White Label Client Portal Customization Tips & Best Practices
A branded white label client portal gives your customers a sense of security–and this is highly valuable when they need to make payments, send sensitive data, and more. On top of that, your customers are already familiar with your brand, and their expectations need to be met.
By customizing your client portal to make it look like a part of your brand you can give them that sense of familiarity your customers are looking for. Read on to get an overview of best practices when white labeling your client portal software.
What is a white label customer portal?
To understand what a white label customer portal is, there are two separate concepts that we need to unpack: customer portals and white label products. Let’s start with the former!
A customer portal is a web-based application that allows customers to interact with a company or organization. Customers can log into their customer portals to view and manage their accounts. There are tons of features you might find in a customer portal, but some of the most popular include:
Viewing order updates and statuses
Filing and tracking support tickets
Updating account information
Purchasing additional products or services
Accessing training materials or product documentation
Now that we’ve got a handle on customer portals, let’s move on to white label products. A white label product is a product or service that’s produced by one company but branded and sold by another. White label products are often found in the business-to-business (B2B) space, as companies are willing to spend money in the name of brand unity.
So, a white label customer portal is a customer portal that has been branded by a company so that it looks and feels like a part of that company’s product suite. Customers should be able to log into the portal and immediately know who they’re doing business with—even if the underlying software powering the portal was developed by someone else.
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Why would you want to white label your customer portal?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to white label your customer portal, but here are a few of the most common:
To build trust with your customers: As we mentioned before, a white label customer portal can help instill a sense of trust in your customers. When they see your brand name and logo on the login page, they’ll know that their data is safe and that they’re dealing with a company they can trust.
To increase customer satisfaction: A well-designed white label customer portal can make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for and get the answers they need—leading to increased satisfaction.
To boost sales: If you sell products or services through your customer portal, white labeling can make it easier for customers to purchase from you. By making the purchasing process more seamless, you can increase sales and grow your business.
To differentiate your business: In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stand out from the crowd. White label customer portals can help you do just that by giving you a unique selling proposition and cohesive branding that sets you apart from your competitors.
To benefit from expert support: When businesses take advantage of white label products, they’re getting the best of both worlds. They’re presenting a unified experience to customers, without needing the in-house team to support that experience. If something goes wrong, there’s a team of experts on-call to help out.
To save time and resources: White label products are often significantly less resource intensive (both in terms of time and money) when compared to building an in-house solution.
Ideal customer portal template for B2B businesses
If you want to attract B2B businesses, make sure to have the following pages and features:
An orders page is arguably the most important page within a B2B customer portal. This is where your customers will be able to view their purchase history, track the status of their current orders, and re-order items they’ve ordered in the past.
Your orders page should be easy to navigate and search, with clear labels and an intuitive layout. Be sure to include plenty of filtering and sorting options so that your customers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Here’s what this can look like using SPP as your white-label customer portal.
Additionally, customers appreciate the ability to view order statuses and updates. If possible, provide a way for customers to view the status of their various orders (e.g., “Working”, “Complete”, etc.).
Another critical page for B2B businesses is the invoices page. This is where customers will go to view and download their invoices.
Your customer portal should be integrated with your invoicing system so that invoices are automatically generated and pushed to the customer portal as soon as they’re created. This way, your customers will always have access to the latest information.
If you’re not able to integrate with your invoicing system, you should at least provide a way for customers to download their invoices in PDF format.
Account settings page
The account settings page is where customers will go to manage their account information. This includes things like contact information, shipping addresses, and billing preferences.
Be sure to include all of the relevant fields on this page, and make it easy for customers to edit their information. Customers should also be able to change their password on this page.
Payment methods page
The payment methods page is where customers can add, edit, and delete their payment methods.
Your customer portal should be integrated with your payments system (e.g., Stripe or Paypal) so that payment information is automatically updated. If this is not possible, you should provide a way for customers to manually add and update their payment information.
Product catalog page
If you sell products through your customer portal, you’ll need a product catalog page. This is where customers will go to browse and search for products, plans, and services.
Your product catalog should make use of contrasting colors and high-quality images to direct the customer’s attention to key areas of the page.
It’s also a good idea to include product descriptions, images, and videos on your product pages. This will give customers a better sense of what they’re buying and increase the likelihood of making a purchase.
Shopping cart page
If you have a shopping cart page, this is where customers will go to view the items they’ve added to their cart. Here’s an example with SPP:
Ideally, your customer portal will be integrated with your shopping cart so that items are automatically added to the customer’s cart when they’re added to the portal. In any case, you should provide a way for customers to manually add items to their cart.
Finally, all great customer portals should make it easy for customers to get the support they need, when they need it. To this end, you should include a support page on your customer portal. This page should list all of the ways that customers can get help, including:
Tip: Including a live chat widget on your support page is also a great way to make it easy for customers to get help in real-time! SPP allows Enterprise-level users to add advanced custom workflows and features (like live chat) with SPP’s API and webhooks.
Tips for customizing your white label customer portal
Now that we’ve covered the basics of white label customer portals, let’s take a look at some tips for customizing your portal to make it look and feel like a part of your brand.
1. Using your brand’s colors & logo
A unified brand experience ensures that your clients will not be thrown off by the new client portal software that you want them to use.
Instead, it’ll feel familiar because you greet them with the same brand colors that are on your invoices, as well as your logo.
