Technology Can Build Better Customer Relationships

By Brian Hamilton

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JULY 2005 - CPAs can use the time saved by automation of rote tasks to deepen client relationships. According to recent studies in the accounting profession, up to 70% of business owners view their accountant as their most important advisor. Yet, according to a Rockefeller study, in a survey that asked business clients why they switched CPA firms, an astonishing 61% said it was because they thought the CPA “did not care” about them or their business. Only 6% left because of price considerations, and only 4% left because of lack of service.

There are practical ways that accountants can use technology to advance their practices and deepen customer relationships:

Use technology tools to contact clients more often and in more meaningful ways. Even simple and common systems like ACT and Salesforce.com can be a huge help in managing contacts and prospect lists. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are typically easy to use and inexpensive. Notes can be made for each account, and accounts can be grouped by priority.

Produce reports and information that are of tangible value to your clients. Advisors should help businesses understand their financial information. Intuit offers a subscription-based product (www.expertanalysis.net) that enables the user to produce financial analysis reports in plain and easy-to-understand language.

Regulatory compliance. Accountants can leverage their unique knowledge by using technology-based compliance tools to help deepen client relationships.


Brian Hamilton is CEO and leader of the management team for Sageworks, Inc., the company that develops ProfitCents (www.profitcents.com), an application that aids accountants in communicating with clients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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