What is a customer Portal?
A customer portal is a web-based platform that allows customers to interact with a business or organization in a self-service manner. Typically, it provides customers with a personalized dashboard where they can access a range of tools and information, such as order history, support tickets, billing information, and product documentation. The purpose of a customer portal is to provide customers with a convenient and secure way to manage their accounts, receive support, and access information that is relevant to their interactions with the business.
Customer portals are often used by businesses that have a large customer base or offer complex products or services that require ongoing support. By providing customers with a self-service portal, businesses can improve customer satisfaction by giving customers more control over their interactions with the business, and reducing the workload on customer support teams. Additionally, customer portals can help businesses to gather valuable customer data and insights that can be used to improve products and services, and develop more targeted marketing campaigns.
Making a customer portal available to your end users has many benefits. It provides an online website for users to self service, saving both your customer and your staff time handling many requests. Some examples include:
- Filling out onboarding firms
- Reviewing proposals
- Accessing contracts
- Securely transferring files
- Submitting support tickets
- Paying an invoice
- Subscription management
What is ZPortals?
ZPortals was developed by a Premium Zoho partner as unified portal builder for Zoho One. This paid extension allows users to create a portal on their website that allows password protected access to information stored in multiple Zoho apps. Users can be given view or edit access to information that is related to them (like account details) or public information like product catalogs. Users can be given just view access or full read write delete permissions and take action and communicate with the organization all through a single login/portal.
ZPortals has 2 components that need to be installed for the portal to work:
1.) You will need to download our WordPress plugin and install it on your your website. Once installed this plugin requires a paid license to connect to Zoho.
If you don’t already use WordPress for your website we can help you install WordPress on a subdomain so you can use the portal builder plugin.
The plugin is capable of connecting to multiple Zoho Apps to create a unified customer portal experience for your users. Some of these connections will be managed all through the plugin, however the CRM connection includes an Extension in the CRM Marketplace that will need to be installed as well.
2.) The CRM extension adds a few fields to the contacts module like last login date and permission options. It also installs a button used to invite contacts to the portal and an email invitation template. These options are added to the CRM to make it easy to invite contacts to the portal and manage permissions etc. Without having to login to the plugin. The extension for the CRM is free since it works hand in hand with the paid plugin for your website.
Does Zoho have a Customer Portal option?
Yes, most Zoho products have a Customer Portal option, each with slightly different pricing options. Some like Books are free while other are paid, generally by number of active users. Each portal is specific to that product so you will need to invite a customer to multiple portals with separate logins if you go this route. There is an option to create a customer portal through Zoho Creator that can service multiple Zoho Apps, this is a paid option and you may need help from a developer to get it configured. Please reference our article explaining the different portal options here.
Why should I use ZPortals instead of Zoho's native portals?
What version of Zoho works with ZPortals plugin?
Paid accounts of either Zoho One, Standard, Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate packages.
How much does ZPortals cost?
What subscription plan should I choose for my use case?
Usage is based on API calls and will be displayed on the License menu tab in the plugin. As an example, if 100 clients login per month and each client is expected to edit 1 record, view an invoice, and submit a support ticket with a 4 message thread then 6 API calls will be used per client or 600 API calls per month.
Most clients start with a free trial in order to install, configure and test and thereby gain an understanding of realistic expected client (or internal) portal activity.
What happens when API calls are exhausted?
Three email notifications are sent to the administrator (the licensee’s email) when approaching the API limit, at 80%, 90% and 100%. Note that once the limit is reached, frontend portal users will not be able to login. The license can be upgraded in the License menu tab of the plugin.
How secure is data and the plugin?
The plugin does not store any Zoho or WordPress data or passwords. It uses OAuth 2.0 security protocol to access information from the connected Zoho account. ZPortals does not store any of the data on any of it’s servers.
What information is stored in the portal?
As an admin you have the option of turning on (off by default) a change log in the admin panel of the plugin. The change log can allow you to track changes made to records by portal users. This change log is stored on the server hosting your website.
What support is offered?
ZPortals offers free onboarding and product support. Many users configure the portal themselves but if you would like help ZPortals has a network of partners who can configure and customize your portal for you.
Can you just set it all up for me?
Yes, ZPortals works with implementation partners around the world who offer turnkey portal configurations.
How do I get started?
You can get started with a free trial at https://zportals.com. the ZPortals’ support team offers free onboarding to help you get started. If you want to check if the portal builder will meet your needs you can schedule a demo to discuss your use case. If you would like to get started on your own we have some helpful tutorials and guides here.
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