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10 tips to create a good client experience while working remotely

9th May 2024
Brought to you by
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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In today's fast-paced world, the accounting landscape is continuously evolving, with remote work becoming the norm over the last couple of years. For accountants and their practices, delivering excellent client experiences remotely is not just a choice but a necessity. While traditional face-to-face interactions may have diminished, there are still ample opportunities to provide exceptional service, even in a virtual setting.  

Let's delve into 10 simple yet effective strategies to ensure a positive client experience while working remotely: 

1. Clear communication channels 

Establishing clear communication channels is vital in remote work setups. Ensure your clients know the best ways to reach you – email, phone, or video conferencing platforms. Respond promptly to enquiries and set response time expectations. Regularly update your clients on project statuses, upcoming deadlines, and any changes in your processes that may affect them. 

2. Use technology wisely 

Leverage technology to streamline processes and enhance client communication. Invest in secure cloud-based accounting software that allows real-time collaboration and sharing of financial data. Video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams can facilitate face-to-face meetings, fostering a more personal connection with your clients. 

Tip: Adopt practice management software, like BrightManager, which provides an online client portal. This will allow your clients to easily provide you with requested information, check their tax liabilities, and e-sign documents.  

3. Personalised service 

Despite the virtual barrier, strive to provide a personalised service to each client. Take the time to understand their unique needs, goals, and challenges. You can do this by having regular virtual check-ins. Ask them how they’re doing on a personal level as well as how business is going. This will provide you with a multifaceted view of their goals and finances, so you can pinpoint their wins and challenges. Tailor your communication and recommendations accordingly based on these insights, demonstrating your commitment to their success. Remembering personal details or milestones can go a long way in building rapport and trust. 

Sidenote: BrightManager is a great place to store and track these details and milestones, and its online client portal can help you streamline that personalised service.  

4. Transparent pricing and billing 

Transparency in pricing and billing practices are essential for maintaining trust with your clients. Clearly outline your fee structure and billing procedures upfront to avoid any surprises. A great way to do this is through a proposal document. Before you take a client on, whip up a personalised proposal which clearly outlines the services you will be providing, along with the costs and billing information. After this, make sure to provide detailed invoices that break down the services provided, ensuring clarity and accountability. The last thing you want is an angry client turning up at your front door! 

Discover our proposal software, BrightPropose, to create professional, personalised and branded proposals in minutes. 

5. Regular check-ins 

Schedule regular check-in meetings with your clients to touch base on their financial goals, address any concerns, and offer guidance. These meetings are an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, provide valuable insights, and reassure clients of your ongoing support. Encourage open dialogue and feedback to continuously improve your services.  

Remember: Some clients will be delighted for these meetings to be online, while others may want to meet you in-person. If you have local clients who wish to meet face-to-face, consider meeting in a coffee shop. For new prospects and non-local clients, make it clear that your meetings will be online to set expectations. 

6. Educational resources 

Empower your clients with educational resources and tools to help them better understand their financial situation. Whether it's through blog posts, webinars, or newsletters, share relevant industry updates, tax tips, and financial planning advice. By equipping clients just as much knowledge (if not more) remotely as you did in person, you position yourself as a trusted advisor and partner in their financial journey. 

7. Accessibility and availability 

Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you’re free at the drop of a hat. Strive to be accessible and available to your clients whenever they need assistance, but don’t let them walk all over you either. Clearly communicate your office hours and availability for appointments. One way to improve this remotely is to have an automated response email that provides them with an estimated timeframe for a response. Being transparent about your availability demonstrates your commitment to client satisfaction. 

Tip: From talking with many accountants, we’ve found that a successful way to showcase your availability to clients is to use Microsoft Teams, utilising the ‘Status’ functionality so clients can log on, send messages (with attachments) which collect in the one place, and see when you’re next available. 

8. Quality assurance 

Maintain high standards in your work to instill confidence in your clients. Use quality software – preferably in the cloud for that mulit-user functionality and real-time changes – to ensure your work meets expectations. By delivering accurate and reliable results, you reinforce your credibility and reliability as a trusted advisor. 

Tip: Our Bright solutions are here to help you ensure you exceed client expectations, not just meet them.  

  • BrightPay is a cloud payroll software that makes managing your payroll quick and easy. 
  • BrightManager is a cloud practice management software that automates your admin and streamlines internal processes.  
  • BrightTax is a cloud tax and accounts solution that helps you complete all your tax and accounts production needs, while ensuring compliance. 
  • BrightPropose takes the guesswork out of fee setting and gives you the ability to create branded proposal documents in minutes.  
  • BrightCoSec is a cloud company secretarial solution which helps you manage corporate governance with ease. 

9. Seek feedback 

Actively seek feedback from your clients to gauge their satisfaction levels as you move to a more remote setup and identify areas for improvement. Consider sending out surveys (BrightManager users; You could do this through our automation features) or conducting feedback sessions with focus groups to gather insights into your clients’ experience using your firm’s services. Use this feedback constructively to refine your processes and enhance the client experience. 

10. Express gratitude 

Lastly, don't forget to thank your clients for choosing your firm for their accounting needs, regardless of their location. A simple thank-you note in the post or a gesture of appreciation can strengthen your client relationships and foster loyalty. Show genuine appreciation for their business and trust in your services. 

Final thoughts 

While the shift to remote work may present challenges, it also offers opportunities to enhance client experiences in the accounting profession. By prioritising clear communication, leveraging technology effectively, providing personalised service, and maintaining transparency and accessibility, you can create a positive client experience that transcends physical boundaries. Embrace these simple strategies to nurture strong client relationships and drive success in your accounting practice, even in a remote work environment. 

Interested in cloud accounting software that makes working remotely a breeze? 

Bright is here to help. 

Book a demo

Joe moore

 

 

Written by Joe Moore | Bright 

 

 

 

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