Accountancy is a well-established profession that provides an important service. With the clear opportunities this situation presents, also comes challenge. The more essential a service and the bigger the customer base, the more difficult it is to compete.
Expertise, quality, diligence, integrity have to this point been the key ways in which one organisation positively distinguishes itself from another. That’s what a client requires when they use the services of an accountant. These aren’t going away and nor should they, but what does the modern consumer look for beyond these? What do accountancy firms need to acknowledge has changed about today’s customers? The answer? Expectations.
As technology moves quickly, so does the expectation level of a customer. Think of the mobile phone market. In a short period, the expectation of a customer looking for a mobile phone has changed to the point where “making a call” is one of the last things they consider. It’s simply a given and their decision is based on a myriad of alternative features driven by technology.
Is it complacent to suggest that “making a call” is not comparable to the expertise, quality, diligence and integrity of an accountancy practice? Of course these traditional features remain vital, but a mobile phone company adapts to the expectations of its customers in exactly the same way an accountancy firm must.
So where can accountants find competitive advantages to match the rising expectations of their customer base?
As with many other business improvement strategies, the answer lies with technology. What are customers looking for beyond the “given” of a quality product or service? How can accountancy firms improve the business side of their operation? Can these questions be successfully responded to in a financially viable way? They can, in many ways, through Live Chat.
Live Chat is a feature currently used by less than 10 per cent of businesses, but those that are incorporating it, are seeing instant benefits to their services, external customer perception, data analytics and to the size of their customer base. Why? Because Live Chat solves problems by positively reacting to the expectations of the modern consumer. Here’s how…
Customers expect speed of service. They want to visit a website and have their questions answered immediately, not by having to suffer through call centres or unanswered emails. Firms using Live Chat instantly upgrade their customer reaction time compared to those that don’t.
How many customers are accountancy firms losing by having substandard data intelligence on their website visitors? Who is visiting regularly without committing? Where are they based? What questions or problems might they have? Answers to these will often never be known without the intervention of a proactive “can I help?” appearing as they search your site. Once again, imagine one company using Live Chat and another not?
Need to run a call centre as part of your organisation? However large or small it is, the telephone operator can only handle one call at a time. Imagine the capability of a Live Chat operator working on several chats simultaneously, gaining valuable data and insight as they do?
Live Chat not only enhances your customer service and your customer’s experience, it also does it in a way that’s more cost effective than the clunky, traditional models of 90 per cent of other businesses.
It’s time to think beyond the traditional measurements of a successful accountancy practice, it’s time to start thinking of these in the same way a customer does, as a given. It’s time to think about Live Chat.