Criteria for a Successful Client Portal
So how does one go from an “F” to an “A”? At Cutter, we look at three key points. If you’re doing the following three things well, you likely have built a portal that works well for you and your clients:
Ultimately, the bulk of your client portal’s success comes from offering the features and functionality that clients need and, moreover, what they want. But successful client portals go beyond that and ask, “What will clients want in the future?” A-grade firms treat the portal as a place to innovate and develop new use cases and user journeys.
While functionality is important, this alone won’t determine a portal’s success. The portal’s look and feel plays an equally critical role. While a strong design may go unnoticed, bad design can create friction, frustration, and ultimately cause clients to abandon the portal. Well-designed portals blend into the background of the user’s experience, subtly personalizing the client journey and nudging them toward their goals.
The overall usability of key client journeys is the ultimate marker of portal’s success. Usability refers to how efficient and useful key client journeys are within a portal — for instance, how smooth the onboarding journey goes for new clients. Even if a portal offers top-of-the-line content and cutting-edge design, this ultimately won’t matter if the user gets frustrated with a specific journey and aborts the process midway.
Of course, the content and design will change based on the target client segment. For example, portals for clients at the mass affluent or lower end of the HNW spectrum will need different types of financial planning tools and calculators than portals that serve the UHNW client segment or the institutional investor. However, once you narrow down the user personas for your portal, assessing a portal along these three dimensions gives you a holistic understanding of its strengths and weaknesses.