Companies need a customer portal fully integrated into SAP!

Amazon – probably the best known customer portal in the B2C environment. We all don’t want to miss the benefits of information insight, history data about orders and invoices, and one-click orders. But what about in the B2B context? Here, customer portals are far from commonplace.

Kundenportal Dashboard auf Laptop

Why every B2B company needs a customer portal

There are many reasons that speak for a customer portal in the B2B context from a company’s point of view. On the one hand, it offers the opportunity to save time and costs, because customers can find out a lot of information on their own. This frees up your employees, who previously had to process day-to-day inquiries from customers and laboriously gather information. By shifting these activities, your employees can focus on the things that really matter and intensify customer relations rather than just being an information gatherer.

The provision of self-services in the customer portal can at the same time increase customer satisfaction, because as a customer you no longer have to pick up the phone and then spend an eternity on hold. Instead, you can access all information (e.g. orders, invoices, deliveries, machine status) at any time and carry out actions yourself (e.g. create complaints or service messages, order spare parts). This ensures that the customer can be tied to the company in the long term.

In addition, customer portals also offer better evaluation options. For example, it is possible to analyze which products the customer is interested in or which machine parts he has reordered within a year in order to offer better service and suitable products as a result. Last but not least, there are also marketing opportunities for personalized marketing campaigns based on the collected data, thus boosting the conversion rate.

The most important components of a B2B customer portal

The components of a B2B customer portal are highly dependent on the particular industry and use case, but there are some basic features that every customer portal should really have:

  • Availability of all master data
    All data related to the customer – centrally available with the possibility to view and adjust it. In the best case, these come directly from the SAP ERP system.
  • Status overview of actions
    This concerns e.g. the status of orders, deliveries, complaints and invoices.
  • Info area for news
    The customer portal offers the perfect platform for providing customers with important information and informing them about news, such as new product ranges or additional services.
  • Product information
    All important information about the products should find a place in the customer portal, so that the customer can inform himself in case of questions, e.g. the provision of manuals, instructions or FAQs.
  • B2B webshop
    Last but not least, the B2B webshop also forms an important basic function for the B2B customer portal. Exploit cross-selling and upselling potential in a targeted manner and enable your customers to easily reorder additional spare parts.

The most important thing is that the user (in this case your customer) enjoys using the customer portal and receives all relevant information.

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If you are also looking for a customer portal and use SAP ECC or S/4HANA, then you have come to the right place. Take a look at our product page or make an appointment directly with an expert.

Innovative features in the B2B customer portal

What does the future of the B2B customer portal look like? Which features could be applied in the future?
There is repeated talk of the integration of IoT and AI-based processes. The focus here is on using the customer portal as an interface for the omnichannel strategy. In this context, personalized product and service suggestions based on user behavior are just as conceivable as predictive machine maintenance or service support using virtual reality.
In order to make the user experience as pleasant as possible for the customer, chatbots can be used that answer frequently occurring questions immediately and, under certain circumstances, can also refer the customer directly to the appropriate sales colleague. Depending on the industry and the complexity of the products, exploded drawings can also support the ordering of spare parts or digital twins can be integrated into the customer portal.

As you can see, the possible applications are very diverse. How are you positioned in the area of customer portal and self-services?

Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or suggestions. I look forward to exchanging ideas with you!

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Would you like to delve deeper into the topic of customer portals?

Then our podcast episode: “B2B customer portals – more relevant than ever” is perfect for you.

About the author

Robin Hartmann
Robin HartmannHead of Modern Work and Business Intelligence itmX GmbH
As Head of Modern Work and Business Intelligence, Robin is responsible for optimising our customers’ processes and helping them to position themselves for future challenges. As a creative mind, he is primarily driven by innovation topics. Due to his proximity to the customer, he experiences the real business requirements first-hand and enjoys driving them forward together with our customers.