Personalized Portals As Gateway to Customer Success

2021-03-22 by Ronn Torossian
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Marketers know personalization ranks high among today’s strategies to reach and keep customers. Personalized portals have been among the latest used in achieving success. An earlier article cited a 2020 Capgemini survey in which respondents identified personalized portals as one of the top five ways brands could retain their loyalty. A 2018 survey by Statista also reported 88% of U.S. respondents expected brands to have online self-service portals.

And contrary to what some believe, the success of these portals bridge nearly all industries and not just a few. In wealth management and insurance, for example, Allianz offers a site that’s both personal and dynamic. Once there, clients can review historical records as well as integrated features like communications preferences and simplifying payment and renewals.

After Excellus BlueCross BlueShield upgraded their old system with a personalized dashboard for their 1.5 million members, they received glowing reviews. Members are now able to access and review their plan information as well as any other relevant content. The platform also provides a consistent and streamlined experience.

After going with portals, MedImpact, the largest independent pharmacy benefit solutions company in the U.S., saw immediate results. It centralized authentication and authorization control across numerous sites. In addition, the customized portlets and single sign-on capabilities not only increased their control over programs they administered for pharmacies but also lowered MedImpact’s operational expenses.

With three distinct audiences it serves, Dominos Pizza used portals to better connect. For employees, its intranet provided important information and links. Others were designed and focused on franchisees and their corporate workforce. Accomplishing this allowed them to share confidential information privately and securely to a wide and diverse audience.

Disseminating information to more than 650,000 users in 174 countries is always a challenge That was the situation for Hewlett Packard. But after converting to a partner portal, HP discovered that 70% of its partners regularly return to use the portal and access its tools and services.

Sending out more than a million email notifications on request and getting in excess of 4 million page views weekly can also be onerous. Grants.gov welcomes organizations to apply for federal grants and also manages these grants through a common website. The new portal eliminated repetition and overlapping and has greatly simplified their management of grants.

The University of Maine system comprises all seven universities in the state each with distinct missions and serving both undergraduate and graduate students. The new portal tailored services to its diverse audience which included faculty, students, alumni, staff, administration, and others. This was also extended to a campus-by-campus basis.

The benefits are clear. In spite of all the advocates, there are other voices that say these portals are dying. However, each company’s analysis turns out, know that there may be other options. Email widgets may be one.

Chatbots and enterprise social networks like Facebook’s Workplace are others. Voice (Alexa) and even Lumos, Nox, Siri, and Cortana may provide some relief as well. What’s important is to focus on customer needs and what they’re trying to achieve rather than who they are.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s leading PR firms.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities