Accounting might seem like a numbers business. But you know that your firm’s actually in the people business. The way you talk with your clients and how your services make them feel is front and centre of becoming a top-class accounting firm.
So, how do you give that client experience a boost and make it as slick, seamless and sexy as possible?
Here are three top hacks for giving your client experience a good spring clean.
1. Use plain English to communicate with your clients
Your clients are probably not accounting experts. They know how to run their business, read their sales numbers and make good decisions, but sometimes they don't understand the technical language, tax regulations and jargon you use.
In other words, accounting is confusing!
The art is to make accounting and tax compliance sound less of a headache. Your clients are intelligent, entrepreneurial people, they just want you to tell it how it is, so they get a better handle on what’s going on with their accounts, cash flow, revenues and profit margins.
To make this work:
- Talk in plain English and lose the jargon – it’s tempting to talk in jargon and abbreviations (there’s plenty of technical chat in the industry, after all). But most business owners would be happier if you talk straight and just leave the jargon at the door. It’s easier to understand their numbers, collaborate with you and get value from your advice if the client actually knows what you’re talking about.
- Make your instructions as easy as pie – ditch the formal language and make your forms, online docs and client instructions as easy to read as possible. Forget about long, wordy instructions. Tell the client what you need them to do, and make the whole process simple. Write like you speak, and you’ll get it about right.
- Walk it as you talk it – clients love it when you cut out the ‘professional language’ and act natural. Talk and write like you would when sitting down for a coffee with the client. Keep it informal, light and easy to understand. It’s great for helping the client get more from your advice and for getting to know your clients as people.
2. Make your client processes easy as ABC
One of the biggest barriers to a great client experience is a bad process. If you put too many hurdles in the way, your clients are gonna fall at the first fence. Remember, your clients are busy business people who want you to make their lives easier, not harder. So, think about your engagement processes and make them as simple as you possibly can.
You’ve got a tonne of different practice tools in your firm’s app stack. But they’re usually there to make YOUR life easier and can end up making life harder for the client. Getting sent emails, reminders and notifications every minute of the working day gets frustrating really quickly.
To keep everything straightforward:
- Keep your processes as simple as you can – make simplicity your goal, and you won’t go far wrong. Throw out the complexity, keep those processes lean and minimise the hurdles. When you keep things like BAS returns, expenses and tax forms simple, you get rid of the frustrations and take some of the workload off your client.
- Have one centralised checklist for all client deliverables – don’t send 20 separate emails every quarter asking the client for more info. Have a template with every client task and deliverable you need and send it once. That way, the client gets one request with a super clear checklist for them to work through in their own time.
- Help them get you the right information at the right time – ease the pressure on the client and tell them exactly when you need each document, bank statement or expense receipt. That means no more giant rush at quarter or year-end. Clients can send you the info you need, at the right time, without all the stress and hassle.
3. Centralise your client comms in one cloud platform
Who has time for emails? Your business clients probably have enough going on in their inboxes without you adding to the unread emails. Make your client contact count by moving all your client interactions and document chasing to a centralised online hub, like Content Snare.
We know how much hard work it can be to get the right docs and info out of your clients. With some, it really can be like getting blood out of a stone. But by having one online point of truth, you can chat, send direct messages and make those requests easier to action.
To get the best from your comms:
- Stop clogging up clients’ inboxes with emails – not every query or request needs to be an email. If you’re trigger-happy with your client emails, this can become a royal pain for the client. Less is definitely more when it comes to emails ping-ponging to and fro.
- Move your comms to a centralised online hub – don’t send an email when a simple direct message through your online hub would be easier. Clients find it way less hassle to send a quick DM with the answer or to upload the file you’re looking for. And because the whole thing’s centralised, you know exactly where all your files and data will be.
- Make it easier to work together and collaborate – keeping everything lean and streamlined is what gets results. Forget about complex client processes, boring wording and harassing your client for a missing bank statement. Have the whole engagement templated out and ready to roll, and send one request at the start of the job.
Content Snare: putting the simplicity in your client comms
Switching to Content Snare is the quickest and simplest way to turbocharge your client experience. Having one online hub for all your client requests and comms is an absolute game-changer. Clients love the simplicity, you’ll love the efficiency. And we guarantee you’ll save yourself hours of chasing, emailing and patching up damaged client relationships.
Content Snare will:
- Automate the collection of all the information you need to complete a job
- Keep all your client files, docs and data in one helpful online hub
- Make it easy to chat, send requests and collaborate with your clients.
Switch to Content Snare and put a healthy shine on your firm’s client experience.