As a small business owner, you are always looking for ways to maximize your efficiency and bottom line and doing that often requires thinking outside the box and utilizing a new technology. Fortunately, plenty of great web-based tools can help you do just that. One of those tools is a client portal.
A client portal is a secure online space where you can share documents, files, and information with your clients. It’s a great way to streamline your workflows and improve communication with your clients. But how can you ensure that you are using your client portal effectively?
Here are some tips:
1. Keep Your Client Portal Organized
The first step to effectively using a client portal is to keep it organized. That means creating folders and subfolders to keep your documents in order. It would help if you also made a naming convention for your files so that you can easily find them later. Getting organized may look like a lot of work upfront, but it will save you time in the long run.
2. Use Client Portal Templates
It is best to use templates when you find yourself sending the same document or file to your clients regularly, use a template. You can create templates for just about anything, from project proposals to invoices. This will save you time but ensures that your documents are always consistent.
3. Set Up Client Portal Alerts and Notifications
Many client portals can send alerts and messages. This is a great way to stay on top of deadlines and ensure that you keep clients in the loop. You can set up alerts for when a document is uploaded, a comment is made, or a task is complete.
4. Make Use of All Client Portal Features
Most client portals come with various elements that you can use to improve your workflow. For example, some portals allow you to set up automated tasks and reminders. Others come with document management features that enable you to track who has accessed or edited a document. Utilize the elements of your client portal to make your life easier.
5. Use a Client Portal for Collaboration
A client portal is a great place to collaborate with clients on projects. You can use the commenting feature to give feedback on documents or share files with clients for their input. This can help you get tasks done faster and with fewer revisions.
6. Keep Your Client Portal Updated
Ensure that you regularly update your client portal with the latest documents, files, and information. This will ensure that your clients always have access to the most up-to-date version of whatever they need.
7. Use Your Client Portal for Communication
A client portal can also be a great way to communicate with your clients. Many portals come with a built-in messaging system that allows you to send messages back and forth easily. This can be a great way to stay in touch with your clients without picking up the phone or sending emails.
8. Choose the Right Client Portal
Most client portals are general and not industry specific to meet your business needs. It’s imperative when investing in a client portal to ensure that you can try it out before committing. In addition to trying out the portal before commitment, ensure that it is targeting the needs of your industry. For example, CoraCloud client portal is specifically designed for accountants, tax and business professionals and they offer new users a 30-day free trial before officially signing up. You can learn more about this portal and others from CoralTree, the makers of CoraCloud, Qbox and CoraLegal.
By following these tips, you can make sure that you use your client portal to its fullest potential. A well-organized and up-to-date portal can save you time and help you better serve your clients.