web site account setup and password reset service

We have a typical website that our customers use to order products that we sell. We're not retail, so pricing varies per customer. We require them to log in with a user name and password to see pricing and to place orders. The designers of the site were focused on interfacing with our back end system, so they did not build in any kind of self-service web app for the customer to create an account or to reset their password. My concern is that we are losing business as our customers change employees, forget passwords, etc. Right now, they have to call or email us to get these problems taken care of, which is quite inconvenient for the customer (and we all know customers really really like convenience).

What I'm hoping to find is a "third party" service that can handle this and that someone can direct me to one.

It seems that most of web sites handle this the same way. You enter your email address, click the "I forgot my password" link, maybe answer some questions like "mother's maiden name", etc. and you get the password (or a password reset link) emailed to you.

I understand that it would require some serious programming to interface with our current web site, but I think just handling it all via email would work for us. For instance, customer clicks "forgot password" link, enters their info, we get the request here as an email, the customer gets a nicely worded email saying we will get back to them asap. We make the password changes on our backend ordering system, then email the customer (or click a link in the email) saying they're good to go. The only change we'd need to our web site would be adding "set up an account" and "password reset" links, which would both go to apps on the third-party site.
tkerschenAsked:
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Greg HejlPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
I suggest that you research and hire a development firm to make professional changes to your website.

start your search local, in your town.  then expand to the closest city.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
This sounds like you want to outsource your customer service.  Rather than doing that, why not just have programmers create the necessary automation and pay once instead of paying a fee over and over again?

Besides, why on earth would you want passwords being sent to a third party?  You need to treat your user accounts like they are the most precious things in the universe which means being able to see the passwords or have them sent in plain text via email is a big no-no to say nothing of exposing the account data to a third party.

That's why you see so many sites using a security challenge (personal question) combined with a password reset link.  Fewer and fewer sites will send a password in the clear via email.
tkerschenAuthor Commented:
OK, maybe outsourcing it is a bad idea. What about buying a template done up in mySQL or something? Seems like reinventing the wheel having this done every time someone designs a web site with logins and passwords, no? I was hoping someone might have already dreamed this one up and is selling it, but I just can't find it.
Greg HejlPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
You can't find it because developers have to 'plug in' the template you are looking for into your system.

every piece of code requires a bit of customization to fit the client - email servers, users, backend access, etc.
Jason C. LevineDon't talk to me.Commented:
>> I was hoping someone might have already dreamed this one up and is selling it, but I just
>> can't find it.

They have, but it is usually integrated into the whole CMS package or whatever else they are selling.  It's not a feature that's saleable on its own...it should be integrated with the cart or CMS or whatever.  Because you are approaching the development backwards, you're having a hard time finding things.

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