By: Lana Bawa'neh
A customer portal is an online system for customer self-management allowing authorized users to access their information and utilize the services they need. It is like a digital gateway to enable customers access and manage their accounts and the relevant services via a web browser.
Nowadays, it is particularly important to have a customer portal to provide your customers with the self-service capabilities they need. In fact, 57 percent of customers prefer companies who can be reached via mail, chat, video chat, social media platforms over those using traditional means of voice-based customer support. Not only because it saves time and effort, but also for the efficiency of the process. Not to mention that customer portals are available 24/7, so this gives the customers the ability to choose the time most suitable for them.
Additionally, with what the world is going through today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for such systems has risen to reduce physical interactions and ensure safe distancing. Customer portals present a virtual alternative to customers who cannot, or would not, be physically present in the facilities of the service providers. Thus, instead of wasting time waiting in long queues to get support for a certain service or product, customers can simply log their issues within seconds and track the status to see the progress and get notified when there are updates. All the while, avoiding unnecessary interactions with the insurance provider’s staff at their offices.
Customer portals in the insurance industry
Having a customer portal is important for most, if not all, industries and the insurance sector is no exception. As a matter of fact, in a sector as complex as insurance, clients could feel overwhelmed with the data and information they need to handle, go through, and/or remember. The insurance industry is considered to be one of the most complicated industries because it involves complex processes and cycles related to polices, claims, quotations, financials, and more. Therefore, insurance providers should have customer self-service systems that offer most, or all, the insurance services available to their customers. This should be an easy-to-use system that provides effortless self-service functionalities. Through a well-organized and well-structured system, it becomes much easier for end-customers to access their relevant information and enquire about their business needs.
Making insurance portals ideal for customers
When having an insurance customer portal, the goal is to enable your customers to do as much as possible on their own, saving time and effort on both sides – the customers and the insurers. Below are the core capabilities insurance companies should provide their customers with through self-service portals.
Customer Registration and Onboarding
Customer self-management systems should ensure a seamless registration and onboarding process of customers with only a few steps to enable them to enjoy the various features and benefits offered. Customers must be able to create and update their personal profile as well as learn about the company’s products and services they offer.
Using this system, the customer will be able to manage their quotations by generating new quotations through pre-defined forms, view their quotations log, and retrieve and calculate their quotations.
A good customer portal shall enable customers to pay their premiums and renewal dues online easily and securely. It should provide various payment methods by integrating with well-known payment service providers. This will provide customers with the ability to choose the payment method they are most comfortable using.
Throughout this portal, customers should be able to add new claims using pre-defined forms. Customers should also be able to track the status of their claims as well as view the history or their older claims.
Through this feature, the customer can view and print their statement of account for the period they choose – easily and in no-time. Customers can go back to check their previous financial transactions and view their outstanding balance along with all relevant details such as due dates, additional fees, etc.
Customers will need a way to send their inquiries, log any issues they may face, or send complaints. Using self-management portals, customers should be able to enter tickets for such incidents, track them, and get notified of any relevant changes and updates to them.
Providing your customers with an enjoyable experience is key in customer management. Moreover, customer enablement is at the centre of good customer interaction management. By having a well-developed customer self-service portal, companies can ensure improvements in customer engagement and satisfaction while reducing time, effort, and support load.
ESKA Customer Portal, powered by ESKADENIA Software, is a great example of a productive customer portal system. What makes ESKA Customer Portal distinctive is that authorized users can build personalized customer experiences based on business needs. Additionally, by integrating with ESKADENIA’s own content management system, the portal enables users to manage and customize the content, layout, design, and much more.