Client portal software is a must-have for modern agencies. With a multitude of benefits, it helps streamline operations, save time, and improve client relations, too. But with so many client portal programs to pick from, finding the right fit for your agency can feel like a challenge.
That’s where this guide comes in. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at 10 of the best client portal software options to consider in 2024.
What Is an Agency Client Portal?
Let’s begin with the basics, as you might be wondering what client portal software is and how it can help your agency.
A client portal is a digital space designed just for your clients. It allows them to log into their own personal accounts, view orders, manage contracts, upload files, and more. Client portal software, as you might expect, is the program that brings that portal to life. It allows agencies to create and manage portal spaces for their clients to access.
In the past, client portals were a handy bonus for the average agency. However, these days, they’re essential for any firm that wants to keep up with the times and maximize its success. Here are just a few reasons why.
Reason 1 – Improving the Client Experience
Arguably the No. 1 reason to invest in client portal software is to provide the best possible customer experience. In today’s world, experiences matter more than ever, and customers will almost always favor brands that put in the effort to provide superior experiences.
Imagine you’re a client, and you’ve got the choice between two similar agencies. One offers a client portal, the other doesn’t. Pick the one without the portal, and you’ll have to constantly call them up or send emails and hope for updates on your orders or projects.However, if you work with the agency that offers a portal, you’ll feel much more in control, with instant access to invoices, documents, and project tracking.
The choice is easy.
Reason 2 – Saving Time for Your Team
Clients aren’t the only ones who get abetter experience because of client portal software. Your team can enjoy more positive and productive days once a portal has been set up. It can save staff members hours of time that they can then reinvest into other tasks to help the agency grow.
Without a client portal, team members often find themselves bombarded with messages and calls. They have to answer the same old questions over and over again, respond to update requests, help clients with invoices, file uploads, and so on. Portals take care of a lot of those tasks for you, effectively making your clients more independent and less reliant on your team for info and updates.
Additional Reasons and Benefits
There are plenty more big benefits to investing in client portal software:
Eases the workload on your support and service teams
Improves collaboration with clients
Stronger security and privacy for customer data
Creates a better first impression for your agency
How to Choose a Client Portal for Your Agency?
Undoubtedly, a client portal is a fantastic addition to any agency’s software stack. But it’s important to select the CRM programs to suit your firm’s needs, as they’re not all created equal. Here are a few key considerations to help you narrow down the field and hone in on your ideal piece of software.
Ease of Use
Statistics show that many businesses, particularly small ones, are spending more time than ever training employees. A lot of that time is dedicated to teaching team members how to use all of the various elements that make up the business’s tech stack. Ideally, you don’t want to waste hours training staff to use your client portal correctly. It should be as easy and intuitive as possible.
Integration With Other Software
You probably already use other forms of software for your agency. Perhaps you have a scheduler program, for example, or an invoicing solution. Well, one issue you might have when introducing a new program to your stack is a lack of integration. In other words, programs don’t always play nicely together. Try to find one that will seamlessly fit in with your agency’s existing digital ecosystem.
Level of Customization
Every agency is different, in more ways than one. That’s why you’ll typically seek out software which offers a strong level of customization. This gives you the freedom to set up the client portal just the way you want it. Unfortunately, some programs offer far less customization (and fewer features) than others. Look for those that give you the most options to provide perfect experiences for your clients.
Value for Money
Of course, client portal software also costs money. In fact, costs vary markedly from program to program. Some are significantly more expensive than the others, but may justify that by offering a lot of extra features. Others are remarkably affordable, but may not give you everything you need. Try to strike the right balance, finding a tool that is both functional and fairly priced.
What Are the Top 10 Agency Client Portals?
Now you know what to search for in client portal software, let’s take a closer look at some of the options on the table.Here are 10 of the best portal programs to consider.
1 – Bonsai Client Portal
Bonsai’s CRM software is the ultimate option for the modern agency. Packed full of features, it’s a veritable Swiss army knife for the digital age, complete with one of the most streamlined, sophisticated client portals around. With this portal up and running for your agency, client collaboration becomes easier than ever, and clients enjoy the most seamless interactions.
What Are Bonsai’s Client Portal Key Features?
Bonsai’s customizable client portal allows you to share project access directly with your clients via a sleek, branded interface. Clients can check out invoices, project status, documents, and activity timelines, so they always feel fully up-to-date and in control.
The portal also supports file uploads and document sharing, facilitating faster, better collaboration between your team members and your valued clients. In addition, to promote privacy and safety,Bonsai provides secure email links for each client to access the portal, vastly reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
Why Is Bonsai the Best Client Portal for Agencies?
Simply put, Bonsai’s client portal does everything you could hope for, and more. It’s secure, straightforward, and streamlined in all the right ways, while still boasting the key features that agencies need. With this portal, clients can enjoy easy and convenient access to project data, while agency staff can save time and become more productive.What’s more, Bonsai’s client portal is just one part of its incredible all-in-one CRM solution, which offers so many additional features.
