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Why your clients hate client portals!

on 5 June 2024


Posted by Wayne Pope
why clients hate portals

Picture this: You've invested in a cutting-edge client portal, hoping to streamline your processes and provide top-notch service to your clients.

Yet, despite your best efforts, engagement is dismally low, with only around 5 to 15 per cent of clients actually using your portal.

Frustrating, isn't it?

And you’re not alone – we’ve noticed that many firms face the same challenge.

They’re usually using systems like CCH, IRIS, and BrightManager which, while not awful, fail to really deliver on their promise of high client take-up.

So, why do clients dislike client portals so much?

The problem: Clients prefer email

Email is familiar but old and out of touch with the modern, cloud-based world.

Unfortunately, clients have not had positive experiences using previous client portals, in many cases, and thus choose to use email instead.  

For many clients, the comfort and monotonous repetitiveness of replying to an email outweighs the benefits that could be gained from using a portal.

This preference for what’s familiar – a Stockholm syndrome despite email’s many faults – leads to minimal interaction with client portals, rendering them ineffective and underutilised.

This low engagement with client portals is not just a minor inconvenience, however, and it has significant implications for your firm's efficiency.

Emails also create additional work for your team in terms of managing and organising email correspondence but also increase the risk of missing important documents or information.

Furthermore, relying on email can lead to delays in communication and slow down the entire process of gathering necessary data for personal tax, end-of-year accounts, or audit work.

This inefficiency can ultimately affect the quality of service you provide and your firm's reputation.

The solution: Adapt to client behaviour with better tools

Instead of trying to force clients to use portals they dislike, why not adapt to their behaviour?

Information-gathering technology that still leverage client email-by-default behaviour and clever one-click processes for clients, enable you to gather the information, and still provide you and your team all the benefits over organised secure communication , automatic reminders, clear visibility of outstanding items, and no hunting for information.

Platforms like Glasscubes, for example, allowing your clients to remain in a set of behaviour they are used to and like, whilst removing the need for constant logging in and logging out.

This approach enhances the client’s experience by simplifying the process.

It's time to rethink the way you gather information and embrace solutions that work for both you and your clients.

Request a free demo of Glasscubes today.


About this author: Wayne Pope

Technical Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience in the online software industry, Wayne brings an in depth technical expertise in collaborative tools, technology, and best practices.