In Part Two of our series on the main IT challenges faced by accountancy firms, we looked at the importance of assessing and implementing the right technology based on the current and future needs of your firm. In Part Three, we take a closer look at how and why the right IT strategy will help your team provide even greater levels of customer service excellence.
Why is customer service so important?
Customer service is what differentiates your firm from any other. There will always be another firm willing to undercut you in terms of pricing, but the majority of businesses are looking for more out of their accountants than just low costs.
To encourage client retention, you need to work on the human element. This begins with making sure your clients feel that you understand them and their unique situation, so they can trust that you are providing them with the right solutions for their specific requirements.
In the increasingly machine-driven world, we are in, there are many reports and studies showing that most people still want to enjoy human interaction. We certainly see this in the IT sector where people assume that technical know-how comes as standard, but our company stands out because of our high levels of customer service.
The right technology can improve customer service
Installing the right technology will give your firm the ability to make interactions as seamless as possible. This is essential in an industry where service delivery is valued so highly. One report, albeit for the law sector, found that 95% of businesses list service delivery as the most important element when choosing a legal firm, with only 4% citing cost as the major factor.
You will understand this from those situations where you are the customer or client. If a brand’s staff go out of their way to make you feel valued, you are more likely to become a repeat customer to that company than to another company that sold the same products or services but didn’t offer any kind of personal engagement.
By providing your fee earners with the right tools, they can spend less time on menial tasks and more time utilising their training and experience to concentrate on communicating with clients, making your customers feel valued, and giving them sound advice, building up and encouraging loyalty to your firm.
Large accountancy firms already understand this and are getting ahead of the smaller firms. Research has discovered that 86% of firms have taken steps to integrate their mobile and digital data in order to improve customer experience and communications. Tolerance for slower paper-based delivery is getting less and less, so for a chance to succeed in a competitive market, all accountancy firms need to implement effective technology solutions.
In the last part of our series on the IT challenges faced by accountancy firms, we will look at how automation can help your fee earners provide a better service.