At Lightning Mine, we know what design features customers do not want and have developed the best possible processes to utilize when we build a customer account portal.
How Not To Make a Customer Account Portal:
1. Please do not require your customer to know their account number to log in.
Many customer account portals will require the customer to find their account number to log in. This is a bit inconvenient because it requires him or her to find a paper statement and look for the account number. For people who pay their bills while traveling, they probably don’t have their account number with them. Also, it might be after hours and you may not be available to answer their phone call for the account number.
It is not that much more work to build the functionality for customers to be able to choose the user id and password of their choice.
2. Please do include the functionality for customers to be able to recover their user id and password without having to call you.
It is not that difficult to build in the user id and password reset functionality. Many companies have figured out how to do this and customers have learned to expect that websites include this functionality.
3. Please do not make customers guess how much they owe. I logged into a customer account portal to pay my Home Owner Association dues recently and there was not any place where it indicated how much I owe. Instead it asked me how much I wanted to pay.
4. Please do not charge customers extra to pay online! They charged me $14 to pay my bill on their website. I hear all the time that customers do not to pay extra for your convenience of paying their bill online. I also hear from business owners that they are tired of fielding complaints about the extra charges. There is a solution to this.