Agency Handy

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Manage Clients, Teams & Invoices in Your Digital Agency

Streamline the complexities of client and team management in your digital agency with effortless efficiency.

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Trusted by agencies managing 100+ client projects daily

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The client portal software for agencies

Forms

Boards

Invoice

Tasks

Ticket

Dashboard

Service

Client Portal

Custom Branding

Files

List All The Services You Offer

Put your service name, details, pricing & quantity to create your unique service list.

Add and showcase your offerings with detailed information, tailoring it to represent your agency’s unique capabilities

Share publicly or Embed on your website

Create a service catalog and share it publicly for clients to put orders. Use iframe to embed the service catalog on your website as well.

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Create Customized Intake & Order forms

Create your perfect Intake form to take all the necessary data

Give your clients the exact form you want to get every data point to complete the order

Set up order forms to receive orders seamlessly

Order forms with simple structure but important fields will help you get the order without any hassle

form

Invite or Import All Your Clients Easily

Create client accounts with all required information to generate client profiles.

Generate a client profile with essential information, streamlining the onboarding process.

Clients will automatically get the email & confirm the invitation with one click.

Automate client invitations with instant email notifications, making it easier for seamless one-click confirmations

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AgencyHandy has transformed our SEO agency operations. The client management software is a game-changer, revolutionizing how we handle projects and engage with clients. Its user-friendly interface and seamless integration of functions have streamlined our workflow significantly.

Mothasim Billah

SEO & Growth Manager @LinkBuilderPros

Track necessary tasks with Kanbans & more

Structure your workflow to get an idea of the status of each task.

Visualize your workflow, gaining insights into the status and progress of each task within your projects.

Overview of which stages each task is & how well the progress is going.

Stay informed about each task’s stage and progress, ensuring smooth and timely project execution

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Bill your clients and keep track of your revenue

Invoice your clients after the end of your work

Send Invoices to your clients once you are done with all the deliverables and client approvals

Get paid upfront or in splits as well

Link your service to your website and get paid upfront or even attach multiple invoices to one order to be paid in splits

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AgencyHandy has become a game-changer for my Agency. We can manage our overall projects and clients all in one place! Also, I am always a fan of a simple UI. Our team plans to switch to AgencyHandy to make everything easy for clients and us.

Iftekhar Ahmed

Co-Founder @Web Rank Builder

Setup your workspace just the way you want

Call it your own

Put in your logo, and primary and secondary colors in your workspace so that it looks exactly how you want it to be

Custom Domain setup

Set your custom domain in Agency Handy to give your workspace even more of a familiar look

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Built for service businesses from all types and shapes

Digital Marketing Agency

Content Agency

Design Agency

Video Creation Agency

Development Agency

Pricing plans & packages

Solopreneuer

Best fit for freelancers & solopreneurs

Teams

Perfect to manage small agencies & productized services

Pro

Most popular amongst larger agencies

Solopreneuer

Best fit for freelancers & solopreneurs

Teams

Perfect to manage small agencies & productized services

Pro

Most popular amongst larger agencies

Frequently asked questions

Yes, we don’t nickel and dime you for every little feature. Here are more answers:

You get a 14-day free trial where you get access to all the features for unlimited users & clients. After the 14-day free trial, you will get the option of choosing our standard package or contacting sales to further continue using it.

Yes, you can cancel anytime you like. There is no long-term commitment

Once you cancel the subscription will automatically stop renewing once the current payment cycle is done but you won’t get any refund.

No, you won’t need to put in your credit card details to access the free trial.

You can upgrade or downgrade anytime between different packages. You will get the credits within the billing period.

The Definitive Guide to Client/Customer Portal Software

Ever spent hours hunting down a document a client emailed you weeks ago? Or feel frustrated because your client keeps asking for the same info you already sent? Traditional communication can be a mess!

Emails get lost, attachments get buried, and important details slip through the cracks. This ping-pong of emails and missing files can leave you and your clients feeling stressed and out of sync.

There’s a way to ditch the email chaos and keep everything organized! Client/customer portals are secure online spaces that act like a central hub for you and your clients to share information, collaborate on projects, and stay on the same page.

Ready to say goodbye to email headaches and hello to a smoother, happier client experience? Let’s dive in!

Guide Topics​

Understanding Client/Customer Portal Software

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A client/customer portal software is an application that businesses use to create secure online platforms for sharing information, collaborating, and communicating with their clients through a centralized hub.

In simple terms, it provides the technology and tools needed to build customized “client portals” or “customer portals” that give clients 24/7 access to their account details, documents, project updates, and more from the business.

The software handles all the necessary functionality like user authentication, file sharing, messaging/forums, and any other features the company wants to offer through this exclusive online space for clients. It allows businesses to easily deploy professional-client portals without extensive coding or technical skills.

Rather than relying on back-and-forth emails or phone calls, the portal software facilitates a smoother exchange of information and services with clients. Companies just sign up and customize the look and offerings, and it’s ready for clients to start using and accessing what they need anytime, anywhere.

By implementing this type of software, businesses can streamline their client management processes and strengthen relationships through improved transparency, convenience, and collaboration. It simplifies things for both the business and its clients.

Overall, a client/customer portal works by providing a cloud-based web application that clients can access through a secure login page on a website using their web browser. It acts as an electronic gateway, allowing clients access to digital files, services, and project information linked to your systems.

Issues Businesses Face Without A Client Portal

Without a dedicated client portal, businesses often struggle to efficiently manage client communication, collaboration, and service delivery. Think of how frustrating it is to dig through endless email chains or missed calls just to get a simple project update. That’s the reality many companies face on a daily basis.

Hence, you need a client portal to centralize all project information like project progress, communication, files, and invoices in one secure, easily accessible place for your team and clients. It improves the user experience, transparency, and allows seamless collaboration by simplifying progress tracking, document sharing, and invoice payments.

Here are some major issues businesses face without a client portal-

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  • Poor Communication & Disorganization

Without a centralized client portal, businesses rely heavily on email and phone communication to exchange information with clients.

However, this approach is inherently disorganized – important details get lost in overflowing inboxes, updates are missed, and clients struggle to locate past files or information when needed. The lack of a structured system makes it extremely difficult to keep everyone on the same page.

  • Frustrated Clients & Reduced Satisfaction

When clients face difficulties in simply accessing information or getting timely responses from a business, it inevitably leads to frustration and dissatisfaction.

Traditional communication methods fail to provide the smooth, user-friendly experience that today’s clients expect.

Without a dedicated portal, businesses miss out on an opportunity to boost satisfaction through transparency and convenience. In fact, 88% of customers expect businesses to offer a customer service portal.

  • Inefficient Workflow & Wasted Time

Emailing files back and forth is not only inefficient but also incredibly time-consuming. Employees waste valuable hours searching for the correct versions of documents across cluttered email threads.

The absence of a central repository for housing all project-related resources directly hampers productivity and workflow.

  • Security Vulnerabilities

Handling sensitive client information or data through unsecured channels like email exposes businesses to potential security breaches or compliance issues.

Without robust access controls and secure file-sharing capabilities offered by client portals, companies risk compromising confidential information.

  • Lack of Transparency

Clients feel left in the dark when there is no centralized information hub to keep them updated on project statuses, deliverables, or important milestones.

This absence of transparency creates confusion, misalignment of expectations, and a general sense of being uninformed.

  • Permissions Nightmare

Trying to manually manage sharing permissions and access levels across multiple clients and team members is an administrative nightmare. It’s extremely cumbersome to control who can view or edit which files without a systematic way to assign roles and privileges based on the clients and the team members.

  • Version Control Issues

With no unified system, keeping track of the latest file versions becomes an ongoing struggle.

Different stakeholders may end up working with outdated documents, leading to miscommunication, reworking, and wasted efforts – ultimately hampering productivity.

  • Lack of Project Oversight

The inability to leverage dedicated project management tools makes it highly challenging to maintain a clear overview of deadlines, task responsibilities, and overall progress across client projects.

Inevitably, things begin slipping through the cracks without a structured system for tracking deliverables.

  • Unprofessional Brand Image

In today’s digital age, according to a 2018 Microsoft survey, 88% of clients expect a modern, professional experience when engaging with businesses – including user-friendly client portals.

Lacking this capability can negatively impact a company’s brand image, making them appear behind the curve compared to competitors.

It’s clear why adopting a well-designed client portal solution is so crucial for streamlining operations and delivering exceptional client service. Let’s explore how client portals efficiently address these common challenges.

How Client Portals Drive Operational Efficiency & Increase Client Satisfaction

Implementing a robust client portal solution directly tackles countless challenges businesses face without a centralized platform for client interactions. By providing a secure online hub, client portals redefine how companies communicate, collaborate, and deliver services to their clients.

Here are the major benefits you’d get from a client portal software as a business-

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  • Improved Communication and Transparency

At the core, client portals provide transparency by giving clients 24/7 access to project details, documentation, and real-time updates.

This open communication eliminates the disorganization of email chains and missed calls, ensuring everyone remains informed throughout the entire process.

Clients can easily view the latest information and status, reducing frustration and boosting satisfaction.

  • Seamless Collaboration and File Sharing

Client portals facilitate seamless collaboration by providing a centralized repository for all project-related files, documents, and communication threads.

Teams and clients can share, review, and provide feedback on the latest versions in one place, minimizing version control issues.

This systematic approach improves productivity and efficiency compared to traditional back-and-forth emails.

  • Robust Security and Access Controls

Data security concerns are minimized by client portals’ robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and audit trails.

Confidential data can be securely shared without the risk of exposure through unsafe channels such as email.

Customizable permission levels also allow you to control who can access specific files or areas of the portal.

  • Comprehensive Project Management

Many client portals incorporate project management tools like task assignment, deadline tracking, and team communication features.

This centralized approach to project oversight ensures nothing slips through the cracks, deadlines are met, and clients remain updated on progress.

It eliminates the need for multiple tools, further boosting efficiency.

  • Scalability and Mobile Accessibility

As businesses grow, client portals can scale seamlessly to accommodate an increasing number of clients and projects without compromising functionality or performance.

Most portals also offer mobile apps, ensuring clients can access information anytime, anywhere, addressing the need for on-the-go accessibility in today’s mobile-driven world.

  • Data-Driven Insights and Reporting

Client portals capture a wealth of data around client activity, communication history, and project performance.

Businesses can leverage this valuable information to make data-driven decisions leading to continuous process improvements.

As a result, you, as a business can identify areas for optimization and opportunities for better client engagement.

  • Brand Promotion and Competitive Edge

Customizable branding options within client portals allow businesses to promote their brand identity and provide a professional, cohesive experience for clients.

This attention to detail can help you stand out from competitors and demonstrate your commitment to delivering exceptional service.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, implementing a robust client portal solution provides businesses with several other key advantages as follows:

  • Facilitates efficient referral programs for existing clients
  • Enables clients to conveniently pay with their account balance
  • Streamlines the process for clients to purchase services
  • Helps businesses get paid in full and on time
  • Presents customized, personalized content to each client
  • Allows connecting clients across various devices seamlessly
  • Centralizes company information, reducing errors
  • Provides cost-effective solutions leveraging cloud technologies
  • Offers comprehensive analytics and oversight capabilities
  • Enhances data security with encryption and access controls
  • Empowers clients through self-service capabilities
  • Enables no-code customization and branding of the portal

In short, client/customer portals improve collaboration and project management, leading to improved efficiency and client satisfaction.

