In this article
- What is the Customer Portal?
- Why provide your customers with a self-service portal?
- How do I set up a Customer Portal?
- Using the Portal as a Customer
- Using vWork Assets in the Customer Portal
What is the Customer Portal?
The Customer Portal is a self-service portal that allows your customers to book jobs for themselves directly into your vWork account. It is fully responsive and works on most tablets and smartphones. It empowers your customers and reduces the workload of your dispatchers - freeing their time to work on other things.
The Customer Portal is an optional feature in vWork. To find out more or discuss your needs with one of the vWork team please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be in touch to discuss your requirements.
You decide what customers have access to through your portal
You have control and can choose what you want your customers can see and do through your portal. You can enable customers to:
- Request new jobs and choose from a selection of different jobs.
- See their jobs on the portal map and track your driver or worker.
- Delete or cancel a job.
- Set up job alerts for job Scheduled, Started, and Completed (you choose which of these you want to enable).
- View and print their invoices.
- View live job status information.
You can also tailor your portal to the needs of different customers and choose to let anyone can sign up or restrict access to select customers.
Make it all yours: brand your portal
You can upload your logo on the vWork Settings page to brand your portal.
It is also easy to link your website to your customer portal by installing the vWork Customer Portal Login button on your website.
Here's an example of the Customer Portal login screen for DMG Communications.
Why provide your customers with a self-service portal?
Get your customers to work for you! When you add a self-service portal you reduce your office administration. Customers enter all the job information and propose a start-time making job scheduling faster and simipler.
Customers can log in to your portal at any time that works for them. Empower your customers to request their own jobs online whenever they want. They can also easily keep track of the status of a job and get an ETA. This reduces the need for them to contact you reducing phone calls and emails.
Customers only see what you want them to see and any new jobs they create are automatically uploaded to the Schedule.
How does it work?
Here is an example where a customer creates a new job to have Fibre installed at their office. They login to the portal and create the job.
The customer's new job shows on the Schedule Workbench, at the time they request through the portal, immediately after they create it. The job is Pink showing the Dispatcher there is a new job to schedule.
When the Dispatcher clicks on the job in the Workbench they can see the full job details requested by the customer through the portal.
All the Dispatcher needs to do is allocate a worker to the job and publish as they would for any other job.
How do I set up a Customer Portal?
You can set up your customer portal on the Customer Portal Settings page.
Go to Settings>Portal>Settings.
Set the Default Settings and User Permissions
The Default Settings are where you enable the Customer Portal and determine what features will show in your portal.
To set your preferred Default Settings:
- Check the Enable Customer Portal checkbox to enable the customer portal on your account. You must check this. Once checked the greyed-out Customer Portal settings will become available for you to select and modify. If you uncheck this box after setting up the customer portal the portal will be disabled but your Customer Portal settings will remain unchanged. You can reactivate the portal by checking this box again.
- Check Show availability to show time slots that are available to for customers to book jobs in the portal. Leave it blank if they can select any time that suits them
- Check Enable Map if you want customers to view the jobs they have created on a map.
- Check Show assigned worker on map if you want the customer to track where their job is on the map.
Here is an example of the map in the Customer Portal.
- Check Enable user to print invoice to enable them to see the invoice details at the bottom of the job as they get added. They can also download this to print at any time.
- Check Users can see the last completed step for the job if you want customers to see what the last completed step was in the job information.
- Check Limit job booking times to company working hours if you don't want customers to book jobs outside your normal business hours as you have set them in your vWork account.
Here is an example of Booking Times in the Customer Portal.
- Check Jobs are created as a draft if you don't want jobs to be saved as Created in vWork.
- Check Enable Quick Alerts to display a list of Alerts that you can provide to a customer. Next check which of these Alerts you want the customer to be able to select when tracking their job. Alerts will only be sent by email unless you check the Enable SMS Alerts checkbox. In this case, they will also be sent by text message to the customer's phone and you will be charged for sending these.
This is how the customer sees the Alert options in the Customer Portal.