With that in mind, we’ve built Service Provider Pro to allow you a handful of customization options on any plan. For instance, you can upload your logo and favicon via Settings → Company (both the regular logo as well as a reverse version), and you can define your agency color scheme (background, sidebar, accent).
If you’re not sure which color code your agency is using, simply ask your designer, or use a color picker on your website.
Once your logo has been uploaded, we’ll also place it on all the invoices issued by your company automatically.
2. Setting up a custom domain
Starting with the Basic plan, you can use a custom URL for both your SPP workspace (as an alternative to the spp.io domain), as well as for email sending.
Custom domains increase the trustworthiness of your white label client portal because, to your customers, it looks like the software is part of your business. The custom domain name can be something simple and recognizable such as clients.agency.com. After you’ve followed our instructions to set up the subdomain, we’ll issue an SSL certificate to ensure that all transactions are secured.
Optionally available is the possibility to send all transactional emails from your own domain as well. This makes the emails more recognizable to your clients because they won’t be sent from an email belonging to SPP.
3. Customizing email templates
If you’ve spent weeks refining your brand’s voice, you might be interested in customizing email templates to ensure that your clients get that familiar feeling when they read your email notifications. Service Provider Pro allows you not only to customize all transactional email notifications we send, you can also turn them off individually. This might be useful if you prefer to send certain emails with a marketing tool of your choice.
Emails notifications you choose to send through SPP can be customized with variables, such as your client’s first name to make it look more personal. Some email templates, such as the unpaid invoice reminder, allow you to specify how many daily reminders you want to send. Not only does this setting eliminate you having to chase unpaid invoices, you can also decide how insistent you want to be.
For maximum deliverability, you might want to switch the layout from pretty (which contains your logo), to a more simple plain text layout format. This is especially important for transactional emails about invoices to ensure that they hit your client’s inbox. After all, an email has to be read to be effective, not just look pretty!
That being said, developers and those who like to go the extra mile with their personalization can make further customizations by editing email templates such as email/layout_pretty.html via the template editor.
4. Custom branding for your services & forms
When your clients want to purchase a new service, they should know that it’s definitely one of yours. To make sure of that, you can upload images to services and service folders to keep your entire client portal on brand.
The same goes for order forms, which are highly customizable with our form builder. If you want to go one step further, you can use the custom HTML field in combination with Bootstrap components. Use the accordion to build FAQs, put a progress bar on multi-page intake forms, and more.
There are almost no limits when it comes to personalizing your client portal. You just need to get creative!
5. Setting up the onboarding page
How much time do you spend manually onboarding each and every client? In the spirit of selling productized services, you should be automating as much as you can of this process without making it seem too impersonal.
It doesn’t matter if your branding is quirky and makes excessive use of emoji, or dead serious and business-y. Your clients should feel that they are purchasing a service from the company they’re familiar with. And if they don’t know you yet (because you just started), then you should make a lasting impression and set yourself apart from the competition.
To make things easier, you could set up a simple onboarding page that your clients can access whenever they log into their portal. Here are a few things it should contain:
short introduction about your company
a link to create a support ticket
2-minute demo video showing the portal
helpful links pointing to must-dos inside the portal
Setting up such an onboarding page is usually a one-time task that will save you countless hours over the course of the next few years.
6. Reducing elements inside the portal
The aforementioned onboarding page should make it easy for new clients to find their way around the dashboard. However, they might still have questions your customer service team needs to answer.
To make their life easier, you can adjust the menu via Settings → Menus and remove any options clients don’t need to see–keep it simple! Furthermore, you can link to a knowledge base that answers frequently asked user questions without the need to reach out to you.
7. Integrating with your favorite apps
While Service Provider Pro is an incredibly versatile tool, you might need to integrate external apps you’ve been relying on for a long time. The good news is that we have native integrations for many of them already, such as Zapier and Google Analytics.
With Zapier, you can automate many tasks and push data to/from SPP to other apps. We also have a webhooks module that supports many different event types which are sent as POST requests to your desired URLs nicely formatted in JSON.
Those who are not developers can integrate apps also right inside SPP. For instance, many websites can be integrated via an iFrame, and load inside your workspace with the sidebar and navigation bar. As long as the original domain allows it, you can iFrame documents and pages such as Google Data Studio reports, Airtable, Calendly, and more. Here’s a guide on how to get started with data embedding in SPP.co.
Finally, if you have access to our template editor, you can build new custom pages, and design a custom workflow for your clients. Here are a few ideas you could implement (tutorials included):
There are many more ways to make your white labeled client portal stand out.
8. Testing the white label client portal software
You’ve successfully set up your customer portal software and are ready to onboard clients? Before you make use of every feature SPP has to offer, we recommend testing it internally. Run through all the project management features, test payments, your intake forms, and get an idea of the general flow.
Has your new white label portal been set up in a way that allows for easy collaboration between your team members? If you’re sure that everything is set up as you’d like, invite a trusted client that you can test your new portal with, and ask them to give you feedback on it.
Once you’ve made some adjustments, invite all existing clients, and redirect new clients to your client portal.
As you can see, there are many ways to customize it to perfectly match your business needs.
Service Provider Pro helps agency owners create a white labeled client portal that respects their branding. Our software offers both basic settings to make changes to the portal as well as advanced customization features for those who want to go the extra mile.
If you need any help along the way, our team at Service Provider Pro is always happy to assist you. Contact us today and we’ll get you started on your journey to providing an outstanding customer experience.