Key Features Of Client/Customer Portal Software

Key features of client/customer portal software include secure access and authentication, self-service capabilities, project management tools, file sharing, communication channels, invoicing and payment gateways, reporting and analytics, branding customization, and integration with other business tools.

A good customer portal is a secure, centralized platform offering self-service tools for customers to manage orders, track order details, access the knowledge base, submit support tickets, and view past issue resolutions. This ensures a seamless customer experience and offers convenience.

Here are the key features a good client portal should have-

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1. User Experience and Navigation

Responsive design: A responsive client portal ensures optimal usability across devices, adapting seamlessly to desktops, tablets, or smartphones, providing an exceptional user experience no matter how clients access it.

Simple and intuitive navigation: With a clean, well-structured interface and intuitive navigation, clients can easily find what they need without getting lost in menus, saving time and reducing frustration.

Easy-to-use interface: An easy-to-use interface acts as a trusted assistant, guiding clients through tasks effortlessly, making even complex operations feel straightforward, just like having a knowledgeable partner by their side.

Search option: A powerful search functionality acts as a personal file assistant for clients, helping them effortlessly locate the required information with just a few keystrokes, saving precious time.

2. Secure Access and Authentication

Two-factor authentication: An extra layer of security ensures only authorized clients can access sensitive information, giving peace of mind that data remains safe and protected.

Client portal username and password: Unique login credentials provide a personalized and secure gateway, safeguarding client accounts and maintaining privacy, just like a digital gatekeeper.

Access control and permissions: Granular access controls allow you to decide who can view or modify specific files, ensuring data remains confidential and protected.

Encryption and security protocols: State-of-the-art encryption and security measures create a secure digital fortress, shielding client data from unauthorized access and cyber threats.

Compliance with relevant regulations (e.g., HIPAA): By adhering to industry standards and regulations, client portals offer a secure haven for sensitive information, providing peace of mind.

Compromised account alerts: Proactive alerts notify clients of any suspicious activity, enabling swift action to secure accounts and mitigate potential breaches, safeguarding data integrity.

Automated customer identity verification: Automated identity verification processes ensure compliance and security, giving clients peace of mind that their information is properly safeguarded within the client portal.

3. Client Acquisition Features

Single service listing: Dedicated pages showcasing individual services within the client portal provide clients with a focused and detailed overview tailored to their specific needs, ensuring informed decision-making.

Service catalog: A comprehensive service catalog serves as a centralized hub, enabling clients to explore and compare various offerings effortlessly, streamlining the service selection process and enhancing the overall experience.

Public URL sharing of services: By generating public URLs for the service catalog or individual service pages, the client portal facilitates your business to easily share and promote services with potential clients.

Website embedding: Integrating the service catalog into existing websites through embedding capabilities increases visibility and provides a seamless browsing experience for potential clients, enhancing discoverability and conversions.

Self-purchase capabilities: Clients can self-purchase services directly from the portal, eliminating friction in the buying process and enabling immediate conversions, enhancing convenience, and reducing barriers to entry.

4. Client Onboarding and Management

Digital customer onboarding: A fully digital onboarding process within the client portal eliminates the hassle of paperwork, streamlining client acquisition and providing a smooth, efficient experience from the very start.

Step-by-step registration process: Clients are guided through a clear, step-by-step registration flow, ensuring they don’t miss any crucial details during signup and feel supported throughout the entire process.

Customizable order forms: Tailored order forms within the client portal cater to unique business needs, offering flexibility with multiple pricing options, add-ons, coupons, discounts, and self-purchase capabilities for a personalized experience.

Customizable intake forms: Streamline data collection with customizable intake forms linked to specific services, enabling clients to seamlessly provide the necessary information and file attachments, ensuring a smooth onboarding process.

Proposal and quotes: The client portal simplifies the quoting and proposal process, allowing clients to review, negotiate, and approve proposals with ease, facilitating efficient project initiation and alignment of expectations.

Document upload and e-signature capture: Securely uploading and e-signing important documents directly within the client portal enables a seamless, paperless experience, eliminating the need for physical document handling.

Organizing client information, contracts, and past project details: With all client information, contracts, and project histories centralized within the portal, you can efficiently manage and access client data from one organized hub.

5. Self-Service Features

Self-service portal: A self-service portal empowers clients with autonomy, enabling them to access information, resources, and services independently, reducing reliance on external support.

Online tutorials: Comprehensive online tutorials act as virtual guides, walking clients through processes step-by-step, ensuring they can navigate the portal confidently and independently.

FAQ and knowledge base: A robust FAQ and knowledge base serves as a centralized repository of answers, providing clients with immediate solutions to common queries.

Content library and management tools: Clients can access a wealth of relevant content through the portal’s content library, with management tools for easy navigation and organization.

Customer experience surveys and polls: By gathering client feedback through surveys and polls, the portal enables continuous improvement, ensuring their evolving needs are consistently met.

6. Project Management and Collaboration

Online workspace and collaborative environment: A centralized online workspace within the client portal enables seamless collaboration, where clients and team members can interact, share ideas, and work together efficiently without geographical barriers.

Task management and workflow management: By assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and managing processes through the portal, you can streamline project workflows, ensuring teams remain aligned and deadlines are met.

Progress tracking and real-time updates: Clients stay informed at every stage with real-time progress updates within the portal, eliminating uncertainty and ensuring transparency throughout the project lifecycle.

Discussion boards and forums: Dedicated discussion boards and forums promote open communication, knowledge sharing, and a collaborative community, enabling clients to engage, ask questions, and leverage collective expertise.

7. File Management and Sharing

Central file access and storage: A centralized repository allows clients to securely access and manage essential documents from anywhere, streamlining collaboration and eliminating version confusion.

Document management and version control: The client portal’s file version control capabilities eliminate confusion by ensuring all parties are working with the most up-to-date file versions, increasing efficiency and reducing wasted efforts.

Support for various file types: Seamless integration with industry-standard file formats allows clients to share and collaborate on diverse document types effortlessly.

