A customer portal is a powerful tool that can resolve your customers’ queries in an efficient manner. But the efficiency of a customer portal largely depends on how one designs it. A customer portal with a poor designing can make your customers frustrated. This is because they are unable to find the relevant information quickly. Moreover, a customer portal with poor user experience can:
- Hide important information in the clutter
- Increase the number of customer service calls
- Cap upselling opportunities
To ensure that this doesn’t happen to your customers, you must consider a few UX tips before designing your customer portal. Here, we have mentioned the top 6 tips to design a user-friendly customer portal.
An ideal customer portal is that in which a customer can access the required information in the least number of clicks. If it’s a self-service portal, then ensure that the customers are not more than a single click away from the main webpage.
For this, you need an advanced search index to fetch results that are relevant. Also, there must be filters to narrow down the search results by relevance (file or text-based content). This method helps customers to navigate through topics, blogs, articles, and support documents.
Utilize White Spaces
White space, which is sometimes also referred to as negative space, is the parts of spaces that are left empty. Even though it’s called white spaces, the spaces are not required to be white as they can be of any color, pattern, texture, or even a background image. Designers prefer employing white space in their customer portal as it makes it easy for the users to find important details. This helps them to maintain a quality user experience and elegance.
There’s no doubt that white space improves user experience; however, it doesn’t mean that you have to overuse it. Many companies make this mistake by having huge blocks of white space in their beautifully designed wireframes. Obviously, it looks visually appealing, but it’s also true that it’s not functional. It’s because you’re putting the content below the fold, forcing the user to scroll down to read it. In a way, the very white space which was enhancing the user experience also diminishes if overused.
The key here is to establish a balance between eye-soothing UI and the usability of the content. But always remember, don’t compromise on usability over UI.
Have Consistent Color Schemes
Besides white space, establishing a consistent color scheme is also a critical element of designing a user-friendly customer portal. Colors are essential as they highlight the important elements, increase brand recognition, and more importantly, influence how customers feel about your customer portal. Furthermore, different colors evoke different emotions. So, it becomes crucial that you choose the right colors.
For example, you can use blue color for action items, i.e., buttons and clickable text links. Such strategic and consistent usage of color helps the users to naturally scan for the blue color for taking any kind of action on the portal.
Set Up Knowledge Base
No matter what type of customer portal you have whether it’s Salesforce, Dynamics 365, SugarCRM, or SuiteCRM customer portal, knowledge bases are an integral part of every successful customer portal. That’s why setting up a robust knowledge base is one of the key customer portal designing tips. This is because information cluttered across various locations can make customers’ lives difficult.
A carefully curated knowledge base ensures that all the valuable information is segmented and, more importantly, centralized. With this, customers can find the required information and resolve their queries and doubts accordingly.
Another effective way of decluttering is to use faceted content models that allow customers to apply multiple filters. This enables customers to create the data sets that they want to see. While deciding on filters, you must ask several questions like – if users view the data as per:
- Asset criticality?
- Asset age?
Here, your job is to identify what’s important for your customers so that you can empower them with those options accordingly.
Offer User Customization
Apart from filters, there are many different elements that can offer user customization. What you need to consider is that all these elements enable the customers to prioritize the information in their desired order. Here you need to see if:
- Customers can rearrange the information by dragging and dropping the modules
- Customers can select a default view
- Customers can make modifications to test limits and criteria to reflect their business practices in a better way
A customer portal is a place where customers come to look for answers. And if they are unable to find those answers quickly, you might even lose them. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you must design a user-friendly customer portal. You can implement these UX tips to design user-friendly customer portals as well as a client portal such as Salesforce, Dynamic 365, and SuiteCRM Client Portal, etc.
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