1 March 2019
Michal Gil- Peretz
Quick and consistent communication with clients is the key to successful management of any organization. In our day and age, in which clients are accustomed to internet information and service consumption via their computer or mobile device, a client portal is a critical tool. It grants simple, comfortable and quick access to organizational information and services.
So, what is a client portal? And what does it have to do with Knowledge Management?
The term 'portal' usually relates to a mechanism through which an organization shares information with its clients. The organization provides secure access, via an internet website, that allows its clients to access an area where they can display, download and upload information that is exchanged encrypted. The clients usually do not pay for using the client portal, and they are also exempt of complex installations. All that a client needs are an email address and access to the internet. Clients receive a password and can access the portal at any time. Furthermore, any time a document or piece of data is altered, clients are notified.
Client portals are highly useful for secure exchange of data (financial, legal, engineering, etc.) This type of portals secures the information exchange according to data privacy laws. These portals enable the users to manage the information virtually in order to enhance the efficiency of client-organization community.
Further advantages of a client portal include:
The ability to handle large files only rare with size-limits
Independent access to private file databases
Time-saving file retrieval methods
These advantages lead to a more efficient work environment for client-organization relations.
A screenshot displaying document management in the PortalsXpress portal (source: Wikipedia).
Examples of Client portals:
Client portals allow organizations to share knowledge with clients on several levels. The basic level involves updating clients by providing them with personal information or information which is not available to the general public. For example, a self-service troubleshooting database, which clients can use at any time and place. On a more advanced level, sharing can be attained via a forum of clients that consult each other and regarding proper use and application of products. The client portal can serve as the basis for organizations to share and discuss with clients. This is organizations' opportunity to the exchange of ideas and mutual learning.
We all hold certain knowledge. And we probably can all benefit greatly from learning from our clients. Worth trying.
For further reading:
Wikipedia: Client Portals
Client Portals: A Secure Alternative to E-Mail- Sending clients their tax returns via e-mail may soon no longer be an option. BY ALEXANDRA DEFELICE, February 1, 2010, Journal of Accountancy
Expand Your Solo or Small Firm Practice Using Client Portals. By Donna Seyle, December 2011, Law Practice Today