What Is Customer Experience in the Accounting World?

With customer experience (CX) being emphasized as a driver of success, businesses across the industries shouldn’t sleep or pass on the opportunity to make the most of it. Differentiated from customer service which resolves issues, helps solve customer issues and offer advice, CX represents the accurate perception of the interactions customers have with your company. It’s a real competitive advantage that can attract loyal clients and boost revenue when leveraged to the maximum. 

 

Occurring from the very first touchpoint with your firm up until the last minute of the interaction, CX ensures that the customer journey is as seamless as possible. This is particularly relevant to the accounting realm where technological innovations tend to automate the tasks of accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers like data entry. When the ‘wow’ element in accounting is lost, focusing on providing the best customer experience helps bring it back. 

 

To connect with your customers beyond helping to manage debits and credits, consider reevaluating how you approach the following activities:

1. Collecting and analyzing data

Gaining clear insight into the collected data isn’t just about analyzing the performance of a company. It’s also about observing what areas from the entire data collection process are contributing to engagement and a satisfactory customer experience. When the customer has a positive perception of his experience with the help of your services, they are more likely to use it to make more informed business decisions. 

 

An efficient data analysis system is instrumental to meeting your customers’ needs. Although the connection might seem indirect at first, systemizing the inflow of accounting data guarantees a happy repeat customer. 

2. Streamlining billing and invoicing

No one likes to deal with the complexity of payments. If a customer notices that the accounting firm they are doing business with isn’t being efficient with billing and invoicing, they may quickly switch to another company. This is because when money is on the line, customers are typically less forgiving of mistakes that companies make. 

 

To avoid disappointing those who keep you in business, you should be the example and  streamline the payment process of sending and receiving the financial documents. This way, you’re minimizing the number of miscalculations and other errors that would cost you time, money, and the customer.         

3. Ensuring data privacy        

Research by Salesforce found that 46% of customers feel like they don’t have control over their personal data anymore. The more clients become concerned with how their data is handled by companies they purchase from, the higher the pressure on businesses to be transparent about their customer data usage. In accounting, the question of data privacy is of utmost concern. 

 

Since web transactions are prone to hacking, companies should focus on adopting accounting software that guarantees the security of customer data. This will help prevent customers’ identities and money from being stolen and a terrible customer experience from driving clients away from you.       

4. Expanding advisory services 

It’s difficult to improve customer retention if your customer experience is lacking. To remain competitive on the market with an abundance of accounting, bookkeeping and tax firms, you should invest in offering the CFO & advisory services you can provide in addition to the quality accounting services you do now. (if you aren’t already). With the global accounting services market forecasted to reach $735.94 billion in 2025, it’s only fair to expect this to be a competitive advantage that will make you stand out. 

 

Besides, offering advice to business owners who often feel in the dark when navigating their financials leads to happy clients and a satisfactory customer experience. Whether you focus on coaching your clients on when to purchase assets or giving a fresh perspective on the old ways they’re handling their finances, you’re likely to get positive feedback. 

5. Onboarding clients

One of the most overlooked areas for improving customer experience is paying more attention to onboarding clients. This process helps both parties determine the first steps of the collaboration and what information would make it as smooth as possible. 

 

To ensure that the onboarding process meets the customer’s needs as much as the goals of the accounting firm, you should have a predefined scope checklist in place. Featuring statements like ‘add the client to the newsletter’, ‘schedule a follow-up a week after the initial meeting’, and ‘get documentation from the client’, it acts as a guiding tool that ensures that the needs of both the business and the customer are fully met.      

6. Providing omni-channel communication

A multichannel approach to customers is key to building strong customer relationships. It empowers customer service staff to use various messaging platforms to reach the customer and provide him with a solution. There are also several more ways to enhance communication with clients for an optimal customer experience:

 

  • Ensure that the customers’ files are stored securely 
  • Schedule an automatic request reminder system for following up with customers 
  • Offer a digital portal that makes uploading files quick and easy 

 

When every communication element is in check, you’re bound to improve your customer satisfaction score as well as your Net Promoter Score. It might not be an instant hit — there’s no one-size-fits-all solution — but with time, you’ll get a gist of what communication channels your customers prefer and be able to cater to them accordingly.    

 

In short, at least consider responding in kind, which is to say reaching back using the same medium originally used by the customer such as a call for call, text with text, email with an email.

