We are all familiar with the functioning and advantages of the intranet. It’s a secured computer network that enables individuals across the organization to access the internet for sharing information and collaborating.

But it only lets you connect and engage with your colleagues and management. This computer network leaves out your outside connections like customers, vendors, suppliers, partners, and people who are not directly employed by your organization.

That’s where the extranet comes in! It’s a secure and controlled private network that lets you and your employees to communicate well and clearly with all the outsiders sharing only the necessary data with limited edit rights.

An extension of your intranet network.

The same way, organizations using CRM to store and share all the necessary information is limited to your office. And a self-service portal can be its extension.

If you are reading this article that means you are currently using SugarCRM and looking for a way to smartly engage your customers. So, let us help you understand the concept of the SugarCRM customer portal, its features, and how it empowers your customers, employees, and vendors.

What is SugarCRM Customer Portal?

A portal is a gateway that provides access of your data to outside entities like customers, partners, etc. in a secure and limited way. Not only access, but you can also provide them with the edit and manage rights to bifurcate some load of your support agents. Hence, a portal bridges the gap between your organization and the entities you deal on a regular basis.

For example, with a SugarCRM portal, you can provide your customers the access to their profiles and to a certain extent, they will be able to manage it on their own. This means one less task on your humongous to-do list.

This is only one of the many advantages of investing in a self-service portal.

Let’s explore some of the must-have features in SugarCRM portal and how they help you expand your customer base.

Customer Portal Features

Case Deflection: No need to be present 24/7 to provide impeccable customer support. With the customer portal, they’ll be able to log in, search for their queries and get answers without any hassle. In case they don’t find the answer of their query, they can add a case with their question which later on you can add answer to.

Role-based Accessibility Management: With this feature, you will be able to provide access to necessary CRM modules to your customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, etc. Such a feature helps you protect your data.

Scalable & Customizable: To ensure your ever-growing organization’s needs, you need to make sure that your portal solution is scalable and that you can mold to your business logic.

Online Chat: Another feature that is a necessity in today’s information-hungry world is online chat. Having an in-built online chat in your portal will directly affect your customer interaction. They’ll be able to reach you as soon as they log in to the portal. Imagine a customer’s issue getting resolved in a matter of minutes. How happy would they be?

Now, let’s see how your organization will benefit from such a solution:

Streamlined Communication: If you sit with your support team or even just overview their daily activities for a day, you’ll find that it’s really hard to communicate with customers over multiple channels. There are emails, calls, social media, direct messages, and whatnot. With a CRM portal, you will be taking away your team’s misery by giving them one platform to handle everything. Support tickets, calls, emails, all at one place.

Reduced Costs: As you streamline customer communication, you’ll realize there is no need to have a huge 15-20 people support team. Only 3 can support your whole customer base. Then you can reallocate some of your resources to different departments to maximize the efficiency of your organization. This can reduce your overall departmental and hiring costs.

Lesser Redundant Tasks: Have you ever had someone asking a single question at least 10 times over a period of one week? Well, ask your sales and support team. They deal with this on a regular basis. Customers asking them about that one complicated feature over and over again. What if you could put a rest to this once and for all? How? With the portal for SugarCRM. The knowledge base feature will let you create an inventory of such questions and your customers can easily log in and enter their queries to find ready-made solutions. So, your support team will answer 2 questions in place of 20 each day. And more importantly, they focus on other important things like enhancing the customer journey, coming up with unique ways to pitch clients, etc.

Enhanced Productivity: The above two points make the case for this point as well. With lesser redundant tasks and streamlined communication, your team will be focusing on impactful tasks. Yielding better results for you with improved customer interaction.

Satisfied Customers: Imagine you are a customer and you had a small question about how to start with complicated software. Would you want to wait for 24 hours for a representative to reply to your email or would you just go online and look into their customer base for that query? Definitely the online option, right? Well, again the portal comes in the picture that will help you be there for your customers even when you are not in your office space. This will not only reduce your response time, but will also improve customer satisfaction, increase team productivity, and a lot more.

Wrapping Up

If your customers are at the center of all your marketing, sales, and product development strategies, then a self-service Sugar portal is something worth investing in. You can just search for ‘customer portal’ on SugarOutfitters and choose from the many available options. Take the features we’ve mentioned as a checklist to find the best suitable solution.

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