Project Management June 29, 2023 by Laura Elizabeth
If there was one question we get asked the most here at Client Portal, it’s some version of “I already have a project management tool, can I still benefit from Client Portal?”
The answer is a big YES!
In fact, Client Portal was built as an addition to project management tools, not a replacement.
Here are a few quick thoughts on how Client Portal can perfectly complement the tools you already use…
Clients hate project management tools
In my freelancing days, I wanted to appear more professional and organized to my clients. So I invested in the best project management tool that I could afford.
I’d spend time setting up projects, assigning tasks, and giving what I considered to be clear, thoughtful walkthrough videos on how to work together.
But the big problem? My clients never used them!
(Sound familiar? 😅)
They’d resort back to emailing every question and comment.
They’d ask for links or files that I’d organized for them and complain that they don’t know how to find them in my project management software.
It was frustrating and I’d silently blame my clients for being incompetent or lazy.
These days, I’m on the other side of freelancing. I now hire freelancers for my own business.
And when a freelancer sends me an invite link for their project management tool of choice, I audibly sigh.
The truth is, I don’t want to sign up for yet another project management tool, nor do I want to figure out how everything is organized and be bombarded with onboarding videos and sales pitches.
My to-do list is a mile long and they’ve just added another thing to it.
All I want to know is whether the project is on track and find everything I need quickly, easily, at any time of day or night.
The number of times I say to my husband, “Gah. I wish they were using Client Portal”.
Are project management tools a total waste of time?
Contrary to what it sounds like above, not at all.
Project management tools are fantastic – especially when working remotely. But I believe that they are most effective when used internally with your team instead of your clients.
Project management tools keep your business on track. They help ensure that you don’t miss deadlines or drop any balls.
But clients don’t need to see them.
All your clients need to see are the deliverables and assets relevant to their project with you.
That’s where Client Portal comes in.
With Client Portal, you give your clients a dashboard which shows them only what they need to see and nothing more.
Client Portal is where your clients go if they need to find a file or document without having to bug you 3 years after the project ended.
Client Portal is where they go if they want to check up on the status of their project. They can see what you’ve finished, what you’re currently working on, and what’s coming up in the future.
It was never intended to replace a project management tool. But it can complement one.
How Levance reduced the amount of client support and gave his clients a better experience without overwhelming them with complex tools
Levance was feeling pretty overwhelmed with his business before finding Client Portal; “I was going crazy. Trying to try to juggle messages in Slack and constantly on calls”.
He tried adding his clients to the project management software he was using with his employees but he found they were getting overwhelmed and not using it.
So he decided to look for a solution.
“Instead of me trying to use one platform that can integrate both the clients and the employees, I wanted to find one that just catered only to my clients. Because trying to find a platform that does both together, it wasn't working for me.”
That’s where Client Portal came in.
“When I first saw Client Portal, I was sold on it immediately. I usually don't purchase anything without doing research beforehand, but it was so aligned with what I was looking for. I just said, ‘Man, this has got to be it’. So I purchased it there and then.”
Levance then separated his clients from his employees and started seeing the benefits immediately.
“I wanted a stream of happy clients, and the worst thing I did was use the same platform for my clients and my employees.
For your employees, you can keep them in Slack or a project management tool because you want to communicate with them on a regular basis.
For clients it’s different. They have their own jobs that they need to do. You can't use the same kind of platform for both types of people.
Client Portal doesn’t put too much strain on your clients. You’re not forcing them to get into your software and click a dozen things to do a simple task. You want your software to be as user-friendly as possible – it’s in the best interest of your clients in order to keep them around.
With Client Portal, I now don’t have to jump over a bunch of different hurdles to keep my clients happy. It has allowed me to professionalize my business, save me time, and keep my clients happy.”
So those are my thoughts on Client Portal and project management tools. Ultimately it comes down to the stage your business is currently at and what you need each tool to achieve.