Communicating during a crisis
For many accountants and tax advisers, the current crisis is increasing advisory work, with clients reaching out to find out what help is available to get them through a period of reduced business or even temporary closure. While this is a role accountants specialise in, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of communication required at this time. We take a look at the best content and communications practices to make staying in touch with clients as simple as possible.
Tailor your message
It is a good idea to ensure that your clients receive information that is relevant to them. The message to a sole trader might look very different than the advice given to the directors of a limited company. If you can, tailor each email to each client’s situation and let them know about the specific government help they are eligible for as giving them the relevant details only will help your workload down the line. Providing general information early on will create more work for you in the long run when you speak to them and have to explain that they are ineligible for a particular grant or relief.
Use PM Solution to create your lists
PM Solution includes a useful export function to help you extract your client data. Once you’ve exported your client list, you can use Excel to filter and sort your customers into groups to focus your message.
We have a helpful video showing you how to perform a client export:
Can you automate?
For accountants with a long list of clients, using an automated email program can help reduce the administrative burden of making contact to give initial guidance. We use Campaign Monitor to create attractive emails, but there are many others available such as Mailchimp, Moosend, or SendInBlue. Most email programs have free basic plans which allow limited features – perfect for your short-term needs.
At the moment, it’s not only business help that people need. Your clients are likely to be very stressed and feeling isolated. Alongside your tailored business advice, you can include links to helpful articles around the web. In our last customer newsletter, we added a “Work from home” playlist, a link to the Joe Wicks PE lessons, and an article from Mind about working from home and mental health. Share the government Coronavirus landing page so that your clients can explore the help available to them outside of business and finances.
Keep in touch with prospective clients
Although a lot of businesses and sole traders aren’t currently looking for a new accountant, you can continue to keep in touch with them and demonstrate your value so that they have you in mind when normality resumes. A newsletter is ideal for this purpose, and it’s easy to adjust your customer communications to suit prospective clients instead. Be sure to include information that highlights your expertise.
Maintain a blog
Blogging on your website or via LinkedIn is a fantastic way to help your clients and prospective clients find the information they need. Take a look at the current government advice for inspiration, or check what’s trending on business forums. Be sure to share your content on social media so it can be found, and use hashtags wisely by seeing what’s trending and using them where appropriate.
Can we help?
Perhaps your increased advisory work has left you with far less time for working on clients’ compliance, and you’re finding you’re working longer hours to fit everything into your week. We know that changing software can be a daunting prospect, but we make it easy to save time on your tax and compliance work with powerful integrations and intuitive solutions. Getting up to speed with award-winning BTCSoftware is simple using our QuickStart guides and YouTube channel. Plus we make switching easy, with our friendly support team on hand to migrate you to BTCSoftware and available on the phone at no extra cost.
The best way to begin your BTCSoftware journey is by taking a free, personalised tour of our solutions. Log on to a remote session with one of our consultants for a tailored one-on-one demo. You can book by calling 0345 241 5030 or by emailing [email protected]