How to Use Online Tools to Nurture Your Post-Pandemic Relationships with Your Clients
Like any service-based business, clients are your lifeblood. Accounting firms rely on their clients, and one of the most important aspects of your work is nurturing the relationships with your existing clients, as well as with your potential clients. This was always the case, but since COVID-19 entered our lives and face-to-face communication became much more difficult, and sometimes even impossible, this aspect of an accounting firm’s work has become more crucial than ever.
If maintaining client relationships came somewhat naturally before COVID-19, nowadays this is something you need to really work on and make sure you don’t neglect. Luckily there are various online tools you can utilise to do that.
Here are 4 channels through which you can digitally engage with your existing and future clients:
Email Marketing Automation
You need email marketing because it is both cost effective and great for conversion. This is why 81% of small businesses rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention.
You can use email to promote your accounting services and to maintain and build up relationships with your clients by sending them reminders, keeping them up to date and other aspects.
Email marketing will also allow you to reach out to potential customers. You should use email marketing as part of your overall digital marketing strategy and automate it as much as possible to save you and your staff time and boost your efficiency. There are plenty of apps that can help you automate emails, so launching this aspect of your marketing is going to be relatively easy.
For example, you can automate pre-appointment reminders, or send reminders to your clients to organise their paperwork ahead of tax season. You can automate a welcome email to your new customers. Showing clients you care about them by letting them know you’re looking forward to meeting them, and including some useful information, will inspire loyalty and increase your client retention rate. Remember, welcome emails have an average open rate of 82% so this should definitely be part of your regular activities!
These are just a few examples of what you can do with automated email marketing and how it can help your business grow, so you should really consider integrating it into your marketing.
If using a CRM system was optional before the pandemic, now it is crucial for any accountancy firm. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it is a digital solution for managing your firm’s customer interactions. You need to select CRM software carefully and one that’s right for accountants since there are many CRM systems on the market.
As an accounting firm, you provide services, which means customer relationships are everything, and your CRM should reflect that. If you’re a small or medium-size accountancy firm, you will need a CRM system that specifically caters for smaller professional service businesses.
The CRM system you choose needs to ensure you can automate every step of your interactions with your clients, from prospect to payment, and from acquiring new leads to invoicing clients. You want all your prospects and customer data in front of you and to be able to easily manage and nurture these precious relationships. Since we are living in a time of less face-to-face contact, CRM is more important than ever in order to give your accountancy firm a competitive edge.
Your CRM system must be able to integrate staff, clients, work, billing and invoicing, and make sure every team member has access to client information in real-time. It will free up a lot of your time as well as that of your staff and will ensure none of the many critical elements of your operations is forgotten or neglected. The CRM system will show the schedules of everyone at your firm and will your work much more efficient by increasing the capability to answer clients quicker and give them better service. Your CRM system can sync all your contacts, emails and your calendar, which will allow smooth and efficient communication with your clients.
Since COVID-19 started, many more people are spending time at home, and specifically on social media, which is why that is the ideal place for you to connect with your clients and prospects. Not all social media channels are going to be suitable for accountants. Since the business isn’t especially visual, Instagram may not be the most effective channel for your company, while TikTok is more of a singing and dancing type of medium. The social media platforms that are likely to be of the most use for accountants are likely to be Facebook and LinkedIn.
Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform and 56% of people visit it to get information. Meanwhile, LinkedIn was voted the most trusted network in 2020, according to Business Insider, with more than 722 million active users in 200 countries and regions. In addition, over 46% of all social media traffic to company websites comes from LinkedIn. So, it’s important that you have a social presence and post consistently on those two platforms. You can post text or videos (short videos explaining accounting basics are very effective and popular) and use your professional expertise to connect with your audience.
You should also consider joining professional groups on those platforms, as well as investing some of your marketing budget on Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. Facebook Ads especially are great for creating brand awareness.
Much more communication with clients is being carried out online, and communicating effectively and professionally means that you need to look and sound your best when meeting with clients online. In order to reach that goal, you should invest in high-quality equipment, with a good microphone so that the sound is high and a good camera.
It also means investing in a high-level Internet package, so that the connection isn’t slow and definitely should not drop in the middle of your critical business meetings. And it is worth doing some online research into how to light the room correctly for video chats.
All of these elements are important for meetings with your clients, and especially for first-time meetings. If the first impression you are making on a new client or a prospect is online, it needs to be just as good, pleasant, and professional as if you were meeting face-to-face.
for your business
(not anybody else’s)