The Sharp Group Customer Portal: Transforming Our Client’s Experience

In today’s fast-paced business environment, organisations are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline operations and enhance customer experience. At the end of 2022, Sharp Group successfully introduced a new client service portal which is more than just a work order system.

Customer feedback is positive and this new dynamic portal is already achieving a tangible return on investment (ROI) for our clients, not just for Sharp Group’s operations. In this piece, we highlight some of the benefits, challenges, and future plans we have for continuous improvement.

The Benefits of Sharp Group’s Client Portal:

First and foremost is the operational efficiency for us and for our clients. It is not only providing the reassurance of work order tracking but our portal provides immediate access to service reports, installation reports, certificates, invoices, and quotes. In essence, the portal empowers clients with comprehensive information at their fingertips. Clients can log service issues directly and monitor their progress through the remediation process, reducing reliance on traditional communication channels.

ROI for Client and Sharp Group’s Operations Team:

The strategic decision to invest in a customer portal has proved invaluable to our own team as much as it has for our customers. While quantifying the ROI of the client portal in financial terms will take time, we know that its implementation has allowed our operations team to allocate more time and resources to other crucial aspects of their service. By streamlining and automating day-to-day task information and query handling, the portal has effectively reduced the number of client inquiries, enabling the team to focus on value-added tasks.

The primary objective behind introducing the client portal was to provide clients with easy access to their requests and information. It has been designed to enable transparency and accountability – where the customer is in control. The development process focused on creating a user-friendly interface that would encourage adoption. The portal is designed to accommodate different client requirements, including multiple contacts and multiple sites, with tiered users so the client can have different levels of control in terms of data privacy and accuracy.

Expected Benefits and Improvements:

The implementation of the client portal has resulted in many advantages for both our business and our clients. From a business perspective, the portal has significantly reduced the volume of queries, phone calls, and emails. Through automated reports, clients have access to real-time and historic data, which is invaluable when looking at patterns of maintenance queries and incredibly useful for budget planning for the next financial year.

Promoting Adoption and Engagement:

To encourage adoption and engagement, Sharp Group initially selected a few clients to test the portal as a pilot study, considering their importance and potential benefits from the system. Throughout the first few months of testing, client communication played a crucial role. The portal has been designed with the client in mind, so their involvement has been invaluable.

Measuring Success and Enhancing the Portal:

The success of the client portal implementation is assessed through measurable metrics such as the number of invitations sent and activated, the number of logged tickets, and a decrease in calls, queries, and emails. In just a few months we have over 25% of our 400+ clients now registered and fully active.

Positive Feedback and Continuous Improvement:

Organisations such as DHL (the globe’s leading transport company) and St. John of God (health and social care provider), who have both given fantastic feedback on the impact it has had on their business – has boosted our own confidence and will to continuously improve the value our portal has to offer. Their specific input during the pilot was also invaluable – for example, the inclusion of invoices and financial tracking, which were initially not part of the system’s scope.

Ivan Nolan, Managing Director, Sharp Group expressed his delight in the portal’s success:

“The portal introduction has surpassed even our own expectations. Not only has it improved overall customer satisfaction and experience through transparency, but by providing clients with quick access to relevant information, we have provided clients with a self-service system that gives them more control.”