This past year has been a wild ride for business owners … and their accountants. If you fall into the majority, your firm probably went remote at some point in 2020. Maybe you’re still remote. If so, it never hurts to find new ways to connect with your clients. Five ways to connect with clients while remote
The current remote era brought on a lot of challenges, especially for accountants and clients who were used to (and maybe preferred) in-person meetings. Use these five tips to successfully connect and communicate with your clients from a distance.
1. Offer a variety of communication channels
Your clients see you as their advisor. They trust your expert advice. So when it comes to being a remote accountant, you have to be available to your clients in more ways than one. That way, your clients can reach you whenever a question arises or they need your opinion.
To communicate with your clients, consider using the following communication channels:
- Video call (e.g., Zoom)
- Text messaging
- Phone call
- Screen sharing
- Messaging software (e.g., Slack)
The more options you give your clients to reach you, the more you can assist them with their accounting questions and put their minds at ease. If you haven’t already, let clients know all the different ways they can reach you. Remind them that you’re there for them during this chaotic time.
2. Utilize a calendar to schedule meetings with clients
Staying organized is oh-so-important for accountants—especially if you’re responsible for juggling numerous clients. To help keep appointments organized and make scheduling appointments easier than ever for your clients, consider utilizing a calendar system or software.
Using a calendar can help you streamline the way you set up appointments with clients. Software calendar options allow you to send a link to your clients so they can book their own appointment. That way, you or your clients don’t have to worry about going back and forth to schedule a meeting.
A calendar can also organize your appointments and send you reminders. That way, you can always be prepared and organized before you connect with your clients.
3. Consistently check in with your clients
Sure, your clients will reach out to you when they have questions or want to set up a meeting. But, working with your clients is a two-way street. And sometimes, your clients may appreciate you checking in without them having to make them first move.
To build a strong connection with your clients while remote, consistently check in on them. If you don’t hear from them after a certain period of time (e.g., a month), shoot them an email or text to reassure them that you’re there if they need you.
Checking in with your clients shows them that you truly care about them and their needs. Not to mention, it can make you stand out and build a strong relationship with your clients.
4. Add touches of personalization
Personalization is big in marketing and business. But, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be big in accounting, too. Add touches of personalization here and there to really make your clients feel appreciated and special while working remote.
So, how can your firm personalize the accounting experience for its clients? Here are just a few ways you can spice things up:
- Send handwritten thank-you notes: “Thank you for being a loyal client.”
- Personalized emails: “Check out this article. I thought of your business when I read it.”
- Send reminders: “Don’t forget to gather documents for your PPP loan.”
You can also use personalization to remind clients of new coronavirus legislation, like the American Rescue Plan, and relief rules they need to follow.
A little personalization goes a long way when it comes to connecting with your clients, so don’t be afraid to customize messages and emails to your clients.
5. Make things easier by using the cloud
Last but certainly not least, to keep you and your clients on the same page, consider switching your client(s) to the cloud, if possible. Well, cloud accounting software, that is.
Cloud, or online, accounting software makes it easy for you and your clients to be on the same page. Online accounting software can make it a breeze to share information (e.g., accounting reports) in real-time with your clients.
With online accounting software, you can streamline your clients’ books and keep important accounting records secure, easy-to-access, and organized. Be sure to discuss the benefits of cloud accounting software with your clients.