Secure document sharing: Robust encryption and access controls safeguard sensitive information, enabling secure file transfer while maintaining confidentiality and compliance.

Secure e-signatures: Legally binding digital signatures help speed up approval processes, eliminating logistical barriers and enhancing operational efficiency for clients.

8. Communication Tools

Email and in-app notifications: Clients seamlessly receive important updates, deadlines, and correspondences through integrated email and in-app notifications, ensuring transparent and timely communication.

Secure messaging and threaded conversations: Encrypted messaging channels with threaded conversations enable secure, organized, and contextual client-advisor communication, promoting efficient collaboration.

Communication options (chat, video conferencing, etc.): A suite of versatile communication tools, including chat, video conferencing, and screen sharing, gives clients flexible options to engage conveniently based on their preferences.

9. Customer Support and Ticketing

Ticket tracking and submission: A centralized ticketing system with multiple submission channels (web form, live chat, phone) streamlines issue reporting and tracking for clients, providing transparency throughout the resolution process.

Ticket response workflows: Intelligent routing, prioritization, and escalation mechanisms ensure tickets are handled efficiently, with appropriate resources allocated based on urgency and complexity, ensuring swift resolutions.

Self-help knowledge base: A comprehensive knowledge base offers clients self-service resources, enabling them to find answers to common queries independently, promoting convenience and autonomy.

AI-powered chatbot for common requests: An AI-driven chatbot handles routine inquiries swiftly, providing immediate assistance for common requests while freeing human agents to focus on more complex issues.

Prompt and reliable software support: A prompt and reliable customer support system is essential for any client portal software, ensuring you get your issues/inquiries resolved/answered quickly related to the platform through a dedicated support team.

10. Team Roles and Permissions

Team member and colleague access: Granular access controls allow you to seamlessly collaborate with team members and colleagues, leading to efficient teamwork while maintaining data privacy and security.

Staff permissions for customer document access: Customizable staff permissions enable you to grant selective access to customer documents, ensuring confidentiality while empowering teams with the necessary information to deliver exceptional service.

11. Invoicing and Payments

Native invoicing: Built-in invoicing capabilities streamline billing processes, enabling businesses to generate professional invoices effortlessly within the client portal.

Subscription Management with Recurring Billing: Automated subscription management and recurring billing functionalities simplify revenue operations, ensuring timely and accurate recurring charges for subscription-based services.

Multiple Payment Gateways: Integration with various payment gateways offers clients convenient payment options, supporting their preferred methods while facilitating seamless transactions.

Digital payments and billing history: Secure digital payment processing and comprehensive billing histories provide clients with a transparent view of their financial transactions, building trust and enabling better financial management.

12. Reporting and Analytics

Reporting features: Comprehensive reporting capabilities enable you to gain valuable insights into your operations, performance, and client interactions through detailed reports.

Performance metrics: Key performance metrics and dashboards provide you with clear visibility into critical success factors, aiding in data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement.

Customizable reports: Highly customizable reporting options allow you to tailor reports according to your specific needs, ensuring relevant and actionable information is readily available.

Insights into client activity and project progress: In-depth analytics offer you a holistic view of client engagement, project status, and progress, enabling proactive management and timely action when necessary.

13. Branding and Customization

White-label capabilities: White-labeling allows you to fully brand the client portal, ensuring a consistent brand experience that builds trust and professionalism with your brand’s unique identity.

Platform customizability: Extensive customization allows you to mold the platform’s appearance, layout, and functionality, creating a tailored solution that seamlessly integrates with existing branding and workflows.

Custom domain and email address: Using a custom domain and branded email address enhances credibility, strengthens brand recognition, and promotes a professional image in client communications.

Email customizability: Fully customizable email templates with dynamic variables enable efficient, personalized communications while maintaining brand consistency. Advanced settings like SMTP, DKIM, and SPF optimize deliverability.

Multilingual translation for international customers: By offering multilingual support and translations, the client portal breaks down language barriers, providing a smooth experience for global clients and fostering international reach.

14. Integrations and Automation

Integrations with external tools (CRM, third-party apps): Seamless integrations with popular CRM systems, productivity tools, and third-party applications enable your business to streamline operations and leverage existing data and workflows within the client portal.

Many people get confused between client/customer portal and CRM. Let’s explain how they differ.

As defined earlier, a client/customer portal is an online space accessible to clients, providing self-service access to information, documents, and communication with a business. In contrast, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software system used by businesses to manage all aspects of client relationships, including sales, marketing, and customer service.

While a portal benefits clients with easy access, a CRM benefits businesses by organizing and providing insights into client interactions. However, they can work together as many CRMs integrate with client portals for a seamless client experience.

Automation of tasks and workflows: Powerful automation capabilities allow your business to simplify repetitive tasks and streamline complex workflows, enhancing efficiency, reducing manual effort, and minimizing errors.

15. Additional Features

Scheduled content publishing: The ability to schedule a content publication in advance streamlines content management processes, ensuring timely and consistent delivery of relevant information to clients.

One-click sign-in: One-click sign-in provides clients with a seamless and secure login experience, enhancing convenience and increasing user adoption of the client portal.

Online community: An integrated online community platform allows clients to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge, building a sense of belonging and facilitating peer-to-peer support and learning.

Beyond the core features discussed above, client portal software needs vary by industry and business type.

Let’s look at some domain-specific features.

Domain-Specific Client/Customer Portal Software Features

Domain-specific client/customer portal software features are tailored functionalities for different industries like design (proofing tools, asset management), accounting (tax prep, financial reporting), law (case management, document repositories), and small businesses (invoicing, scheduling, CRM) to efficiently manage client services and collaboration.

Let’s explore the features of some of the most common domains that require client portals.

