We’re living in a digital world…
- Instant online purchases with same-day delivery
- Crystal clear video calls to anywhere in the world with an internet connection
- Digital currencies being accepted online
… and the accounting industry is no stranger to this digital disruption.
Where clients would once bring in boxes of invoices and receipts throughout the year, they can now scan them in or take pictures on their smartphone from the comfort of their own offices.
And where they might normally come in to sign and review something, now it can be sent via portal and signed electronically.
Whilst the above examples can have certain efficiency benefits for your practice, they can also pose a challenge…
And that challenge is how to maintain a ‘human touch’ in a digital accounting world.
You see when the human touch starts to fizzle out, that’s when clients begin to feel unhappy and the relationship starts to weaken.
So how can you increase the number of human touch points in a digital accounting world in order to protect and build your client relationships?
1. Regular Client Communication
One of the easiest ways to increase the number of human touch points is to systemise client courtesy calls.
Have your client care managers, or whoever is responsible for your clients give them a call every quarter or 6-months depending on their service level, simply to touch base and find out how they’re getting on, if they’ve got any queries or questions and if there’s anything else you can help them with.
Not only will this count as a touch point, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to see how else you can help them.
If that’s you making these calls at this stage of the game, that’s fine. However ideally you want to start delegating some of this responsibility.
By regularly touching base you’ll not only get honest feedback to help make your service even better, but you’ll also show consideration of your clients’ needs on more personal level.
2. Offer More Advisory-Based Services
With all of the advances in technology and automation, compliance work is losing its human touch more than anything.
So, one of the ways to increase human contact with your clients is to start offering more advisory-based services.
A few examples could be:
- Monthly Management Accounts
- Benchmarking and regular review meetings
- Coaching and Accountability Sessions
These additional services not only increase the human touch points, they also offer real value to your clients’ lives.
Not only that, by increasing the service offering of your accountancy practice you will be taking a huge step towards securing its future survival as well as developing a stronger and more trusting relationship with your clients.
3. Differentiate your communication
Putting a little more effort into everyday communication can have a big impact when it comes to your clients.
Let’s look at emails for an example.
They are one of the most effective means of communication.
But the problem is, there’s very little personal touch to an email. Anyone can send one on behalf of another.
One example of differentiating your communication would be to send a video.
Screen recording software such as Loom can help you convey the message of an email, with the added bonus of you sharing your screen (e.g. to demonstrate something) and a video of yourself, adding an extra personal touch.
When responding to client emails I often attach a short video from myself with a simple “Hey it’s Rudi, just checking in…” or even explaining or answering a query that I may have received.
Keep In Touch
You can have the most up-to-date systems, the latest technology and best staff but if your clients don’t feel looked after your business won’t flourish.
Teddy Roosevelt once said that “people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care”.
Do your clients know how much you truly care about them and their businesses?