7. Offering self-service tools

Automating customer service isn’t just an option — it’s a necessity. Although you don’t have to have an automation-based solution to every step of the customer service you provide, it takes some weight off of you when you allow customers to figure things out on their own. Besides, 67% of customers prefer to use self-service tools instead of talking to a customer service agent. 

 

Chances are, you already have a comprehensive FAQ page on your website where your customers can find answers to the most commonly asked questions. But you can take it a step further and start a blog with more in-depth information on the topics that are relevant to your clients. The best part is that it’s available 24/7, and there are no hidden costs involved. 

Wrapping up

Remaining flexible when offering customer service is an underestimated but determining factor in whether or not the customer experience your customers get is up to par with their ever-changing expectations. With technology enabling the automation of many tasks, business owners can now rely on software to help keep customer data safe and transactions secure.  For more information, attend this webinar dedicated to helping accounting professionals utilize effective client retention management (CRM) systems and more.  Register NOW!

 

Polish your customer management strategy and be willing to tweak it if the demand calls for it. This way, you’ll be able to stay competitive and boost your customer retention rate like never before. 

6 Habits To Retain Clients

Successful Bookkeeper and Accounting PracticeClient retention is a principle that is often overlooked or underestimated, but it’s vital for the healthy success of any business. If you are a small business or an independent accountant this can be especially true and critical. The smaller you are, the more important client retention will be for you.

Maintaining good client relations will mean profit in the long run and, surprisingly, bring you new business. We can help you spot trouble in retaining your own clients and help you form better habits for maximum client retention.

  1. Assess Needs – From the earliest stages it is critically important to understand the needs of your client. You must resist the urge to assume you know what is best for them or to give them the same packages or options as other clients. Figure out individual needs first, then do what you can to meet them.
  2. Get Personal – Taking some time to get to know your clients builds a more lasting relationship, and don’t forget to let them get to know you too. Share small snippets of your life and leave some time for small talk when possible. Let them see you’re a real person, and that you know they’re real people too.
  3. Be Prompt – Create habits of fast response and punctuality. Respond to calls and emails as quickly as possible. If you make an appointment for a meeting or call, commit to it and be on time. You are creating a reliability that keeps your client trusting you.
  4. Reward Loyalty – Rewarding clients who stick around is a great way to keep them sticking around. It fosters more enduring loyalty and will definitely be shared to attract new clients.
  5. Check the Temperature – Frequently check the happiness and needs of your clients. This can be done via email, surveys, or regular phone calls to check in. Allow them opportunities to give you constructive feedback, and then do your best to make necessary changes.
  6. Communicate – It’s important to keep your client posted on what you’re doing. Most Americans would say that they prefer to be informed about what services they are getting, so let them know when you make a decision for their business or get good news about a financial or legal matter that concerns them. When they feel like you’re honest and informative, they’ll stick around.

Can you see any weaknesses in your own business? Adopt as many of these habits as you can for your small business and soon your new clients will be lifelong assets. It’s time for you to become an Accountrepreneur.

 

How To Become A Growth & Profit Expert

Growth & Profit – the buzzwords to make any businessman start salivating. Growth and profit are the left and right hands of any successful business, yet they can be elusive or confusing. How do I create sustainable growth? Can I maximize my profits without changing my processes? How can I create a business plan that can get me where I want to go in a year or five years?

Or maybe you are a seasoned business expert, ready to move beyond the everyday administration of your company in favor of passing along vital knowledge and creating greater value. There is a huge need for business coaching and consultation – but not from just anyone. What businesses need now are Profit & Growth Experts.

What is a Growth & Profit Expert?

More than just a business coach or generic consultant, a Growth & Profit Expert is specifically trained and certified to provide greater value and increased profits for clients.

Profit & Growth Experts are businessmen and women who have learned a lot through their own experience and want to share it with others. They work side-by-side with clients to create plans for manageable growth, yearly goals, and profit increases.

A Profit & Growth Expert can offer services alongside normal bookkeeping or accounting, adding increased value to clients and increasing their own earnings through the advanced certification.

How To Become a Profit & Growth Experts

Becoming a Profit & Growth Expert is a fast, affordable, and easy way. You can become a Profit & Growth Expert without taking time off of work, without traveling, and without set class times. Universal Accounting offers Certified Value Builder Training completely online, at your own pace. The tuition involves a competitive payment plan and even scholarships.

