Design

How to Design a Delightful Customer Portal

Once the governance piece of portal design is complete, it is time to move into designing the customer portal. What you do in this part of the process is important since your end users will be the ones directly benefitting. No matter what type of community you’re trying to build, there are a few basic best practices to keep in mind. Here are some that we offer our clients:

  • Great User Experience: It’s important to be strategic about how you design your community. With numerous widgets, applications, and designs at your fingertips, finding the right one can be hard. The easy way to designing a user experiences comes down to understanding your business priorities and knowing exactly the kind of experience you want a member to have. Remember, simplicity is key.
  • Critical Policies and Guidelines: We all hope that a community we manage will be peaceful and nobody will break the rules. Unfortunately, that will always be a hope because sometimes members will argue with each other and spammers will infiltrate. Much like the guidelines you created in the governance process, you should also create moderation rules that are required reading for every new member.
  • FAQs and Customer Service: New community members will have many questions, from wanting to know the rules to how they can get in touch with someone at your organization. Alongside the critical policies and guidelines that you’ll author should also be a section devoted to frequently asked questions and contact information, should there be any questions.
  • Dedicated Staff and Roles: Now that you’re putting together a community, it’s time to place a dedicated individual to running the place known as a community manager. Community managers are responsible for a few activities including creating content, responding to customer inquiries, growing the community, and hosting events.
  • Elevate Your Members: You can’t go out this alone. If all you do is talk about your organization, you won’t hit the traction you want. One of the best ways to build a community is to tell the stories of your customers through case studies. Do you have any users who are more active than usual? Elevate them as a moderator and let them speak for the business too.
  • Dedicated Content Calendar: No matter who you speak to, content is king. Content isn’t about you, but about the community, whether you’re serving employees or prospective customers of your enterprise software. There is a lot of content out there. You have to find a way to stick out and be different. Whether it’s running surveys, doing live videos, or open forums. Furthermore, consistency is also key, since you don’t want to leave your audience in the dark for long stretches of time. We suggest developing a content calendar shared with all stakeholders to figure out how to plug in the gaps and develop a consistent content marketing machine.

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Are you interested in building a social community for your organization? With IBM Connections and WebSphere Portal, the possibilities are endless. Reach out to us at sales@perficient.com for a conversation with one of our specialists and download our portals guide below for best practices and success stories.

Today’s organizations must be more connected to their customer than ever. As the buyer’s journey evolves, leaders must also adopt the right technologies to influence positive business outcomes. This post is a part of a series focused on helping enterprises develop the necessary strategies and best practices to better connect with their customers. Check out the other blogs in this series.

About the Author

Albert Qian is a Marketing Manager at Perficient for our IBM PCS, DevOps, and Enterprise Solutions Partners focused on cloud computing technologies.

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