What is a Customer Portal?

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Written By LawrenceGarcia

Demystifying the world of finance, one article at a time.





A customer portal is a secure website that gives customers access to all information about your company, including policies, invoices, and deliveries. It also allows them to place orders online. The customer portal can be accessed 24/7 on any desktop, tablet, or smartphone, and is accessible 365 days per year.

Customers portals can provide many benefits, including increased customer satisfaction, better communication, the elimination of non-value-adding data entry, and stronger cash flow if you process online payments. Integration of Client portals accountants with your primary business systems, such as an ERP, CRM, or accounting system, allows you to automate data transfer between them in real-time. Your customers and employees will be able to access and update the relevant information through a customer portal.

Do you need a Self Service Customer Portal for your business?

Customers are increasingly choosing to use customer portals to communicate with businesses, due to their availability 24/7. Customers want to be able to find information, solve problems with products or services on their own or at their convenience. Customers can access a customer self-service portal to review and manage documents, policies, invoices, and place orders. They can also raise support issues or arrange payments.

You can share and exchange pertinent documentation, e.g. welcome packs, policies

Customers can raise concerns and track support tickets to extend customer support without having to hire additional employees.

  • Increased access to quotes and invoices
  • Customers can arrange online payments
  • Invoice customers
  • You can track your deliveries and place orders

Features of the Customer Portal

Your business’s specific requirements and use case will determine the criteria you choose for your self-service portal client portal. It is important to choose client portal software that is simple to set up and customize. Here are some customer portal features you should be looking out for:

  • Access 24/7 Self-Service from your desktop or mobile device
  • Placement and management of orders
  • You can customize and add your company branding
  • Online payments and access to statements
  • Multi-currency support and high load volumes
  • It is easy to embed in company websites
  • Delivery of credit memos and delivery
  • Ability to read/write information, and custom CSS style options

Multiple primary business systems have been proven to be market-proven for data integration, e.g. SAP, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics etc.

This article provides additional information about how to identify a web portal solution that you can work with.

Secure Customer Portal

An online customer portal that has been proven to work should offer your organization multiple levels of security and authentication. This will allow you to decide how customers can access your information and how they will be recognised. These security and authentication features should be included in your customer information portal:

  • Secure Sockets Layer, (SSL).
  • Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
  • One Sign-On
  • Password Expiration Policies
  • LDAP
  • IP whitelists

Customer Portal Benefits

A customer portal allows customers to contact businesses outside of business hours when it suits them best. This means that organisations don’t need to invest additional resources in expanding their work hours or increasing employee numbers. It improves customer service by allowing customers to find relevant information and reducing inbound support calls. These are some of the common benefits of a customer portal:

  • Access to real-time information 24/7/365
  • Customers can make online payments to increase cash flow and improve company cash flow
  • Eliminating non-value-adding data entry tasks
  • Customer experience and retention improved
  • Transactional information is more visible
  • Scalable IT licensing options
  • Source information is less accessed via internal email.
  • Communication with customers and employees has been improved