White Label Client Portal Customization Tips & Best Practices
- A white-label client portal can enhance client experience by providing a branded, personalized space for communication and collaboration.
- The portal should be accessible with a custom domain and support custom email domain sending so that it matches your entire brand.
- Make the portal easy to use by reducing unnecessary elements, but integrate essential third party tools for reporting or to automate service delivery.
A branded white label client portal gives your customers a sense of security–and this is highly valuable when they need to make payments and send sensitive data. On top of that, your clients are already familiar with your brand, and their expectations need to be met.
By customizing the client portal to make it look like a part of your brand you can give your clients a sense of familiarity. Read on to get an overview of best practices when white labeling your secure client portal.
What is a white label customer portal?
To understand what a white label portal is, there are two separate concepts that we need to unpack: client portals and white label products. Let’s start with the former, which is a web-based application that allows clients to interact with a company or organization. They can log into the portal to view and manage their account.
There are tons of customer portal features you might find, for instance:
Viewing order updates and statuses
Filing and tracking support tickets
Updating account information
Purchasing additional products or services
Accessing training materials or product documentation
Let’s move on to white label software products, which are usually developed by a company for the sole purpose of being rented, and branded other another businesses name. In most cases, the products (which are often cloud-apps) are found in the business-to-business (B2B) space, as companies are willing to spend money in the name of brand unity and enhanced user experience.
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The benefit of a customer portal that has been branded by a company is that it looks and feels like a part of that company’s product suite—something that is important according to customer portal best practices. Clients are able to log into the portal and know immediately who they’re doing business with—even if the underlying software powering the portal was developed by someone else.
Why would you want to white label your customer portal?
There are lots of reasons why you might want to opt for a fully branded customer. Here are the main benefits:
To build trust with your clients: As we mentioned before, the 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 app can make it easier for clients to find what they’re looking for and get the answers they need—leading to increased satisfaction.
To differentiate your business: In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s more important than ever to find ways to stand out from the crowd. A client portal 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 labeled products, they don’t need an in-house team to support the app.
To save time and resources: Software that is being developed by someone else are often significantly less resource intensive (both in terms of time and money) when compared to building an in-house solution.
Tips for customizing your white label customer portal
Now that we’ve covered the basics, 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 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 branding resources have 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 clients, it looks like the app 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 personalizing 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 alter 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 enhanced 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 outstanding payments, 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 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 of your branded agency client portal.
The same goes for order forms, which are highly customizable with our white label 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 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 CS 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 Airtable, Calendly, and more.
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 solution stand out.
8. Testing the software
You’ve successfully set up your client portal and are ready to onboard clients? Before you make use of every feature SPP has to offer, I 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 portal that respects their branding. Our agency solution 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.