Introducing Online Portals: Estimates and After-sales Care

Paul Hewson
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We are excited to share with you an introduction to Commusoft's new feature: Portals! Our online portals enhance the Commusoft experience by providing new ways to interact with your customers, which save time and resources when completing daily tasks. We have two portals available this week - the Estimates Portal and the After-sales Care Portal, with a further three portals coming soon.

Please bear in mind that this feature is only available on our Paperless Office plan and above. If you're not on this plan, book a meeting or call the team on 0203 0266 266 about upgrading today.

Portals:

1. Estimates online portal

2. After-sales care online portal

3. Online booking form (New)

4. Invoice portal (New)

5. Engineer Profile Portal (New)

Estimates Online Portal

The Estimates online portal gives you a better way for customers to respond to an estimate. Commusoft already has powerful tools for estimates, allowing you to generate a PDF estimate with your company branding to send to customers via email or text SMS. With the estimates online portal we have upped the game even further, now your customers can respond to and accept the estimate straight from the email and even pay any initial deposit immediately. This saves you from wasting time following up estimates and chasing responses and unpaid deposits.

This is all possible thanks to the new online portals we have developed, these allow your customers to send information to your Commusoft database via an online portal.

Portals

When you send an estimate, the customer will receive a link to the estimate portal. This will allow them to view the estimate, read any terms and conditions attached, and accept the estimate immediately.

Accepting estimate

If there is an initial deposit payment due, the customer will have the option to pay that straight away. This will require that you are set up to accept card payments online, by integrating a service such as Stripe or WorldPay. The customer can then simply enter their card details and send that money over with ease. Utilising online payments for estimates removes the tedious process for office staff of taking card payments over the phone. If you don't wish to use online payments, the customer will see that an initial deposit is due, but you will need to follow up with them to take payment manually.

Estimate portal payment

Once an estimate is accepted and/or a deposit payment is received your office will get a notification of that within Commusoft.

How do I set this up?

Follow the instructions below or you can watch our video tutorial. First, go to System Settings, navigate to the Estimates section and select Online estimate portal. Follow the instructions to enable the estimate portal. You can also choose whether you wish for a PDF estimate to be attached to your email by default, along with the link to the estimate portal. This can be a good idea if you think your customers might wish to save or print a PDF estimate for their records.

Enable estimate portal

bNow that the online estimate portal is enabled, you will need to modify your estimate email template to include a link to the portal. You can do this by going to System Settings> Estimate email message. To insert a portal link, click on the Use Tagging button and add the tag:

[estimate_portal_url]

to your email message. This will appear as a text link within your email for customers to access the estimate. Once that is saved, the next time you send an estimate by email, it will include this link.

Estimate portal setup new

We have designed the estimates portal with usability in mind and we think your customers will love accepting estimates this way.

After-sales Care Portal

Our second online portal is designed to give you better insight into customer satisfaction in your business, allowing you to evaluate your successes and areas that might need improvement. This is achieved by a simple customer feedback form that is sent with your after-sales communication when a job's final invoice is raised or a job is free-of-charged.

You can now embed a link that opens an easy-to-use feedback form, which asks the job address contact to rate their experience with your company as either positive or negative, with an intuitive thumbs up or thumbs down. They can also enter a note to let you know specific details about their experience with you.

Customer feedback

When a customer provides feedback on a job, you will receive a notification in Commusoft and the feedback will be saved against that job for your records.

Customer feedback notification

You can now track your overall running customer satisfaction from the reporting dashboard. This gives you a percentage score based on your positive vs. negative reviews as seen below (what happy customers!) and provides a number to keep your eye on for measuring customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction dashboard

Learning from both your mistakes and strengths is key to making more customers happy - which can only be done by first listening to them. If you don't listen to your customers, you'll never learn how to improve your relationship with them.

How do I set this up?

You can watch a video guide on the Commusoft Knowledge Base, here, or follow the instructions below. To get started with our after-sales care survey, you will need to go to System Settings> Invoicing> After sales communication. Here you can build your email or SMS template for following up with customers. To include a link to the feedback portal, click the Use Tagging button and then click:

[after_sales_care_portal_url]

This will display as a link to the customer in order to access the portal. Remember, you shouldn't include this tag in a letter template, as the link won't work in a non-digital format.

ASC TY email

Once you've got your default message set up with a portal link embedded, you need to ensure after-sales care is turned on for your customer. This is set on a customer-by-customer basis, not for all your customers together. To turn this feature on, go to the customer in-question and navigate to the Reminders tab. At the top of the page you should see a module titled After-sales care, hit edit and make sure this is set to On.

After sales care on

Now when you raise a final invoice or free-of-charge a job, the email or SMS (depending on your preferences) will be automatically sent to the customer, including a link to the feedback form. Taking customer satisfaction seriously is a surefire way to gain more repeat business.

Custom portal links

When adding a portal tag to an estimate or after-sales template, you can modify the text link that the customer will see. For example, [estimate_portal_url], if left unchanged this will display as the Commusoft default for this tag, 'Click here to view your estimate'. However, should you wish to customise this, you can. To change the URL text, add a colon (:) after 'url' in the tag and then enter the new text. Like this:

[estimate_portal_url:Please access your estimate via this link]

Now, when you send a customer this link, it will instead display as 'Please access your estimate via this link'. Being able to customise this means you can tweak and edit your communications to best reflect your business and style.

One last thing!

We also have a few smaller updates to Commusoft this week, which you can check out here.

Are you as excited about portals as we are? We'd love to hear your thoughts! If you haven't already, please leave us a Capterra review letting us know how we're doing. Or, if you just fancy saying hello, give us a follow at twitter.com/commusoft!

If you want some free templates for how to best ask a customer for a review, check those out below.

online reviews template

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