred provider, and they spend nearly $100 more per trip. This trend weaves its way through industry after industry. Creating meaningful experiences that resonate with your target audience — rather than hammering them with aggressive hard sells — yields significant returns in terms of increased loyalty and profits.
A Customer Engagement Portal shows your customers that you are serious about establishing and nurturing the connection they crave. A secure, logged-in online environment, provides your customers and prospects with all the information they need to achieve their goals as they relate to your products/services.
More than a Website: Sign In for Deeper Connection
A Customer Engagement Portal differs from a public website in several key ways. While it may contain some of the same information, the logged-in structure enables you to:
- Customize your content and provide your stakeholders’ with information targeted to their defining attributes.
- Provide more specific, in-depth content to which you want to control access.
- Capture contact information from users (e.g. when they signup, they provide their email address).
Customers want businesses to “earn their money.” An engagement portal is a service designed exclusively for them. And that service, because it provides them with all the information they need in a dynamic way, becomes a major point of differentiation for your organization.
Ripple Effects: The Added Benefits of a Customer Portal
If operated properly, a Customer Engagement Portal allows for enormous efficiencies that reach across your organization. Specifically:
- Marketing. An engagement portal gives your marketing team service, location, and a differentiator that they can promote to a broad, though targeted audience. Your competitors cannot keep up.
- Sales. Salespeople can use the portal as a value-added offering for prospects. At the same time, they can track engagement and gain invaluable insights into leads at an individual level.
- Customer Management. Because you have an environment that contains all of the information customers need, you can provide convenient and streamlined customer service. Additionally, they can easily learn about your other offerings, which facilitates upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Thinking strategically about the experience of your end-customers enables you to create a service for your prospects and customers that demonstrates real evidence of your authority and differentiators. They will believe that you will follow through on your promises because they see you do so already. You’re not saying you’re the authority. You are the authority.
Your business’s growth and success is predicated directly on your ability to provide knowledge to your customers and prospects. They don’t want a hard sell; they want relevant information. They don’t want to hear how great you are; they want you to be that great for them. Your Customer Engagement Portal enables you to meet these expectations — and your own business goals.