What is customer portal software?

A customer portal is a website where customers can track their support requests, find quick answers to common questions, view product updates and information, and engage with other customers.

A customer portal software or a client portal software enables businesses to launch web portals for customer support. In other words, it brings together a ticketing, knowledge base, and community software to help businesses deploy and maintain an online portal.   

Customer portal software Customer portal software

Why do you need a customer portal?

Traditionally, email and phone have been the preferred channels used by customers to contact businesses for help. But with a dedicated client portal at the customer’s disposal, businesses can deflect tickets and enable customers to better self-service.

The client portal gives customers access to multiple resources at their fingertips. Users who visit the customer portal can read detailed knowledge base articles on different product capabilities, navigate through frequently asked questions, interact with other customers from the product community forums, and much more.

Benefits of a customer portal for the end-user

Access to a comprehensive knowledge base

When customers land on a client portal, the first thing they’re looking for is information related to the product, that will help them resolve their problems. If this information is available in a neatly organized format with well-distinguished folders, FAQs, and guides, the customer’s job becomes easier. Most customer portals also have a search bar incorporated right at the top, where end-users can find all relevant articles and solutions with a click of a button.

Interacting with other users on community forums

Apart from self-service, the client portal also lets users interact with other customers in order to discuss solutions, and possible troubleshooting steps and ideas. Most active forums have power users who waste no time in welcoming new customers, and help them with getting up and running with the product. Community users can also pitch in with new feature requests that they want to bring to the attention of the brand’s product managers.

Creating tickets and reporting issues on the go

A customer portal makes the transition between self-service and contacting a human support agent much easier. If customers aren’t able to find what they’re looking for through the self-service resources, they can simply create and submit a support ticket with relevant information about their problem.

Access to product release notes and feature announcements

Customers who use the client portal can get exclusive access to a company’s latest feature announcements, version changelogs, and other important product information. This way, they’ll always be updated on how new features and implementations will impact their existing workflows.

Benefits of a client portal for the business

Deflect incoming tickets

A client portal ensures that customers don’t have to contact a business’s support team for troubleshooting a problem. By having the right amount of self-service resources in place along with a well-connected community forum, companies can deflect a majority of incoming support tickets. Agents can focus their efforts on answering more complex customer queries instead of handling minor, repetitive issues.

Retain brand identity

It’s important for a brand to extend their identity to the customer portal. This will reassure customers that they are in the right place. A customer portal should have the brand’s logo, consistency of visuals and design, and an overall look and feel that resonates with the essence of the company’s image

Capture relevant information

A client portal lets a company capture customer information relevant to the issue at hand. This is usually done through ticket forms that have the provision to add custom fields. By using data such as order number or any other additional detail, you will have complete context of the customer’s problem, and can avoid excessive back and forth.

Keep customers up to date

A customer portal will offer a place for customers to view the status of their tickets. This will help them manage their expectations and plan their operations accordingly. The business, in the meanwhile, does not have to field questions like “Is this done yet?”, or “What’s the status of this request?”

Support multiple products with ease

If you’re a business supporting more than one product, you will need a dedicated client portal for each of them. Many customer portal software offer multi-product support, so while your customers only see what’s relevant to them, everything stays streamlined behind the scenes. Your agents can manage customer requests from all these portals in a single, unified location.

Check out a collection of beautiful customer portals powered by Freshdesk.

Why Freshdesk is the best customer portal software

Creating and launching a customer portal could seem like a project that requires an army of support agents, content specialists, and developers. However, Freshdesk brings together the functionality of a ticketing system with the easy-to-use self-service portal features required to get your customer portal up and running in no time. 

In this section, we'll take a deep dive into all the essentials that make Freshdesk the ideal customer portal solution for your business. 

Best-in-class knowledge base features

Freshdesk allows you to build a comprehensive, well-structured, and well-indexed self-service portal. 

  • Rich text editor - Enjoy a wide variety of formatting options and better support for embedding images.

  • Versioning and translations - Maintain different solution articles for different versions of your product, and support translations in multiple languages.

  • Article feedback and analytics - Get important insights on how well your knowledge base content is doing.

  • Optimizing solution articles for search engines - Ensure your help content has the right meta information to get indexed on search engines.

Advanced knowledge base Advanced knowledge base

End-to-end portal customization

Tailor the look and feel of your customer portal with Freshdesk, to make it look like a natural extension of your brand.

  • Portal URL - Point your support portal URL to your own domain to make customers feel like they’re never leaving your website.

  • Tweak the look and feel of the portal - Add your logo, and tweak the style and color of all the visual elements in the portal to match your website’s design.

  • Ready-made themes - Access Freshdesk’s gallery of plug-and-play themes to build your customer portal without any developer assistance.

Portal customization Portal customization

Flexible ticket forms

Freshdesk’s ticket forms help customers reach out to you through the support portal. They help you collect all the information you require, eliminating the need for agents to ask basic, repetitive questions to customers. You can customize the fields in the ticket forms to fit your business type, and your internal support processes. You can even create dynamic ticket forms where the fields change based on user inputs.

Flexible ticket forms Flexible ticket forms

Multi-product and multilingual support portal

Freshdesk is a customer portal software that is capable of multi-product support. If you’re a large company or an enterprise, you can create dedicated support portals for each of your products, and manage all customer conversations in a unified location. The design language of each portal can be seamlessly tweaked based on the individual product. Freshdesk also supports multilingual portals so customers can converse with your support team in the language of their choice.

Multilingual portal Multilingual portal

Complete privacy control

Are there parts of your documentation that need to be locked down for logged in users, certain plan types or even internal users? With a client portal software like Freshdesk, you can set up access controls and user permissions before launching your portal. You can also choose whether users from the same company can view other employee tickets. This works excellently for B2B clients who have system administrators monitoring the visibility of tickets to other agents. Freshdesk also supports Single Sign On (SSO) with Google, Twitter, and Facebook.

Privacy settings Privacy settings

Auto-suggestion of solutions

When a customer is creating tickets from the portal, you can configure Freshdesk to auto-suggest solution articles based on the ticket subject that he/she enters. Customers can click through to see if the article helps them resolve their issue, or can submit the ticket if it doesn’t. By enabling customers to help themselves before contacting support, you can greatly reduce the incoming ticket volume, and save time for both your agents and customers.

Auto-suggest solutions Auto-suggest solutions

What more can you do with Freshdesk?

Improve customer satisfaction

Deliver consistent and seamless customer service with a unified view of customer conversations across email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Deliver proactive support

Ensure there are no breaks in customer experience by deploying a smart widget that identifies frustration signals in real-time, and offers assistance with useful FAQs and a contact form.

Boost agent productivity

Automate repetitive tasks and free up your team’s time to work on more complex customer requests with Freshdesk’s flexible workflow automations.

Collaborate efficiently

Work with team members on a variety of tasks including content creation, and getting answers from different teams, by leveraging Freshdesk’s collaborative workspace.

Build robust support workflows

Import important data from your project management software, CRM, invoicing software, etc into your helpdesk with flexible APIs and 650+ one-click integrations.