In the world of managed service providers (MSPs), the concept of a good client portal remains difficult to define. MSPs that focus on their client-facing approach eventually find themselves asking one critical (and challenging) question:
What exactly should my client portal do?
For many MSPs (and PSA tools), the answer starts and ends with some sort of ticketing feature.
Seems simple enough, right?
Most MSPs quickly realize that portals focused solely on ticketing are horrible at gaining client adoption. It’s not that ticketing is a lousy feature per se – rather, the core issue is that users are just not looking for a ticketing portal, especially when they can send an email or call in for help.
In other words, giving them a URL to something they need to put extra effort to access and use doesn’t appear to make their lives easier. So, they often won’t use it.
To create a client portal that clients want to use, you need to think bigger. Let’s examine what exactly you need to deliver to get a killer client portal.
Delivering a Client Portal that Adds Value
A great client portal can keep your clients engaged with your MSP to improve the overall “stickiness” and happiness of the client throughout the relationship.
However, that is only true if the portal has anything of value to add to the relationship.
To address what to put into your portal, you need to focus on the features and overall approach to capitalize on that value. We recommend using a combination of these six things:
1. Make Portal-Based Ticketing Appealing
Want people to submit tickets through your portal? Tell them why it’s essential in the first place.
Educate users on the difference between MTTT (mean time to ticket) and MTTR (mean time to resolution). In short, it’s not about how fast you can submit a ticket, but how quickly you can get the ticket resolved.
Want to hear more about MTTR? Check out our webinar on ticketing.
Your portal should help pre-triage tickets, which means that users get their answers faster. That means less downtime and more money in their pockets. Without proper context to portal-based ticketing, clients think you’re just stonewalling them with forms when in reality, you’re trying to help them faster and more precisely than ever before.
2. Make it a Shared Space
With the right client portal, you can have a collaborative area that delivers value to everyone that interacts with it. Ideally, you’ll have the option to have key users within client companies add their own content to the portal for their company’s benefit.
As such, your portal should include key Intranet functions of the portal where their team can add KB articles, courses, line of business apps, and more. These client-facing features transform the portal into a valuable resource that helps your clients get their work done better on a day-to-day basis.
In doing so, you’re ensuring that the portal always delivers on value.
3. Set Up a Sales Catalog
When clients need to request new things from your MSP, it’s cumbersome to set up meetings or request things via email (which are easy to miss). Make sure that your portal is a space that you can use to communicate info about your services.
That way, it’s easy for them to shop/request things online 24/7. It’s not just a good user experience – it’s also a way to generate more sales passively.
4. Offer Training Programs
Training drives a lot of adoption for portals. With training built into your portal, you can deliver tremendous value to the clients by giving them a way to strengthen work skills, reduce errors, and improve their overall operational maturity.
5. Give Admins Proper Visibility
Never forget that the person that gets the most value from the portal should be the one that pays the MSP bill. Be sure to allocate a separate area limited by user permissions that includes reporting and strategy-focused features. These should be centered around giving the administrator visibility into their operations. These features may consist of billing and invoices, infrastructure reports, dashboards, and more.
Educate your company admins on the information they get from the portal. Walk them through how they can check the data at any time to keep them in control of their IT spend.
6. Build Your Roadmap in Your Portal
While it’s great to pack your portal with upfront value, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to deliver future value. With a roadmap feature built directly into the portal, you can create a go-forward plan based on the data that you gather throughout the relationship (that you should store in the portal).
Building Your Client Portal
There are plenty of things to consider for a client portal that delivers value. And here’s the best part – it already exists, and it’s called CloudRadial.
With CloudRadial, our goal is to get you to think from the client back rather than from service out. Building something a client wants and uses that helps them do their job is the goal here.
In other words – turning “your” portal into “their” portal is the ultimate home run.
Be sure to grab a trial of it here so you can see firsthand that CloudRadial isn’t just a software product. The portal is comprised of a whole team, process, education and strategy that helps you step up your overall client engagement. Also, be sure and check out https://radials.io/lomg,where we translate how CloudRadial helps your MSP get more clients as well as happier clients.