Portals: Content is king!
This post is the fifth in a series about building portals for teams and groups to interact with customers.
Now your site is up and running and you can talk to your customers and they can also participate in discussions. What comes next to provide value?
Content is what your customers want. Some examples that they might be looking for include success stories, examples of how your department or team helps people and the systems and data your teams use every day.
Consider how much information your team has. Building an interface into that information can produce some pretty unique and innovative ideas, solutions and value.
Let’s say for instance your team runs a library at a medical device manufacturer. You have access to tons of resources that most people are going to want to access and skim quickly – as well as in-depth research.
Can you extend access to the catalog via a web portal, API or guest access?
This simple integration not only saves time on employee productivity (direct access to information) – it could also lead to a more disciplined approach to product management; which translates to less risk and more profit.
Extending the data your company, team or project already leverages, adds value to your customer when they can do it themselves.
Take another situation – if you’re a bank providing financial services, surely your service partners have access to information and value your customers are begging to get at.
If you, as a bank, can offer that information, you now have a way to differentiate yourself from other local banks. Another benefit is that your partnerships grow stronger. I’ve also seen some financial institutions giving away this kind of information as a marketing tactic to attract new customers.
These integrations aren’t particularly easy. It’s not always as easy as copy-pasting an embed code from YouTube. Sometimes, though, it is!
So, I echo the same thing; GO TO THE CUSTOMERS! What systems, information or things do they call your team for all the time, that they could just look up themselves?
Once you discover those things, you’ll need to determine if your software, website, whatever can integrate well. At which point you will evaluate the return-on-investment of the integration (meaning how much will you impact productivity/revenue) and the total-cost-of-ownership for this integration. Does it require a license? How about staff? Once these considerations are made, hopefully a decision can be made.
Here are some examples of common integrations being added to portals:
- Systems of Record
- Employee directory
- Team directory
- Ticket portal
- Company updates
- Team updates
- Project updates
Each one of these topics has complexities and considerations. Next, we’ll explore the fire hose of enhancement requests you’re going to start getting.