“I love spending all my waking hours sending emails to my clients”, said no one ever. We’re sure you can relate. How many times have your clients “lost” emails with important files (a.k.a. pending invoices)? Far too many, right? Well, that ends today! If clients want to play dumb with us, we will become client management wizards, or shall we say… Dumb-ledores? (wink, wink) And the best way to do that is to use client portals.
Client portals, though not the mystical kind of portal (shame!), allow you to manage the flow of information and communication between you and your clients. And since there are so many options out there to get lost in, in this article, we'll explore the best client portal software you should be considering in 2023, so you can find the perfect match for your business needs and keep They-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named happy.
What is a Сlient Portal?
A client portal is an online environment designed to provide a secure and convenient way for clients and customers to access information, manage and share files, and communicate with you and your business. To continue with the Harry Potter analogy, a client portal is like Gringotts Bank for business communication; it serves as a secure vault to store and manage information and interactions between clients and service providers (a.k.a. you).
In today's digital age, client portals have become an essential tool for businesses to improve customer engagement, increase customer satisfaction, and streamline operations without the need for direct human interaction (Phew, thank God for that!).
Client portals are usually accessible through websites or mobile apps, and they provide collaboration tools in a secure and personalized experience for each customer.
Why do You Need a Customer Portal?
There are several reasons why you might need to implement one of the best client portal software for your business. So let’s take a quick look at some situations in which your business can benefit from having a dedicated, private space for each of your customers:
- You answer the same questions over and over, especially by email, which takes up quite a big chunk of your working hours.
- You have to manually email important documents to your customers: invoices, guides, brand assets, etc.
- You think that using common solutions like Google Drive or Word documents can sometimes make you look a bit unprofessional.
- You want to regularly share news with your customers but don’t want to seem intrusive by spamming their inbox with your newsletters.
- You would like to provide live support to your customers from a central hub and reduce the use of emails and WhatsApp (or similar!) for regular business communications.
- Et cetera.
If you find yourself thinking about and wishing for some of the observations above and many more, you definitely need to start using a client portal software.
Top 7 Benefits of Client Portals
There are several benefits to having a client portal, which we can summarize into:
- Improved customer engagement and satisfaction;
- Reduced workload for customer service teams;
- Increased support staff efficiency;
- Improved collaboration with customers;
- Valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences;
- Improved communication with other team members and customers;
- Increased security and privacy for sensitive customer information.
Let’s just say that with a great customer portal, your clients will be in awe of your client wizarding skills! Remember, you’re a wizard, Harry!
What Should a Customer Portal Include?
A customer portal should include several key features to ensure an optimal customer experience, including:
- Secure file management and delivery: A client portal should have a secure file management system that allows clients to easily upload files, and store and access important documents. This is why you need a secure client portal software.
- Self-service options and account management: Clients should be able to manage their own accounts, including updating personal information, viewing account history, and tracking orders.
- Access to products and services: A customer portal should provide access to the company's products and services, including descriptions, pricing, and ordering options.
- Secure live chat or other consolidated communication channels: Normally, client portal platforms should provide access to secure communication channels, such as live chat, for clients to get quick answers to their questions and support requests.
- Ability to update brand and business information: Your customer portal ought to allow your clients to update their business information, such as contact information, and view their brand assets.
- Ability to make payments and manage billing: Allowing clients to manage their billing details and make payments is one of the key features of an effective secure client portal.
- Access to knowledge base: Every client portal should also provide access to a knowledge base or FAQs, allowing clients to quickly find on-demand information.
- Project management features or integrations: It is extremely useful for any business to have your client portals integrated or equipped with collaboration tools and project management features to stay on top of all your tasks.
Basically, a client portal is like the Room of Requirements. If you’re a Harry Potter buff like us, you know what we mean. (wink, wink!)
Top 10 Customer & Client Portal Software
As you must know by now (if you’ve been paying attention to this awesome article!), having a robust and user-friendly customer portal can streamline communication, enhance customer engagement, and improve the overall customer experience. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. So to help make your decision easier, we've compiled a list of the best client portal software to use in 2023 based on key features, user experience, and customer reviews, where we’ve included some big, industry-standard players and some new rising stars in the field. Whether you're looking to increase efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, or gain valuable insights into customer behavior, these client portal software options are sure to meet your needs.
1. Nimbus Platform
Nimbus Platform is an all-round solution for content management and customer support. With this client portal software, you can create client portals and support documents (knowledge bases), chat and send messages to your customers in real time, answer their support requests, take screenshots and screen recordings with Nimbus Capture and save and organize web content thanks to Nimbus Clipper. This robust solution is perfect for creating bespoke customer portals at a very affordable pricing point.
- Pricing: Starts at $8/month
- Capterra rating: 4.6 (147 reviews)
- Affordable customer portal solution
- Built-in chats to streamline communication
- Project management features
- Easy data collection and feedback processing
- Fully branded portals (logo, colors, content, etc.)