What Is Bonsai Pricing?
Bonsai offers three payment plans, though the branded client portal is only available in two of them. You can pick from either the Professional plan, which costs $39 per month, or the Business plan for larger firms, priced at $79 per month. Alternatively, subscribers may choose to pay annually, enjoying a two-month discount.
2 – Dropbox
Boasting over 700 million registered users, Dropbox is one of the world’s leading cloud storage platforms. It’s also a useful client portal for sending, receiving, and sharing documents between agencies and their clients.
What Are Dropbox’s Key Features?
Dropbox provides a safe storage space in the cloud where agencies and clients can upload and share documents. It supports rapid file delivery of even the largest project files, along with other features, such as digital signatures, PDF editing, and file engagement tracking.
What Are Dropbox’s Limitations?
For file storage and exchange, there are few programs better than Dropbox. However, beyond that, it comes up a little short. It lacks many of the key features found in all-in-one agency solutions. If you only want to share files back and forth with your clients, it can get the job done. But if you want to create a fully-functional, customized, and branded client portal for your users to interact with, it’s simply not enough.
What Is Dropbox Pricing?
Pricing for Dropbox starts as low as $9.99for the personal Plus plan. However, for serious agency usage, you’ll need either the Business ($24 per user, per month) or Business Plus ($32 per user, per month) plan. It’s also possible to pay annually with Dropbox and enjoy a slightly discounted rate.
3 – Google Drive
With over 2 billion active users, Google Drive is one of the most-used pieces of software in the world today. Many people can use it in their personal lives for storing photos and documents, and it can also be used in the business world as a client portal.
What Are Google Drive’s Key Features?
Similar to Dropbox, the biggest features ofGoogle Drive are its file storage and sharing capabilities. It provides a massive digital space for agencies and their clients to upload and share files with one another. It also comes with Google’s state-of-the-art malware and spam protections to safeguard those files, along with full integration with GoogleDocs, Sheets, etc.
What Are Google Drive’s Limitations?
Like Dropbox, Google Drive may be useful for storing and sharing files, but it’s not the same as a genuine client portal program. It doesn’t offer anywhere near the same levels of branding and customization potential as trusted client management programs. Nor does it boast key features like project status tracking for users to keep up-to-date with the latest project developments.
What Is Google Drive Pricing?
To take full advantage of Google Drive as a client portal, agencies will need to sign up for Google Workspace. Of the four pricing tiers, the Business Starter plan starts at $7.20 and goes all the way up to Enterprise-level, which has custom pricing. Like other providers, Google also allows you to pay annually and get a better rate.
4 – Hubspot
Founded back in 2006, HubSpot has since become a leading name in marketing, sales, and service software. It also offers client portal creation, included with its Service Hub Professional and Service HubEnterprise plans.
What Are HubSpot’s Key Features?
HubSpot allows agencies to set up their own branded client portals. These spaces primarily exist to bridge the gap between clients and support staff. Clients can request help and track the progress of their tickets and queries via the portal. It also provides them with immediate access to the agency’s knowledge base, which lets them solve problems by themselves, easing the burden on support teams.
What Are HubSpot’s Limitations?
The obvious drawback is that HubSpot’s client portal is quite shallow at present when compared to others. It’s fine for improving support and feedback between clients and support teams, but offers little else. Agency clients won’t be able to rely on it for keeping up with invoices, for instance, or uploading files to a project.
What Is HubSpot Pricing?
At the time of writing, HubSpot’s client portal feature is only available for Professional and Enterprise-level SalesHub subscribers. The plans start from $500 per month and $1,500 per month, respectively.
5 – Clinked
Founded back in 2008, Clinked is a white-label client portal that puts customization and versatility first. It works for a wide range of agencies, with full customization and a broad range of useful features.
What Are Clinked’s Key Features?
Clinked is a cloud-based client portal solution. It provides secure file storage and sharing between clients and agencies. Additionally, it has a built-in messaging system that clients can use to keep in touch with agency staff. Other key features include task management tools, collaboration support, customizable branding, and its own mobile app.
What Are Clinked’s Limitations?
Clinked is a well-rounded tool that covers a lot of bases in its feature-set. However, it’s not perfect. Price-wise, it’s one of the more expensive tools on the market, and you don’t get a lot of storage space, even on the top-tier plans. It also lacks integrations and often struggles to work well with other elements of your tech stack.
What Is Clinked Pricing?
Clinked offers four separate pricing plans.The cheapest option is the Lite plan, which costs $119 per month. There are also Standard ($299 per month), Premium ($599 per month) and Enterprise (CustomPricing) plans available. You can pay yearly or two-yearly to save some money.