UAC Value Builder CertificationCertified Value Builder training is only 16 hours of instruction – all on your own schedule.  You can complete it all from your couch on your own time, while continuing all your normal work activities. Becoming a Profit & Growth Expert can happen quickly, and as you offer your regular services to your clients. In turn, once certified, you can begin offering your clients more intensive Profit & Growth consulting that can change their business in a meaningful way. Simultaneously, your value increases as you become a Profit & Growth Expert.

If you’re ready to offer more, or looking for ways to increase your value to your clients or potential customers – it’s time to consider Certified Value Builder Training.

 

5 How To Build A Client Pool

Your client pool is your lifeblood. Without a strong client pool your business will always operate under the stress of needing more. Instead, a strong and ever-growing client pool takes your business into the black with ferocity. Unfortunately, many small accounting or bookkeeping firms struggle to maintain and build a client pool that will meet their needs. Today we can show you some principles for building a strong client pool for your small business.

5 How To Build A Client Pool

  1. Start With What You Have. If you fail to take care of the clients you have right now, your client pool may shrink to a puddle. Meet your client’s every need. Improve your service and ask what you can do better. It’s time to create a strong reputation. Give surveys and regularly check in with each of your clients for satisfaction guarantees.
  2. Increase Referrals. Your existing client pool is your best source for new business. Their referrals carry more weight than any advertisements. Create incentives for your clients to refer their friends or to share information about your business. Of course, this only works if you’ve successfully tackled Step One. Simply enjoying the services you offer and trusting you is the best possible chance for a referral.
  3. Diversify. It can be risky to build a client pool of homogenous groups. Instead, use your current client pool to identify the groups you are missing. You can target other types of entrepreneurs, small businesses, corporations, and more. That way economics, seasonal swings, or industry shifts can protect your business.
  4. Increase Your Presence. Show up online, in print, in advertisements, and in community spaces. When you are more present, more potential clients have the opportunity to find you. Create social media accounts, consider online marketing, and place ads where possible. You may also consider volunteering with business organizations or charities.
  5. Treat All Equally. Small potential clients and big, old customers and new. Treating each individual with high potential and quality will help you build trust and attract new clients. Building your reputation is critical for building your client pool. Be willing to customize your approach for individuals.

Finally, none of these steps are quick fixes. They work best when you set aside time each week to dedicate to growing and retaining your client pool. If you are still struggling to grow a client pool for your accounting business, Universal Accounting School offers a guaranteed success path to a vital client pool and increased revenue.

 

Two Major Keys To Success In Accounting

Universal Structured Power Coaching, Coach FeedbackAs you pursue your career in accounting, there are so many paths to take. You may want to own your own firm one day. Find a promotion. Land a big raise. Regardless of your goals, there are some basic keys to your success in the field of accounting, and every single successful accountant can boast of these characteristics. You can do well with one or the other, but only together do they cooperate for success and freedom in your accounting future.

First you should take some time to address where you are now. Are you a beginner? Experienced? Expert? What are your future goals in your career of accounting? Are these goals available to you at the current time or will you need a big change to achieve your goals? You need some clarity for what you want before you can fully develop these traits. Then when you’re ready you can begin working on these two critical keys to success in accounting.

Competence

The primary key to success in accounting is of course competence. You must be good at your job. You need to be able to work efficiently, meet deadlines, think critically, and make effective decisions for your company or clients. You can begin working on your competence by reviewing your strengths and weaknesses in your current accounting position. Identify ways to strengthen your weaknesses and to display your strengths. Universal Accounting courses are available to bolster your accounting skills to maximize profits for yourself and your clients.

Confidence

This trait is by far the most lacking in the business of accounting. Most accountants believe that their work will do the talking, and that confidence is a trait for salesmen and athletes. If you do your job right you’ll have success right? Maybe. But the only way to truly guarantee success in your accounting career is to pair competence with confidence. Display your skills and speak up. Share your confidence with your superiors and clients. Believe that you can find creative solutions to any accounting problem, and that any endeavor you assume will be successful. Confidence transforms a mediocre accountant to a star accountant. Clients and firms will be attracted to your confidence and find more value in your efforts.

Are you lacking in competence? Feeling less-than-confident? Universal Accounting School is here to help. We offer courses and materials to help you flesh out both traits in your accounting life. You can become any accountant you want – we can make you a successful one.  Now is the time to become a Profit & Growth Expert and then a successful Accountrepreneur.

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