- Connect your business custom domain
- Natively integrated with all Nimbus tools (Note, Capture, Clipper)
- Clients can upload invoices and other documents
- Easy to create knowledge base articles
- Document collaboration features
- Cannot share files directly on chat
- Only possible to delete a customer portal by contacting support
2. Client Portal (WordPress)
Client-portal.io is an intuitive, easy-to-use WordPress plugin designed to help you create a dedicated client portal within your own website. It offers a range of features to create a secure dashboard where your clients can access whatever you choose: purchase details and downloads, customer data, customer requests, self-service resources, brand assets, payment details and invoices, etc. As it is WordPress based, it is a really flexible and customizable solution to create customer portals.
- Pricing: Starts at $199/year
- Capterra rating: -
- Flexibility in terms of modules you can add
- WordPress-based (if that’s what you’re looking for!)
- Clean and simple UI
- Easy to set up
- Need to maintain and update regularly, as it is a WordPress plugin
- Not cheap, considering the lowest tier works only on one site
- Little customization available
- No native integrations
- No project management features
- Limited to client portal features, nothing else
Zendesk is a customer service and support platform that provides a full-blown helpdesk solution with tools that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of any organization. Among other things, Zendesk allows you to build customizable customer portals, robust knowledge bases, online community forums, etc. This client portal software also includes live chat functionality, making it easy for customers to get in touch with support teams. Additionally, Zendesk integrates with a wide range of popular business applications, such as Salesforce and Google Analytics, which enables organizations to streamline their customer service operations.
- Pricing: Starts at $79/month
- Capterra rating: 4.4 (3,438 reviews)
- All-round solution for customer support
- Branded customer portals (including domain)
- Native integrations with popular software, including major CRMs
- Live chat to connect with the customer support team
- Knowledge base creation and management
- Integration with native community forums
- Pricey cost per agent
- Zendesk users complain about their customer support service (Ironic!)
- Not intuitive to set up
- Big learning curve to use
- Can feel overwhelming due to having too many features
SuiteDash is an all-in-one solution for businesses that need to manage their customer relations, client communications, project management, and invoicing. This client portal lets you customize the look and feel of their customer interactions, so it matches yours or your customer’s brand, restrict customer access, as well as delegate responsibilities and monitor progress through clear reporting and tracking systems.
- Pricing: Starts at $19/month
- Capterra rating: 4.9 (457 reviews)
- All-in-one customer and project management solution
- Affordable solution, considering how much it offers
- Client portal template library
- Comprehensive documentation
- Document collaboration
- Steep learning curve
- So many features make it overwhelming
- Unappealing UI
- Some of the integrations are too limited
- Lack of public API
Clinked is a cloud-based all-in-one collaboration platform that helps teams, project groups, and business clients work more efficiently. This client portal software offers secure file storage, sharing, and management, customizable branding features, mobile access, powerful search, integrated messaging, and task management tools. Its users claim that it’s easy to use and perfect for businesses of all sizes, allowing internal teams to collaborate effectively and solve customer queries efficiently with its secure environment and self-service options.
- Pricing: Starts at $83/month
- Capterra rating: 4.8 (53 reviews)
- Easy to use and set up
- Private cloud for secure file management
- Simple file management
- Multiple collaboration tools for clients and staff
- White label mobile app (with an extra fee!)
- Task management features
- Pricey starting point
- No native integrations (only possible through Zapier)
- Dated UI
SuperOkay is a relatively new platform designed to help digital agencies, software studios, and freelancers better manage their clients. It offers a customizable client portal interface where internal users can share project links, assets, connected apps, and more. The platform also helps users to increase their efficiency by providing an easy-to-use and unified client portal experience.
- Pricing: Starts at $19/month
- Capterra rating: 4.7 (3 reviews)
- Neat UI
- Easy to set up and use
- Template library
- Integrations with major apps like Airtable, Miro or Figma
- Very basic client portal
- Limited functionalities and customization
- Lack of 2FA
- Pricey if you need to white-label your client portal, as it requires a higher plan
Freshdesk is one of the most prominent customer support platforms and client portal software on the market, and is part of a larger platform called Freshworks. Freshdesk is a cloud-based customer support software that provides businesses with the ability to manage their customer service, including the creation of client and customer support portals. With multiple support channels available, Freshdesk provides a comprehensive suite of features designed to help businesses quickly and efficiently handle customer inquiries.
- Pricing: Starts at $15/month
- Capterra rating: 4.5 (2,513 reviews)
- All-round customer support solution
- Built-in analytics
- Native integrations with major platforms
- Customizable portals (including domain)
- Integrations with other Freshworks apps (Sales, Chat, Service, Marketer, etc.)
