Accounting and Bookkeeping: The Role of Digital Communication

Paul Aynscough

For accountants across the Asia Pacific, the state of market prospecting and customer engagement is now almost entirely remote and online. The digital transformation of communications is even more critical in the face of the global pandemic. Now and for the foreseeable future.

Only those already prepared with the digital means are able to pivot with minimal disruption to their operations. Many firms stumbled in the beginning, with smaller firms having to drastically reduce their operations to remain COVIDsafe.

Staying up to date with technology also includes the technology their clients are using and how they communicate. Communication technology is usually a lower priority for firms transitioning to cloud software, but it shouldn’t be.

The good news is that 58% of small firms plan on greatly increasing their investment in technology infrastructure. 

The trend continues with 24% of medium-sized and 60% of large firms also planning to increase their spending. As they adopt new technology, there are five principles to keep in mind when moving to a digital communications tool that can significantly help your firm succeed in this new digital chapter.

The five principles of effective digital communications

The following five principles provide a roadmap to creating an effective communications strategy.

Know your customer:

Most databases use basic customer profiles and are often limited to information from their account details (name, address, phone number etc). The information is often either arbitrary or negative.

Comprehensive overviews which include preferred communications channels, previous workflow interactions and smart tags open the potential for radically improved personalisation and insights into each client.

By creating comprehensive client profiles, accountants and bookkeeping firms can pre-empt customer queries and issues and market new product offers, saving time and growing revenue.

Compliance terms and government-mandated guidelines are legally required to be shared with new and existing customers. If the only channel of communication with a client is email and the client’s email has changed, they could miss out on critical information. This is a communications challenge that many professional services operators continue to face.

Understand your value and broadcast it:

What sets your services apart from your competition? Why should a prospect choose your firm over a competitor? Reflecting on these elements will aid in discovering not only how you can establish your value proposition, but also how you can communicate it. 

This could include possessing unique expertise in a specific area of accounting/bookkeeping, providing higher-value strategic services or offering the convenience of flexible operating hours or proximity.

You can appeal to and engage with both existing customers and prospective new clients by marketing your unique value proposition.

Discover your channels:

The channels of digital communication are vast and ever-growing. 

According to US data, baby boomers are increasingly becoming the primary demographic using Facebook. Generation X is exceedingly the highest advocate of email and millennials and the emerging Generation Z are taking up new digital means such as voice search (Siri and Alexa).

To know your audience is to know how to reach them.

Create your follow up the process:

Follow up and reengagement communications are key to increasing the chance of return business. And accountants and Bookkeepers stand to gain from this knowledge.

The challenge is creating an automated yet personalised communications journey where each contact is addressed by name and segmented based on their interactions with your firm.

Gain feedback and enhance your service:

Asking clients how their customer experience was, post-interaction, is one of the key tactics to strengthening your relationship with them and personalising your service.

Using digital communications, you can intelligently intertwine client feedback and expectations with your value offering into a centralised communications journey to target, nurture and convert new prospective clients and upgrade the services you provide to existing clients.

The all-in-one digital solution

The Whispir platform can help you achieve all five principles.

Our multi-channel communications platform empowers accountants and bookkeepers to easily connect and engage customers with our all-in-one solution. It requires little to no excessive development time, coding knowledge or the need to jump between multiple platforms.

Whispir provides:

  • A single platform to manage all communications.
  • Easy-to-build automation/workflows with personalised messages and responses, to engage clients/prospects and propel them along the buyer journey.
  • The ability to maximise revenue by sending scheduled reminders to clients/prospects to attend their appointment or utilise a promotion.

Send out automated reminders for appointments and consultations, collect approval in real-time for action points within your processes, and establish a constant connection to nurture and retain clients.

To find out more about the Whispir platform, sign up for your free trial here.