Is Your Client Portal Working For Or Against You?

A client portal is supposed to improve customer relations by improving everyone’s experience. It’s also supposed to make the lives of your employees easier. Sometimes, portal software can be more frustrating than helpful, leaving customers unsatisfied and employees ready to pull their hair out. That negatively impacts your client retention, referral rate, and bottom line.

What tools and practices might drag your office down, and how do you fix it?

Your Client Portal


First, Do You Have A Client Portal?

A client portal software for accountants cuts down on paperwork, allows you to automate mundane tasks, and allows customers some control over their private information and appointment settings. Finding the industry-specific portal software with all the right features is essential if you want to compete in today’s market. Here are some considerations for selecting software or reviewing your current software’s performance:

Is It Customizable?

Not every office needs every feature. Choosing which features best suit your office is important. It helps if you’re using software designed for your industry so you pick between workable options rather than sifting through a long list of features you will never use.

Can You Brand It?

There’s a reason why the larger companies put their brand on everything. It works. Building a brand is necessary to stand out among your peers. It’s more than an icon on the bottom of the screen. It’s a standard you consistently meet, a relationship with your customers, and all the little things that make your office special. It’s why a customer chooses you over a competitor.

Is Your Office Consistently Using It?

Having some office members use the client management software while others don’t is almost worse than having no management software at all. Information gets lost between systems. Appointments get missed. People fall through the cracks. Everyone needs to be on the same page for a cohesive experience and excellent customer service.

Is It User-Friendly?

Client management solutions have to be intuitive to be effective. An intuitive site means the client can look up answers to their questions without ever picking up the phone (though you’re always ready to assist them when needed.) If a customer finds out they can’t make an appointment because they are going out of town, they can log in and reschedule as soon as they think about it, even if it’s outside regular business hours. They can message their tax preparer and ensure private information is transmitted to the right people. They can upload documents from home without stepping inside your office and meet with you through video conference.

Does It Have Automation Features or Tools?

Does your system update as clients reschedule their appointments? Will it send invoices, reminder notices, and past-due invoices? The more mundane tasks you can hand over to automated systems, the more time you have for income-producing activities. Automation creates efficiency and consistency.

Can You Scale It For Growth?

Will your program grow with your book of business, or will you need to replace your product every time you gain market share? A scalable product means your employees can continue working without interruption, training in new software, and the inevitable interruptions that come with changing platforms. With a click of a button, you add infrastructure when needed to handle increased traffic to your site.

Is Your Software Compatible?

There is no point in duplicating work. Compatible software shares information, while incompatible software requires entering data in both systems every time you update a file. There are bound to be mistakes as people forget to go in and edit the second system. It’s inefficient and time-consuming. Compatible or connected software also means fewer open screens on your computer, fewer login credentials to memorize, fewer unreadable or misformatted documents, and less frustration.

Does It Provide Analytics?

How much traffic does your site get? Are customers getting their questions answered and problems resolved on their first visit, or do they have to return multiple times to get what they need? Are some tools easier to use than others? Would your clients say their experience was exemplary or subpar? Without data, you can’t make improvements. You could lose customers without ever knowing why.

To Wrap Up

A well-run client portal can enhance your efforts, making you more effective with less effort. It can help streamline the customer experience so they can find what they need when they need it. It can create a secure way to message you or upload documents so the client feels secure. It gives clients more control while freeing them up for income-producing activities. In short, the right client management software for accounting firms will propel you ahead of the competition and allow you to grow as a company.