Updated: Mar 26
Recently I was asked by a local service business I use to call their front office to provide updated credit card information for my monthly bill. "Can I do this online?" I asked. "No I'm sorry, unfortunately the only way we can take your new billing information is over the phone" was the response. :-/
So the next day (after several rounds of phone tag) I was finally able to make a connection and reluctantly provided my new credit card details over the phone.
Not only was this exchange entirely inefficient but more importantly it was uncomfortable (i.e. giving my credit card info over the phone), annoying, and left me questioning whether this business really had it together. Like...what business in 2019 doesn't offer a way for their customers to do this kind of thing online??! I wondered where else they may be missing the boat. Not exactly a confidence-building experience.
The good news is that I have a longstanding relationship with this company and decided to continue using their service despite this poor experience. The bad news is that a) this interaction left a bad taste in my mouth, and b) most of their customers are not as loyal as me.
In the modern era, customers expect to be able to do everything online.
In our increasingly on-demand world people have grown to expect the convenience of buying via a subscription and managing their account online (see Dollar Shave Club, Netflix, Blue Apron, Amazon, YouTube TV, Dropbox, Cadillac, etc). The bar has been raised, and if you're not offering the same ease of access to your customers then you're already behind the curve.
One question I like to use as a measuring stick to determine what works well for modern day consumers is this:
Can they accomplish the task at hand from a mobile device while watching Netflix in their pajamas on a Friday night?
If the answer is no, then it isn't easy enough. If the answer is no, then you're at risk of losing business. And yes, this even applies to businesses that have traditionally been viewed as 'offline' or 'brick and mortar'.
Start by setting up an online account portal for your customers.
Fortunately it's much easier to get your business online today than ever before. At bare minimum, you should start off by providing a place for your customers to take care of their basic account needs online. A basic online account portal allows customers to update their profile or billing info, view order history, make payments, print invoices, etc using a single online login.
In addition to providing a better experience for your customers, this will also have an immediate impact on your bottom line in the form of reducing overhead expenses (by automating basic customer service functions) and maximizing your cashflow (by streamlining your collections process). These are just a couple of the obvious benefits.
For those of you who use Keap (or Infusionsoft by Keap) to bill your customers, our CustomerHub app provides a functional, beautiful, and turn-key account portal solution. Here's what it looks like for your customers out of the box (insert your branding):
We've built this in a way that it passes the 'Netflix-in-their-pajamas' test above and also eliminates the need for you to have to deal with any of the technical hassles of integration, etc.
You can get all of this with our Basic version of CustomerHub (just $49/mo after a free trial) that provides everything described above. We also offer a Pro version that solves for more advanced use cases (membership sites, online courses, etc). For an overview of both options please check out our pricing page.
Call me crazy, but at $49/mo CustomerHub seems like a "no brainer" if you use Keap or Infusionsoft by Keap to bill your customers. If you can simply save a few hours every month the system is already paying for itself (while simultaneously providing a better experience for your customers)!
To get your new account portal set up fast, simply click here to start your free trial of CustomerHub today.