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Hidden Benefits of Portals Revealed

written by Editor, 25 February 2016

Guest blog by, Ian Cooper, Digita Business Development Manager

Hidden Benefits of Portals

Making sure your practice is the first thing your clients think of before making any financial decisions can lead to tighter business relationships, says Ian Cooper.

Let’s face it, nearly all accountants would love the opportunity to advise their clients before they commit to financial decisions. So how can offering portals as part of the service help ensure you and your clients are working hand in hand before these major decisions are made?

Portals provide a number of benefits for both accountants and their clients. The most obvious benefits are their efficiency, security and convenience. However there are also a number of less obvious benefits to be taken advantage of.

Here are five reasons portals should be embraced including some of their hidden business benefits:

1. Portals offer a single storage point for all essential documents

Everybody has had the experience of urgently needing that ‘one’ essential document. It could be an insurance form, an old tax return, or your rental agreement.  If you can provide a central tool for your clients to store all their key financial documents, it’s natural they will automatically think of you before making any major financial decisions. Becoming the go to source for information will ultimately lead to a closer working relationship with your clients.

Hidden Benefits of Portals

2. Portals help build customer loyalty

When it becomes second nature for your client to pick up the phone and visit your website before making their financial decisions, it would be an incredibly difficult part of the service to give up. People don’t generally like having things taken away from them.

3.Self-service solutions are good for you and good for your clients

In the busy world we live in, people want information when they need it. Imagine the frustration your client would experience if they need a document that only you can provide, but it’s Friday at 6pm and your office is shut until Monday. Have you ever decided to ring the bank on a Saturday at just after 5pm? Frustrating isn’t it?

On the reverse of this, you’re busy working on a client’s set of accounts and you’re on an incredibly tight deadline. Another client calls and asks for their 2011/12 tax return to be sent over to them…..again!

4. Portals bring repeat traffic to your website

For those clients who choose to access their portal from a desktop computer (rather than via an APP on the smartphone), you have the added advantage of being able to highlight other services you offer. For example you could test out a series of mini-adverts on the relevant pages. There’s also the SEO advantage that comes with pages that are frequently visited. Google loves popular pages. By making the portal log in part of your main website, you will soon see an increase in traffic.

5. Portals can help you keep ahead of your clients’ demands

Modern and efficient ways for two-way communication are increasingly important in the new mobile age. When you provide multiple ways for your clients to get in touch, it provides them with choice.

In the modern IT-driven world, choice is something we’re all too familiar with.

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