View Should I learn how to build portals
To portal or not to portal… that is the question
This question is an Excellent one and my answer (read opinion) is fairly straight forward:
First - Portals are an incredibly powerful marketing tool - and can increase your business without any real or significant cost - So I DO absolutely recommend that Hudson clients offer as many of these as possible to their corporate clients. They are a marketing advantage over your competitors and ensure that as the business use of the Internet grows, your company stays on the leading edge. The Hudson clients that are growing the fastest year over year, are aggressively taking advantage of the Portals as well as our other web-based technologies. Plus, reservations made on line, cost much less for you to take than those that come in over the phone and require staff intervention.
Secondly - Do YOU specifically really need to learn how to build these? Were I in your situation, I would want to have as much knowledge about my system and how to use it as possible. I also realize that most business owners have a million other things to manage in their business daily and cant afford to spend a lot of time creating portals for prospects. These same people may also not be inclined to learn about web sites, HTML, etc. Finding a balance is probably the best. (Caveat: If you have any sales staff, they should absolutely, positively learn how to build portals - this will be one of their greatest sales tools!)
Here is my recommendation: Take a little more time to learn about portals and how they are constructed - with the intent to see mostly “WHAT” can be done, but perhaps not necessarily “HOW” to do it. This will let you know what your tool is capable of doing for you. After you have a good feel for this, then have Hudson do most of the regular work for you. When the need arises though for you to go in and make a change to a client portal, or if you need to create one immediately or on an ASAP basis, then you wont have to rely on Hudson’s response time.
We can setup generic portal “templates” that you can then use to make quick and simple portals on a regular basis. For example: Lets say you plan on starting to really market to the hotels and motels in your area. We can create a Hotel Portal Template (Hudson calls it a Macro) with all of your default Hotel settings, colors, Tokens, etc. When you have a new Hotel prospect and need a portal created, you can do the profile in the local system and upload it (along with any rules / discounts). You then go to the web site and make a copy of the template using a simple copy / paste function. You upload an image or logo. You are then done. With this approach (which is popular) you can have a portal done in 15 minutes or less. The portal process is taking you a long time this week, because you have just learned it and have only done one or 2. Once you have done 10 of them, you will be a lot faster….just like it was when you began entering reservations into a new software system. Repetition leads to increased speed and efficiency.
Remember the adage: “Give a woman a fish- feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish, feed her for life!”