This is what the Default Settings look like on the Customer Portal Settings page.
Next set the Default Permissions. These are what you allow a customer to do with their job.
To set Default Permissions, from the Customer Portal Settings page, check the checkbox next to each permission you want to enable for the customer. You can enable them to:
- Create jobs.
- Create multiple jobs at once using the same job details.
- See the status of jobs they have created.
- See the status of jobs created by you that you are doing for them.
- Prevent your customer from requesting a time they would like a job to be done.
- Create themselves as a new customer in your vWork Customer Portal.
Note: A list of your portal customers is kept on the Portal Users page.
Set up your Customer Portal profile
Scroll to the Public Customer Portal section of the Customer Portal Settings page to set up your portal profile. This is where you:
- choose to make your Customer Portal Public or Private
- create a web address for your Customer Portal
- create an introduction to your Customer Portal that will show on the Customer Portal Login page
- Determine what fields will be mandatory for your customers to complete when they sign up for a Public Portal.
To make your Customer Portal Public:
- Check the checkbox next to Enable Public Portal. If you leave this unchecked an orange banner will show that your portal is set to private. When you check this checkbox the banner no longer shows.
A Public portal enables anyone to go to your customer portal and sign up to create jobs through it. A Private portal is restricted to users who you set up to use the portal and send a sign-up link to.
To set your Customer Portal web address:
- Type a domain name into the Domain name field.
This is where your customer will go to log in to your Customer Portal.
Create a name that is one word with no spaces in it. We will add .vwork.io as the extension.
For example; DMG Communications web domain will be dmgcommunications.vwork.io. In this instance, the Domain Name field is completed with dmgcommunications.
To create your Introduction:
- A default introduction is shown in the Introduction field. You can customize this to include your own wording if you want.
To Preview your Portal:
- Click the Preview Your Portal button to see a preview of your portal.
Add the Portal To Your Website (Optional)
You can easily add a link to the vWork portal from your website by adding the Customer Portal Login button.
To add the Customer Portal Login button to your website:
- copy and paste the code from the Add a Public Portal Button to Your Website section into your website.
Note: you don't have to use this button. You can create your own button if you prefer. This button is provided for your use only if you need it.
Required signup fields
Check the checkbox next to the fields that you want the customer to complete when they sign up for your Customer Portal. All these fields are shown on the Sign Up page but mandatory fields display with * next to them. If a customer leaves a mandatory field blank they will see a speech bubble that asks them to complete the field.
Upload Your Logo (Optional)
If you want to customize your portal with your brand you can add your logo in your vWork Account Settings. This branding will also show on your invoices and reports. You can read more about how to do this in the article: Can I add my logo to vWork?
Select the Job templates you want your customers to use for their jobs
If you allow your customers to create new jobs in the Customer Portal you must provide them with the Job Templates you want them to use. You select the Job Templates in the Default Templates section of the Customer Portal Settings page.
To select the Default Templates:
- Go to the Default Templates field and click to display a drop-down list of all available job templates.
- Click to select the template you want.
- Click the +Add button to open a page where you can see the Job Steps and Custom Fields in the template.
- Choose the Job Steps and Custom Fields you want the Customer Portal users to update when they create new jobs. You can choose to make each Job Step or Custom Field:
Hidden, Required, Optional or Read Only.
- Click Update Template Access to save the template settings.
Save the Customer Portal Settings
When you have completed all sections of the Customer Portal Settings page remember to click Save to save your settings.
How does the customer use the Customer Portal?
We have a full section of help articles dedicated to using the customer self-service portal from the point of view of the customer. Click here to go to the Using the Customer Portal section in vWork Help.
Using vWork Assets in the Customer Portal
Please refer to vWork Assets in the Customer Portal to find out how to set up Assets for use in your Customer Portal.
Assets are an optional feature in vWork. To find out more about Assets or discuss your needs with one of the vWork team please send us an email at email@example.com. We'll be in touch to discuss your requirements.