6 – Filestage
Often, agencies need to discuss and collaborate with their clients, getting approval on any new changes or pieces of work before proceeding to the nextstep. Filestage is a content review platform that aims to speed-up and simplify that process.
What Are Filestage’s Key Features?
Filestage isn’t a client portal program in the traditional sense. Rather, it’s a content review and approval platform. It allows agencies to create custom workflows and review groups for their projects.In other words, it lets clients view your work and share their feedback directly through comments and messages. It also lets you manage multiple versions of the same project, as well as tracking approvals over time.
What Are Filestage’s Limitations?
Filestage is a handy solution for agencies that don’t want to wait around and waste time waiting for clients to give them the “thumbs up.” However, it lacks a lot of the main features seen in better-rounded CRM solutions, such as advanced customization, branding, invoices, etc.
What Is Filestage Pricing?
Filestage offers a free plan for new users to try it out, but if you want to use this app seriously, you’ll have to pay up for a premium plan. Prices start at $59 per month for the Basic plan or $299per month for Professional, with annual discounts and custom pricing forEnterprise customers.
7 – Monday.com
Monday is an all-in-one project management tool with an array of client management features, including client portal creation.
What Are Monday.com’s Key Features?
Monday’s client portal provides a centralized hub for client communication and collaboration. It lets agency staff communicate with clients conveniently, without the need for emails or calls. You can carry out real-time discussions via the portal’s thread system, and clients can also view dashboards to track project progress and metrics.
What Are Monday.com’s Limitations?
Despite its advantages, Monday doesn’t always work well as a client portal, as it was designed primarily as a project manager. It’s not the most intuitive or easy-to-use option for clients, which can put them off using it.
What Is Monday.com Pricing?
Monday is free to try, with multiple premium plans ranging from $12 per user, per month for the Basic plan to $24per user, per month for Pro. There’s also an Enterprise plan with custom pricing, along with yearly discounts.
8 – Mavenlink/Kantata
Mavenlink, which has recently been renamed Kantata after a merger between Mavenlink and Kimble, is another client portal provider. It offers an all-in-one “Professional Services Cloud,” combining resource management, workflows, and operations management.
What Are Kantata’s Key Features?
The Kantata Professional Services Cloud allows agencies to invite clients to collaborate on projects. Clients can login and view project status and related documents, and providers always have control over client access settings. This helps to safeguard sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. Clients can also make posts on the Kantata Activity Feed, sharing their thoughts, tagging agency members, or uploading new files. It also includes a scheduler and financial tracking functions.
What Are Kantata’s Limitations?
There’s a lot that Kantata can do. However, that can be both a benefit and a drawback, as the interface often feels cluttered and complicated, especially for new users. Inexperienced clients maybe confused by the system or unsure about how to use it correctly, which can actually lead to extra problems and drawn-out support calls.
What Is Kantata Pricing?
Kantata is free to start and offers variable premium pricing plans starting at $45 per month. Users will need to share info with the provider about their agency and its size to get an accurate quote.
9 – Teamwork
Teamwork is an all-in-one project management platform, helping agencies manage all aspects of their client work.Naturally, it comes with the ability to set up your own custom client portals.
What Are Teamwork’s Key Features?
Designed with collaboration in mind,Teamwork’s client portal aims to provide clients with power and visibility over their orders and projects. Clients can log on to the portal, add comments, view tasks, track progress, and keep in touch with agents on-the-fly. On the agency side, you have total control over which clients get access and what info they’re allowed to view or interact with.
What Are Teamwork’s Limitations?
While Teamwork is useful for clients to keep track of projects and add their input and feedback, it’s lacking in the communication department. Many agencies that use this tool have found it struggles to facilitate easy discussions between agents and clients like other, better CRM solutions.
What Is Teamwork Pricing?
Teamwork has a free plan for new users, as well as Starter, Deliver, and Grow premium plans, with prices ranging from$8.99 to $25.99 per user, per month. Yearly plans are also available with 33%discounts compared to the monthly costs.
10 – ProofHub
Last but not least, we have ProofHub. This project management platform aims to provide agencies with total control over their projects, while also making clients feel more involved via their own user portals.
What Are ProofHub’s Key Features?
ProofHub offers many of the key feature sone would expect of a client portal. Clients can discuss project status with agents, as well as approving additions or requesting changes. They can view project status and metrics, as well as uploading and organizing relevant files in a secure, private space.
What Are ProofHub’s Limitations?
Unlike more complete agency solutions, ProofHub is lacking in a few areas. It’s mainly designed for the agency side of operations, without much thought given to client interactions. This means that the interface is a little clunky and complex for the average client. It’s also tricky for agencies to manage and limit client access using this tool, due to its lack of admin controls.
What Is ProofHub Pricing?
ProofHub has two pricing plans: Essential for $50 per month or Ultimate Control for $99 per month. You can also pay annually for a small discount. The Essential plan lacks a lot of key features, so you’ll most likely need the Ultimate Control package.
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