Relationship with customer is very important to any company. An area where clients can download their invoices or private documents is a convenient way to encourage them to regularly visit your website and build the trust they have in the company.
We recently built a website for a gardener and offered him to give his customers a private area where they could download their invoices, see pictures of the work in progress on their garden, download advices about the daily care to give to vegetables they had, etc.
This setup will apply to most small to medium companies who would like to provide a private area to their customers.
The free version of WP Customer Area natively answer to most of your needs: publish files and / or pages for each of your customers a secure way.
Only two additional add-ons are advised to give your client area a more professional look.
#1 – Authentication Forms
The authentication forms add-on can be used to integrate the login, registration and password recovery forms into the private area. The free plugin simply uses the WordPress back office to handle this process. This add-on made the customer area look well integrated in the website, without the customers ever having to access the WordPress back-office.
#2 – Notifications
The notifications add-on is an excellent unit for upgrading your customer area: not only a customer will receive an email whenever a new content will be available for him (invoices, quotes, photos, etc.) but the manager of the company will also be informed by e-mail when a user downloads its files for the first time: your customers will no longer be able to say they did not received your bill!
#3 – Additional owner types
You may need at some point of time to publish content for all your users. Think maybe of your terms and conditions, a brochure of your products with prices (whereas the public brochure would not contain prices), etc.
The additional owner types add-on will allow you to do that easily.
#4 – Advanced search
Your best clients will some day have a lot of invoices, documentation, and more generally speaking, private content. Why not offering them a convenient way to find what they are looking for with an advanced search form provided by the search add-on?
As web designers, we clearly saw the gain of setting up this area quickly in a day, compared to having to develop our own integration of 3 or 4 free plugins and make them work together.