Common Client Portal Features for Agencies:

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In general, the following features are desired in a client portal software made for agencies:

  • Project management tools (task assignment, milestones, Gantt charts)
  • Team collaboration features (discussions, file sharing)
  • Time tracking and billing integration
  • Portfolio showcase for completed projects
  • Client feedback and review system

These are the common features a client portal software should offer for agencies, in a broader sense. However, there are some specific types and stages of agencies that require a different feature set as follows.

Common Client Portal Features for Design/Creative Agencies:
  • Online proofing tools with annotation and feedback options
  • Mood board and inspiration board creation tools
  • Secure portfolio showcasing of design work
  • Digital asset management for storing and sharing creative files
  • Briefing and creative request management tools
Common Client Portal Features for Growing Agencies:
  • Robust team/staff management with roles and permissions
  • Scalable infrastructure to accommodate growth
  • Advanced reporting and forecasting functionalities
  • Lead nurturing and pipeline management tools
  • Proposal and contract management with e-signatures

Common Client Portal Features for Accountants:

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  • Tax preparation and filing tools
  • Financial reporting and analytics
  • Document management for tax returns, financial statements
  • Client data security and privacy features
  • Integration with accounting/bookkeeping software

Common Client Portal Features for Small Business:

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  • Simple invoicing and payment processing
  • Appointment scheduling tools
  • Basic CRM for contact/lead management
  • Marketing tools (limited email campaigns, social media integration)
  • Knowledgebase for FAQs and support documents

Common Client Portal Features for Law Firms:

  • Case management with secure document repositories
  • Time tracking and legal billing functionalities
  • Secure communication channels for client interaction (e.g., messaging, video conferencing)
  • Intake forms for new client onboarding and information gathering
  • Integration with legal research tools for efficient case preparation

Types Of Client/Customer Portal Software

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Client/customer portal software can be categorized in two main ways: based on functionality and based on scope/customization level.

Types of Client/Customer Portal (Based on Functionality)

Client portal software can be categorized into five main types based on their functionality:

  • Collaboration and Project Management Tools for secure file sharing, task management, and real-time updates between clients and teams.
  • Digital Sales Rooms for sharing sales presentations, proposals, and tracking client engagement.
  • Customer Onboarding and Enablement Tools for providing self-service resources, training materials, and streamlining the onboarding process.
  • Business Service Hubs for account management, appointment scheduling, online bill pay, and other services.
  • Customer Service Tools for submitting and tracking support requests, accessing knowledge bases, and self-service resources.

1. Client Collaboration and Project Management Tools

Client collaboration and project management tools are portals designed to streamline communication and teamwork between businesses and clients on projects.

They offer features like secure file sharing, task management, discussion boards, and real-time updates to facilitate seamless collaboration.

Client Collaboration and Project Management Tools should offer the following features:

  • File sharing,
  • document management,
  • task assignment,
  • project timelines/Gantt charts,
  • team communication (chat/messaging),
  • file version control,
  • access permissions,
  • progress tracking,
  • calendar integration,
  • mobile apps, etc.

Client Collaboration and Project Management Tools are suitable for:

  • Design/Creative Agencies
  • Growing Agencies
  • Small Businesses
  • Real Estate
  • Manufacturing and Sales (for project collaboration with clients)

These tools facilitate seamless collaboration and project management between businesses and their clients, making them ideal for industries that heavily rely on client projects and teamwork.

2. Digital Sales Rooms

Digital sales rooms are private virtual workspaces where sales teams can share relevant sales content (e.g., product videos, pricing quotes, security documentation) with potential clients throughout the sales process.

They enable personalized customer experiences, track buyer engagement, facilitate collaboration with stakeholders, and provide a centralized source of truth during the sales cycle.

Digital Sales Rooms should offer the following features:

  • Content library for sales collateral,
  • customizable workspaces,
  • viewer engagement tracking,
  • annotation tools,
  • co-browsing,
  • analytics dashboards,
  • e-signature capabilities,
  • integrations with CRM/marketing automation,
  • branded portals, etc.

Digital Sales Rooms are suitable for:

  • Manufacturing and Sales
  • Investment
  • Banking
  • Insurance

Digital sales rooms provide a secure and interactive space for sharing sales content, proposals, and presentations with potential clients. They are particularly beneficial for industries with complex sales cycles and a need for personalized client experiences.

3. Customer Onboarding and Enablement Tools

Customer onboarding and enablement tools are portals that help businesses smoothly onboard new clients and equip them with the necessary resources.

They provide features like templated task checklists, embedded onboarding content (Forms, PDFs, videos, slide decks), content management systems, engagement tracking, and communication channels to accelerate the customer’s time-to-value. According to a study conducted by Forrester, 77% of respondents believe that good online customer service is all about respecting their time.

Customer Onboarding and Enablement Tools should offer the following features:

  • Onboarding workflows/checklists,
  • knowledge base,
  • training content hosting,
  • user adoption analytics,
  • in-app guided tours,
  • milestone tracking,
  • automated notifications,
  • self-service resources,
  • integrations with support/product, etc.

Customer Onboarding and Enablement Tools are suitable for:

  • Software/SaaS Companies
  • Education (for student onboarding)
  • Financial Services (Banking, Investment, Insurance)
  • Manufacturing and Sales (for customer training and enablement)

These tools streamline the process of onboarding new customers, providing them with necessary resources, training materials, and self-service support, ensuring a smooth transition and faster time-to-value.

4. Business Service Hubs

Business service hubs are client portals that serve as a centralized platform for managing various business activities, such as contact management, appointment scheduling, request handling, and deal tracking.

They often include billing capabilities, allowing clients to view and pay invoices securely through the portal.

Business Service Hubs should offer the following features:

  • Client database,
  • appointment scheduling,
  • invoice generation,
  • payment processing (online, recurring),
  • billing history,
  • contract management,
  • service catalogs,
  • shopping cart functionality,
  • reporting/dashboards, etc.

