Not all customer portals are created equal. Therefore, it's crucial to know which key features of customer portal software work best for your...
6 Common Benefits of Document Portal Solutions
Client document portals can significantly reduce time, improving not only workflow efficiencies but also customer and employee experience. Learn more.
In nearly every industry, digital transformation is changing customer behaviors and expectations. In an increasingly hyperconnected world where consumers make purchases from the comfort of their couches at 11:00 pm, or on the morning commuter train with a few clicks on a smartphone, self-service options have grown in appeal. In fact, 81% of customers would like to see businesses offer more self-service options.
One way to respond to this demand and increase customer autonomy is to give them a direct digital line to your organization in the form of a client portal. In different business contexts, client portals will serve varying roles and meet different needs. But the fundamental concept is the same – allow your clients to connect with you when and where they want, in and outside of business hours and through secure digital channels.
What Is a Client Portal?
Client portals in general refer to a digital gateway to an account and its associated collection of files, service options, information, and channels of communication with the organization that hosts the portal. Popular file-sharing services such as DropBox and Google Drive are examples of tools that can function as client portals.
Client portals improve upon other digital communication channels, like email, by significantly expanding file size limitations and preserving communications in a more comprehensive and intuitive format. When the data transmitted in client portals contain financial, medical, or other personally identifiable information, privacy regulations such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) apply and stipulate information security standards that must be observed.
What Is a Client Document Portal?
Client portals specifically designed for document exchange and collaboration exist in many industries such as financial services and healthcare. When industry processes such as commercial lending require that clients supply service providers with extensive documentation, client document portals can significantly reduce time wasted hand delivering hard copies and tracking down email attachments. As much as 40% of a commercial loan officer’s sales cycle time is spent waiting on document collection. Client document portals can clear this bottleneck in most organizations.
Benefits and Functionalities of a Client Document Portal
When selecting a client document portal system for your organization, there are at least six potential operational benefits and expanded functionalities you should consider.
1. Smoother Client Onboarding
Because client document portals give clients the autonomy to move documentation at their own discretion, having portals can greatly improve the typical onboarding experience. By recent estimates, at least 63% of customers evaluate new business relationships based on potential onboarding experiences. As client document portals also feature notifications for documents received and configurable notifications for impending deadlines, portal systems can reliably create better onboarding experiences.
2. Shorter Loan Processing Times
The document collection phase of commercial loan applications has become a notable snarl point in processes where clients stand much to gain from faster turnaround times. Client document portals can reduce this phase time by 40%, leading to faster approvals and more satisfied clients.
3. Improved Process Efficiency
A client document portal system can improve process efficiency throughout the loan application process. Because both clients and lending staff can connect digitally with all relevant files and communications at any point, the entire process benefits from enhanced visibility and transparency.
4. Cleaner File Sharing and Storage
The expanded file sharing and storage capacities offered by client document portals open up radical new opportunities for client self-service. Clients can use portal systems to upload documents for collection when and where they want.
5. Electronic and Digital Signature Functions
E-signatures have seen widespread adoption in the last two years. Currently, 95% of businesses report using them or having plans in place to adopt them soon and of those already using, two-thirds adopted the practice within the last two years. As recent studies show that e-signature options can reduce the document processing time by as much as 45%, most businesses have cause to explore this option for increased efficiency, and making this function available in client document portals is a low investment, high return choice.
6. Increased Information Security
Client portals relate to information and cybersecurity in two ways – transmission and storage. In the first case, data transmission security depends on the kind of encryption used. The industry standard for financial services – which has to satisfy the most stringent regulatory controls – is 256-bit encryption.
As for storage, different service providers use varying cloud storage architectures and secure them internally with varying degrees of infosec protocols. As 79% of organizations have reported at least one cloud data breach in the last 18 months, with 43% of those reporting 10 or more, businesses shopping for client portal services should take precautions to work with service providers who maintain Service Organizations Controls (SOC) credentials.
FileInvite's Secure Document Portal
FileInvite’s SOC 2 Type 2 compliant automated document collection platform – which includes a secure document portal – can cut hours to days of wasted time from the document collection phase of your business processes.
Combined with the highest standards of infosec technology and practices, FileInvite can help you achieve greater client satisfaction with the peace of mind that your sensitive personal and financial data is secure.