When making a purchase of any kind, consumers want to know what choices they have. From there, they look for ways to differentiate products and services. Many factors go into selecting the right product for their use, including the strength of the brand, features, user-friendliness and cost. Consumers can learn a lot from marketing ads and the list of features on the packaging, but they still want assurance that other consumers have used the product and had a great experience with it.

Once consumers have narrowed down their choices to the best few options, they become interested in ways the product has been tested and evaluated. Independent evaluations of the product, such as customer reviews and business awards pertaining to high-quality customer service, give customers the credibility for which they are looking.

All of these things are highly important when looking for a board portal solution. Board portals are a fairly new concept. More and more, board directors are seeing how board portals can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their board work. As board portals evolve, consumers can choose from a range of products, from basic low-end portals to fully featured innovative products on the high end. Even high-end products save boards time and money compared with conducting board business manually.

Board portals can drastically change and improve the way that boards conduct business. Embracing change means that board directors may need to rely more fully on customer service, which makes great customer service one of the most important features of a board portal product.

Does a Good Customer Experience Really Matter That Much?

Harvard Business Review wanted to learn more about the effects of customer service as it pertains to customer purchasing habits and loyalty. Initially, researchers wondered if they could quantify the results in a meaningful way.

To find answers, they set up a study that compared two $1 billion businesses. One of them was a transaction-based business. The other was a subscription-based business. They chose these two types of businesses because transactional-based businesses measure their results on the return frequency of customers. Subscription-based businesses measure their results on customer retention, cross-selling and upselling.

In measuring the results, researchers looked at customer feedback. They also looked at future spending at a point in time and future spending over the subsequent year.

The study netted some interesting results. In the transactional-based business, customers who had the best experiences spent 140% more than those who rated their experiences as poor. The results in the subscription-based business were equally impressive. Members who rated customer service as excellent had a 74% chance of being loyal for at least another year. Members with poor experiences only had a 43% chance of remaining loyal to the brand. The results also showed an impact on customer retention. Customers who had poor experiences remained loyal for a little over a year, while customers with excellent customer service remained loyal for another six years.

This study proves that customer service is one of the most important features to consumers of any type of product. Knowing this begs the question of how a consumer can know that customer service will be excellent before they’ve had a chance to experience it. One way to assess customer service is to consider whether the customer service team has been evaluated for their performance by an independent third-party organization and whether they received any awards for excellence.

Do Customer Service Awards Have Meaning?

Awards measure success against a specific set of standards. Third-party evaluations create consumer trust in a product without their having to try it first. Business and industry awards validate a brand and its products. Awards help consumers to differentiate products where customer service is of great importance, as in the case of purchasing board portal software.

What should board directors look for in customer service for board portal software? Board directors will surely have varying levels of technical expertise. While they may understand the value in using electronic board portals, many of them have concerns about understanding the product well enough to use it to the fullest extent possible. Board directors want to make the best choice in board portals at the onset of the purchase because switching, later on, will cost them valuable assets — time and money. For these reasons, having a company like Diligent that offers award-winning 24/7 customer service is one of the most valuable features they need.

Diligent was one of the first board portal software programs. Diligent values customer feedback and the IT developers at Diligent have been using it for many years to improve and enhance their board portal software to meet the needs and desires of board directors.

When comparing board portal software side-by-side, be sure to look at the features and innovations of the products. You’ll also know that you’re getting the best product now and in the future when you compare the results of products based on industry and business awards that reflect the quality of customer service.

Diligent’s award-winning customer service team has consistently earned distinguished awards from industry leaders, so customers know that when they buy board portal software, they will be fully supported around the clock. See Diligent’s list of awards below:

Diligent’s Awards

 2017

  • Winner of Silver Stevie International Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Bronze Stevie International Business Award for Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Winner of Best in Biz International Gold Award for Most Customer Friendly Company of the Year
  • Winner of Frost & Sullivan Customer Service Excellence Recognition for Omni-Channel Customer Service
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Bronze Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Department of the Year

2016

  • Ranked #240 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500
    Winner of CIO Review 20 Most Promising Collaboration Technology Solution Providers
  • Winner of American Business Award for Customer Service Executive of the Year (Jeff Hilk)
  • Winner of Gold Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Winner of Gold Stevie Asia Pacific Business Award for Innovation in Customer Service Management

2015

  • Winner of 2015 Tabby Award for iPad: Vertical Market and Specific Business Solution
    Winner of Best in Biz International Gold Award for Most Customer Friendly Company of the Year
  • Winner of Gold Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Winner of Customer Service Institute of America Gold Award for International Service Excellence
  • Winner of Bronze Stevie Asia Pacific Business Award for Customer Service Department of the Year
  • Winner of Bronze Stevie Asia Pacific Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year

2014

  • Ranked #98 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500
    Winner of Best in Biz North America Gold Award for Most Customer Friendly Company of the Year
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Department Team of the Year

2013

  • Ranked #121 in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500
  • Winner of Gold Stevie American Business Award for Customer Service Team of the Year
  • Winner of Silver Stevie American Business Award for Customer Department Team of the Year