Business Service Hubs are suitable for:

  • Small Businesses
  • Accountants
  • Law Firms
  • Real Estate
  • Retail

Service hubs act as centralized platforms for managing various business operations, including client management, billing, appointment scheduling, and service requests, making them ideal for service-based industries and small businesses.

5. Customer Service Tools

Customer service tools, like help desks or ticketing systems, are client portals designed to assist customers through effective ticket management. According to a HubSpot survey, 70% of the respondents used online customer portals to engage with companies.

Customers can create support requests, check their status, access knowledge bases, and review updates, while businesses gain visibility into progress, enable automated messaging, and access real-time reporting and analytics.

Customer Service Tools should offer the following features:

  • Ticket management,
  • knowledge base,
  • self-service portal,
  • call logging,
  • SLA management,
  • canned responses,
  • workflow automation,
  • multi-channel support,
  • agent collaboration tools,
  • reporting/analytics dashboards, etc.

Customer Service Tools are suitable for:

  • E-commerce
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Logistics
  • Retail

These tools, such as help desks and ticketing systems, are designed to efficiently handle customer service inquiries and support requests, making them essential for industries with high volumes of customer interactions and support needs.

Types of Client/Customer Portal (Based on Scope and Customization Level)

Client portals can be categorized into three main types based on their scope and customization level:

  • General-Purpose Client Portals with broad features across industries like file sharing, task management, and communication tools.
  • Industry-Specific Client Portals tailored to unique needs and workflows of particular sectors, e.g. legal, accounting, healthcare, etc.
  • Custom-Built Client Portals developed from scratch to address an organization’s specific processes, with seamless integration into existing systems.

1. General-Purpose Client Portals

General-purpose client portals offer a broad set of standard features that can be used across various industries.

These portals provide basic functionality like file sharing, task management, communication tools, etc. They serve as a solid foundation with general capabilities to facilitate client interactions and project collaboration across various industries.

Benefits of General-Purpose Client Portals

  • Quick to implement with pre-built, standard features
  • Cost-effective option for basic client communication needs
  • Suitable for businesses across different industries
  • Provide a solid foundation for client interaction and collaboration
  • Easy to learn and use for both clients and employees

Limitations of General-Purpose Client Portals

  • Lack of specialized features for specific industries or use cases
  • Limited customization options and flexibility
  • May not integrate seamlessly with existing business systems
  • Often lack advanced reporting and analytics capabilities
  • Potential for feature bloat with unnecessary functionality

2. Industry-Specific Client Portals

Industry-specific client portals are designed to meet the unique requirements and workflows of particular industries.

For example, a legal portal may include case management, document repositories, e-signatures, etc. These tailored portals cater to the specialized needs of their respective sectors, enhancing productivity and efficiency.

Benefits of Industry-Specific Client Portals

  • Tailored to meet the unique needs and workflows of a particular industry
  • Enhance productivity with specialized features and functionalities
  • Streamline industry-specific processes and compliance requirements
  • Promote consistency and standardization within the industry
  • Offer a competitive advantage by addressing industry pain points

Limitations of Industry-Specific Client Portals

  • Higher initial costs compared to general-purpose portals
  • Limited flexibility to accommodate diverse business processes
  • Potential vendor lock-in and dependence on a single provider
  • May require extensive training for clients and employees
  • Slower adaptation to industry changes and evolving needs

3. Custom-Built Client Portals

Custom-built client portals are developed from the ground up to address the specific business processes and needs of an organization.

These highly customized portals seamlessly integrate with existing systems, offering bespoke features and functionalities.

While providing maximum customization, they require more resources for development and maintenance.

Benefits of Custom-Built Client Portals

  • Fully customized to an organization’s specific business processes
  • Seamless integration with existing systems and tools
  • Scalable and flexible to accommodate future growth and changes
  • Provide a unique and differentiated experience for clients
  • Offer maximum control and customization potential

Limitations of Custom-Built Client Portals

  • Significant upfront development costs and time investment
  • Require ongoing maintenance and updates by skilled developers
  • Difficult to implement out-of-the-box integrations and plugins
  • Risk of technical debt and compatibility issues with future updates
  • Dependence on in-house expertise or external consultants

As you already know the key features a client portal should offer, let’s discuss how you can choose the best client portal software for your specific needs.

Choosing The Right Client/Customer Portal Software

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Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide to choosing the best client portal for your business:

Step 1: Assess your business needs and requirements

This step is crucial because it lays the foundation for evaluating client portal software based on your specific needs.

Consider factors such as your business size, industry, budget, and desired features.

Identifying your requirements early on will help narrow down your options and ensure that the chosen portal aligns with your business goals.

Step 2: Determine the essential features and functionality

Once you have a clear understanding of your business needs, evaluate the features and functionality offered by different client portal software.

Assess which features are essential based on your identified needs, such as document sharing, project management tools, messaging capabilities, online payment processing, and knowledge base management.

Prioritizing the must-have features will help you eliminate options that don’t meet your requirements.

Step 3: Consider integration with existing systems

Seamless integration with your existing systems, such as CRM, accounting software, or other relevant applications, is essential for ensuring a cohesive and efficient workflow.

Evaluate the client portal software’s ability to integrate with your current tech stack to avoid redundancy and manual data transfer.

Step 4: Evaluate scalability and future growth

As your business expands, your client portal software should be able to adapt to your changing needs.

Choose a solution that offers scalability and flexibility to accommodate future growth, whether it’s in terms of increased client capacity, additional features, or advanced functionality.

Step 5: Review security and compliance considerations

Data security and privacy should be a top priority when selecting a client portal software.

Ensure that the software you choose has robust security features, such as end-to-end encryption, reliable password protection, and regular data backups. Additionally, verify that it complies with relevant regulations, such as GDPR or HIPAA, if applicable to your industry.

