To most people, portal customization isn’t very high up on their list of priorities. After all, if your support is top-notch who cares what your portal really looks like, right? Wrong. A wise man once said, “The difference between coffee at 72% and coffee at 85% is coffee that makes you wince and coffee that makes you delirious with joy”. Creating a unique and customized support portal could be what gives you that edge over the rest of your competitors.
We revamped our support portal, a few weeks ago. A ton of iterations and a lot of ideas later, we found the perfect fit for us. And in that process, we found some support portals that we loved that ended up inspiring our current theme. In some cases, it ended up being a case of the student teaching the master. So, we decided to put together some of our favorites, made by our very own customers, into a list for you to enjoy (and learn from as well).
1) Your support portal should look like it’s a part of your brand
When you spend years building your brand, it makes no sense to leave your support portal out of the party. Clearly, SIPcity (an award-winning business VoIP provider) agrees with us because their support portal looks like a perfect extension of their website. We also like how they’ve emphasized their knowledge base by featuring a “Popular Articles” and a “Featured Articles” widget.
2) Make it clear that you’re talking to fellow human beings and not Multivac
The first thing anybody sees on aNewSpring’s portal is the Getting Started video section. Which makes sense considering that they are an online learning solution that helps corporates tailor their online courses. But it’s awesome that they’ve transcended knowledge base articles to provide tutorial videos (and displayed them awesomely though we note that this section is a WIP). We also love how they’ve put up pictures of their support reps. It makes the user experience a bit more special when you you put a face on the person in the other side of an email.
3) GA is your best friend. Use it to find out which parts of your support portal need a little lift
Quizup is one of the most popular trivia mobile apps out there at the moment. But that’s not the only reason why we love them. We love their portal because clearly, they’ve done some support recon. Not only are their knowledge base sections clearly defined (“Start here”, “Email Password problems”, “Facebook problems”) but they’ve understood that most customers come to their support portal because they want more trivia topics. Which is why a link to their “Topic Suggestions” forum is a part of the header.
4)Play to your strengths. Are you a social media mogul? Make it a part of your portal
Have a strong social presence? Take a leaf out of BrainEngine’s book and incorporate a Social Buzz widget into your support portal. Sure, they’ve used an existing theme but we like that they’ve put so much thought into customizing their portal.
The truth is, portal customization is a lot like Boo Radley. It’s really not as scary as it looks. Go ahead; take our FreshThemes guide for a spin and you’d be surprised at just how easy it is. If you still have any questions or need a little help with some code, feel free to shoot us an email. We’re always happy to help.