- Built-in automations
- Complex to set up
- Steep learning curve to use it
- Client portal customization is only available for higher plans
- Many essential features are locked in higher plans
- Users complain about the lack of tutorials to learn to use the platform
8. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is an online Sales CRM software that helps businesses of all sizes build excellent customer relationships and manage their sales, marketing and support in one single repository. This CRM software also acts as a client portal software, allowing you to create client portals, especially focused on client and sales management. Due to its range of features, Zoho CRM can be a great tool for businesses looking to maximize their customer relationships and increase sales. However, it might not be the best option for you if you’re simply looking for a client portal solution.
- Pricing: Starts at $40/month
- Capterra rating: 4.3 (6,168 reviews)
- Integrates well with other Zoho products
- E-commerce features (e-catalogs from CRM data)
- Customize portals to match your brand
- Confusing to set up and use
- Overwhelming set of features
- Limited integrations with external, non-Zoho services
- Some users complain about poor customer support
MyDocSafe is a secure and comprehensive digital document security and e-signature platform designed for businesses of all sizes. This client portal software enables companies to design and deploy their own client onboarding processes, virtual data rooms, automated forms, client portals, file requests, etc. This client portal solution helps businesses to quickly onboard customers with a personalized experience, focusing on security measures, e-signature and approval processes.
- Pricing: Starts at $20/month
- Capterra rating: 4.3 (21 reviews)
- Customizable portals (including domain)
- Secure cloud for storing files
- Efficient document management
- Collect data and files from clients
- Privacy focused with a range of security features
- Secure access for clients
- Contract signing
- Poor customer service, according to some users
- Limited integrations
- They have a history of betraying early users
SupportBee is an innovative web-based email support tool designed to help small businesses streamline their customer service efforts. It offers an easy-to-use ticketing system that enables support agents to prioritize, collaborate and organize customer support emails. This customer portal software also allows you to create client portals focused on support tickets and communication, delivering friendly customer service with greater efficiency. The only major issue with Supportbee’s client portals is that they are entirely focused on support tickets and nothing else, so if you need customer portals for other purposes, this might not be for you.
- Pricing: Starts at $17/month
- Capterra rating: 4.3 (26 reviews)
- Affordable solution to provide support
- Access to portals through private links (no passwords needed)
- Accessible support tickets history
- Easy management of customer queries
- Branded portals (colors, logos, domain, etc.)
- Integrations with popular platforms, including CRMs (Zoho CRM, Pipedrive, etc.)
- Portals are limited only to support tickets
How to Choose the Right Client Portal Software
When choosing a customer portal software, there are several factors to consider, especially the following:
- User experience and design: When choosing a customer portal software, it's important to consider the user experience and design. The platform should be easy to use, visually appealing, and intuitive for your customers. A good user experience can enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.
- Security and privacy measures: Data security is a top priority, so it's crucial to choose a customer portal software with robust security and privacy measures in place. Look for features such as encryption, access controls, and data backup to ensure the protection of sensitive data or customer information.
- Integration with existing systems and tools: To maximize efficiency, consider a client portal software that integrates with your existing systems and tools. This will eliminate the need for manual data transfer and help ensure a seamless experience for both you and your customers.
- Knowledge base management: A knowledge base is a valuable resource for your customers, so choose a client portal software with a comprehensive and easy-to-use knowledge base management system. This will help customers find the information they need by browsing the knowledge base articles and reduce the workload for your support team.
- Customization options: Customization options are important to ensure that the customer portal fits your specific needs and brand identity. Look for a software that allows you to customize the look and feel, as well as add or remove features as needed.
- Available languages: If you have customers who speak different languages, choose a customer portal software that supports multiple languages. This will enhance the client experience and increase customer satisfaction.
- Reporting and analytics capabilities: Reporting and analytics are important to understand your customers and make informed business decisions. Choose a customer portal software that provides detailed reporting and analytics capabilities to help you better understand customer behavior and preferences.
- Customer support and resources: Consider the customer support and resources offered by the customer portal software provider. This can include tutorials, forums, and dedicated support agents to help you get the most out of the software.
- Pricing and budget considerations: Finally, consider your budget and pricing options when choosing a customer portal software. While it's important to invest in a high-quality platform, it's also important to find a software that fits within your budget. Look for a software with flexible pricing options and consider the long-term value it will bring to your business.
Create Your Client Portal with Nimbus Platform Today
We are sure that one of the client portal softwares provided in this article will fit your business needs, but if you ask us, you’ll be happiest with Nimbus Platform.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive project management tool on your own domain that allows you to manage content, create knowledge bases, store and share files securely, manage tasks, communicate in real time with clients, collaborate with clients and staff, and many other things, well, stop looking, because you’ve already found us!
With Nimbus, you can create the best client portals, completely branded by customizing all the look and feel, embedding widgets, choosing what your clients can do and see on it, etc.
Create an account today and set up your online portal in minutes!
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