Step 6: Evaluate user experience and ease of use

The client portal software should be intuitive and user-friendly for both you and your clients.

Look for a platform with a clear and clean interface, tutorials, and support resources to facilitate a smooth onboarding process. Consider mobile access if you or your clients prefer to work on the go.

Step 7: Assess customization options

Customization options are essential to ensure that the client portal fits your specific needs and brand identity.

Evaluate the software’s ability to customize the portal’s appearance, forms, fields, and branding elements. Additionally, consider platforms that offer API access for advanced integration with other software.

Step 8: Review pricing and budget considerations

Client portal software can have varying pricing models, ranging from free options to monthly subscriptions.

Evaluate the pricing packages offered by different providers and choose one that aligns with your budget. Be mindful of additional charges for features such as online payment processing or file storage.

Step 9: Consider team dynamics and user roles

Involve your team members in the selection process to ensure that the chosen client portal software caters to their needs and technical proficiencies.

Customize collaboration tools, controls, and user permissions to align with team dynamics and individual roles.

Step 10: Evaluate storage and organization capabilities

Document sharing and storage are fundamental features of a client portal.

Assess the software’s storage capabilities, security measures, and organization tools to ensure that client files and information are secure, readily accessible, and cost-effective.

Step 11: Take advantage of free trials or demos

Many client portal software providers offer free trials or demos, which can be invaluable in making an informed decision.

Take advantage of these opportunities to test the software firsthand and experience its features, user interface, and workflow before committing to a purchase.

During the trial period, involve your team members and gather their feedback to ensure that the software meets your collective needs.

Free trials and demos allow you to:

  • Assess the software’s ease of use and intuitiveness for you and your clients.
  • Test the software’s integration capabilities with your existing systems.
  • Evaluate the software’s performance and responsiveness under your typical workload.
  • Identify any potential limitations or pain points before making a long-term commitment.
  • Explore advanced features and customization options that may not be immediately apparent.

By thoroughly testing the software during a free trial or demo, you can gain a deeper understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you can make a more informed decision based on real-world experience rather than relying solely on marketing materials or feature lists.

This guide provides a systematic approach to evaluating and selecting the best client portal software, considering key factors for successful implementation and ongoing use.

Creating A Client/Customer Portal

Here is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to create a client portal:

Step 1: Identify the Goals and Purpose of Your Client Portal

Before you start building your client portal, identify the specific goals and purposes you want to achieve. Consider the unique needs of your business sector and clientele.

For example, an advertising agency might develop a portal to streamline the review and approval process for creative campaigns, facilitate secure file sharing with clients, and enable real-time collaboration on projects.

On the other hand, a content writing agency’s portal could focus on providing clients with a centralized platform to submit content requests, track project progress, access drafts, and final deliverables. It could also facilitate seamless communication with writers and editors.

This targeted approach ensures that your portal addresses the unique requirements of your clients, ultimately improving their overall experience.

Step 2: Choose a No-Code Client Portal Platform

Developing a client portal from scratch can be a complex and time-consuming task. To simplify the process, consider using a no-code client portal platform like Agency Handy.

No-code platforms allow you to create a robust and customized client portal without the need for extensive coding knowledge.

Agency Handy is a comprehensive solution designed specifically for agencies and service-based businesses. It offers a wide range of features, including service listing, customized intake and order forms, client management, task tracking, invoicing, and more.

By choosing a platform like Agency Handy, you can simplify the portal creation process and focus on tailoring the experience to your specific business needs.

Step 3: Customize Your Client Portal

Once you’ve selected a no-code platform, it’s time to customize your client portal to align with your brand identity and meet your clients’ specific requirements.

This step typically involves customizing the aesthetic elements, such as color schemes, logos, and layout, to reflect your company’s branding.

Additionally, you can personalize the user experience by configuring the dashboard, setting up specific workflows that mirror your business processes, and determining which features and functionalities your clients will have access to.

The goal is to create a portal that not only looks and feels like an extension of your business but also provides a smooth and intuitive experience for your clients.

Step 4: Integrate with Your Existing Tools and Apps

To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your client portal, integrate it with the tools and applications you currently use to run your business.

This integration ensures that your workflow and data synchronization remain consistent, eliminating the need for manual data entry or switching between multiple platforms.

Many no-code platforms offer a diverse range of integrations with popular tools for project management, document signing, form creation, video conferencing, cloud storage, and more.

By connecting your client portal with your existing tech stack, you create a centralized platform that simplifies your operations and enhances collaboration with your clients.

Step 5: Set Up Billing and Payment Methods

A crucial aspect of any client portal is the ability to manage billing and payments effectively.

Most no-code platforms, like Agency Handy, offer built-in invoicing and payment processing capabilities, often integrated with popular payment gateways like Stripe or PayPal.

In this step, you’ll need to configure your preferred payment methods, connect your bank accounts or payment processors, and set up invoicing templates and recurring billing options (if applicable).

This integration ensures that you can automatically bill your clients, accept payments, and track your revenue directly from within your client portal.

Step 6: Invite and Onboard Clients

With your client portal fully set up and customized, it’s time to invite and onboard your clients.

Most no-code platforms provide various options for inviting clients, such as sending individual email invitations, creating shareable invitation links, or bulk uploading client information via CSV files.

Once your clients accept the invitation, they can create their accounts and access the portal based on the permissions and access levels you’ve set.

This step ensures a smooth transition from traditional communication channels to your new, more efficient client portal.

Step 7: Integrate Your Client Portal with Your Website

To provide a cohesive and professional experience for your clients, consider integrating your client portal with your existing website.

You can do this in multiple ways, such as adding a dedicated “Client Portal” or “Login” link to your website’s navigation menu or embedding the portal directly into a specific page using an iFrame or custom domain setup.

By integrating your client portal with your website, you create a unified experience for your clients, highlighting your brand identity and ensuring easy access to the portal from your primary online presence.

