Accountants are urged to embrace new communication channels to heighten the customer experience.
In this competitive, demanding, technology-driven world, accountancy practices are being forced to change the way they do business. In part, this is being led by clients who expect their advisors to always be available, 24/7, and to use, at least the same technology as they do, to run their businesses.
Client’ expectations for connectivity in an ‘always on’ society are being fuelled by what most people carry in their pockets: the smartphone. This device is responsible for a major shift in the way we all prefer to keep in touch and they can connect the user by voice and video to anyone else in the world, be used to look up virtually any fact and create content that has the potential to be promoted and re-broadcast to millions of people.
Increase in mobile take-up is extending choice over how, where and when they communicate
Australia remains one of the leading global adopters of the smartphone and 88 percent of Australians now own one, with market growth being driven by older generations according to the latest Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey – the Australian cut. Consumers and businesses are the beneficiaries of what has become the smartphone space-race. And as device manufacturers compete to outdo one another by launching even smarter features and in-built intelligence, these beloved devices are also becoming essential workplace tools, be it to a tradie, teacher or technician. The smartphone and smart devices are helping to redefine the future of work.
What does this tell us? Clients are increasingly looking to leverage their smartphones for better connection and collaboration and accounting practices should consider opening up their communication channels to connect with clients and prospects by adopting a more personalised approach.
Waves of digital innovation are accelerating, reaching scale faster than ever before—resulting in inevitable disruption, but also creating new opportunities for those who are able to move quickly to take advantage of the disruption according to McKinsey in its paper ‘Digital Australia: Seizing the Opportunity from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.’
The paper advocates that one of the most common failure modes in digital transformation is the inability of organisations to shift ways of working at scale, away from traditional ways of doing business to enable the speed and pace of digitally-enabled innovation. Research by McKinsey’s Organisational Practice shows that the most agile companies have a two times higher chance of above-average performance and the use of real-time data to create personalised customer experiences will have a positive impact on the bottom line of between 15 and 20%.
First step to behaviour-led messaging
Behaviour-Led Messaging and automated client communications heighten the customer experience and are now within the grasp of accounting practices that invest in a digital App platform. This clearly demonstrates, like nothing else can do, that the practice is modern and technologically progressive and committed to putting the accountant at the heart of their clients’ mobile lives.
Automated Client Engagement (ACE), 24/7, provides accountancy practices with a key differentiator in their client service and communication strategies because it provides a personal and unique experience to the App user and the accountant does not have to do anything at all.
It provides the perfect solution to some of the most common communication challenges:
- Struggling to get clients to engage at the right time to give them the right advice
- Value is often lost by having conversations with clients that are not informed
- Accountants are extremely busy and don’t have the time to manage and engage with clients as much as they should
How does it work?
If a client has opened the accountant’s App to work on one of the calculators or has filed a receipt, it automatically sends out a notification from the accountant to the user’s phone, offering further support and details of how to get in touch. The accountant can fully tailor the content of the messages and switch off any notifications that they do not want clients to receive.
The new automated client communication feature ensures that all communications are relevant and includes pre-crafted messages that are designed to drive the right level of contact with clients. Used in this way, digital technology can play an important role in enhancing the client experience.
Increasingly, clients want more digital interaction and they welcome new ways of client communication as they don’t want to wait days for paper documents to arrive in the post or for an email to come through with the answer to a question that could be easily resolved with an instant message or automated response.
Clients expect their advisors to digitally engage with them in the way that they want, need and expect. The shift to mobiles and clients wanting their advisors to employ more instant modes of messaging is one that accountants cannot afford to ignore. Improving the Customer Experience with Digital Technology is all part of the successful Practice’s DNA.
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