Step 8: Continuously Improve and Enhance Your Client Portal

Creating a client portal is an ongoing process, and we recommend you to continuously seek feedback from your clients and make necessary improvements.

Monitor user engagement, gather feedback through surveys or direct communication, and regularly assess whether the portal is meeting its intended goals and addressing your clients’ evolving needs.

Many no-code platforms offer analytics and reporting features that can provide valuable insights into how your clients are interacting with the portal. Use this data to identify areas for improvement, add new features or integrations, and ensure that your client portal remains a valuable asset for your business and your clients.

By following these steps, you can create a tailored client portal to improve communication and collaboration effectively.

Understand client needs, use the right tools, and adapt to changing requirements.

Implementing And Adopting Client/Customer Portal Software

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Here’s a comprehensive step-by-step guide on implementing and adopting client portal software:

Step 1: Planning and preparation

This initial step is crucial for laying the groundwork for a successful implementation.

Define clear goals for the client portal, such as improving client engagement, streamlining communication, or providing self-service resources. Identify the different user roles and their respective permissions and access levels. Additionally, develop strategies for data migration from existing systems to ensure a seamless transition.

Step 2: Data migration and integration

Once your goals and user roles are defined, the next step is to ensure seamless data transfer from your existing systems to the new client portal.

This step is necessary to maintain data integrity and continuity, enabling your clients to access their information and history without any disruptions.

Develop strategies for data migration, taking into account any potential compatibility issues or formatting differences between systems.

Step 3: User training and onboarding

Effective user training and onboarding are essential for ensuring widespread adoption and usage of the client portal.

Provide comprehensive training materials, such as guides, tutorials, and videos, for both your internal team and clients.

This step is necessary to familiarize users with the portal’s features, functionalities, and workflows, enabling them to maximize its potential and ensuring a smooth transition.

Step 4: Change management and adoption strategies

Implementing a new client portal often involves changes in processes and workflows, which can lead to resistance from users. To address this, develop change management strategies and techniques to encourage client portal usage.

This may include communicating the benefits of the new system, providing incentives for early adoption, or addressing common concerns or objections.

These strategies are necessary to overcome resistance and develop a positive attitude towards the new system.

Step 5: Integration with existing systems

Ensure seamless integration between the client portal and your existing business systems, such as CRM, accounting software, or other relevant applications.

This step is crucial for maintaining a cohesive and efficient workflow, eliminating the need for manual data transfer, and ensuring that information is synchronized across all systems.

Thoroughly test the integrations to verify data accuracy and synchronized workflows.

Step 6: Iterative development and feedback loop

Implement an iterative development approach, where you gather feedback from users during the initial stages of implementation.

This feedback can be used to refine the portal’s design, features, and workflows, ensuring that it meets the needs of your clients and internal team.

This step is necessary to ensure user satisfaction and to identify and address any potential issues or areas for improvement early on.

Step 7: Ongoing maintenance and support

Implementing a client portal is not a one-time event; it requires ongoing maintenance and support.

Stay updated with software upgrades, bug fixes, and security patches to ensure the portal’s optimal performance and security. Additionally, provide ongoing support to users, addressing any issues or concerns that may arise.

This step is necessary to maintain the portal’s effectiveness and to ensure a positive user experience over time.

Step 8: Promoting user adoption

After the initial implementation, actively promote the client portal to encourage user adoption.

This can include adding links to the portal on your website, order confirmation emails, and other communication channels. Additionally, monitor user behavior and identify opportunities to intercept and redirect users to the self-service portal.

Promoting user adoption is necessary to maximize the portal’s benefits and ensure a return on investment.

This step-by-step guide promises a successful implementation of your client portal software, improving communication between clients and the internal team.

Best Practices For Using Client/Customer Portal Software

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After successfully implementing the client portal, you need to follow some of the industry’s best practices to get the most out of your client portal.

Intuitive and User-Friendly Interface

An intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial for optimizing client portal adoption and usage.

Clients should be able to navigate the portal effortlessly, finding the information they need and completing necessary tasks without confusion.

A clean and organized layout, along with clear instructions and labels, enhances the user experience and encourages consistent portal engagement.

Personalization and Branding

To create a personalized and branded experience, the client portal should offer customization options.

This may include the ability to add a logo, customize color schemes, and tailor the portal to reflect the business’s unique branding.

By incorporating these customization features, you can create a more cohesive and engaging experience for your clients.

Secure and Confidential Communication

One of the primary benefits of a client portal is the ability to facilitate secure and confidential communication between businesses and clients.

So, prioritize the security of client information by implementing robust encryption protocols and secure data storage.

By ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of client communications, you build trust and give clients a sense of security.

Streamlined Processes and Automation

An efficient client portal should streamline processes and leverage automation to improve efficiency and convenience for both you and your clients.

This can include features such as automated appointment scheduling, reminders, and notifications, as well as seamless integration with existing business systems and workflows.

Access to Important Documents and Resources

A client portal should provide clients with easy access to important documents and resources, such as intake forms, assessment tools, treatment plans, educational materials, and any other relevant resources.

Organizing these documents in a structured manner within the portal ensures that clients can find the information they need conveniently.

Continuous Improvement and Feedback

Implement mechanisms within the client portal to gather feedback and suggestions from clients.

This feedback can be used to identify areas for improvement, address pain points, and continuously enhance the portal’s functionality and user experience.

By following the above best practices, you can use your client portals to offer clients a seamless, secure, and personalized experience, leading to better client relationships, more efficiency, and a competitive advantage

Final Thoughts

Client/customer portal software streamlines communication enhances collaboration, and boosts productivity by providing a secure online hub for businesses and clients. It improves client experiences, operational efficiency, and profitability.

Carefully evaluate your needs, prioritize essential features, and consider user experience to choose the right portal solution. Implement it methodically with user training, data migration, and integration for successful adoption.