In association with
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.
Colorful speech bubbles
istock_creisinger

How to communicate with clients in uncertain times

by

In uncertain times, communicating regularly and proactively with your clients is important. Why? Because they’ll be looking for answers and, often, you’ll have them.

13th Feb 2023
In association with
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Whether it’s understanding how to forecast properly, getting clarity on what the delay to MTD means in practice, or wrangling with skyrocketing supplier costs, businesses need your advice when things are tough. 

Here’s how to communicate effectively – using a mix of digital marketing tactics – to reach the people that need to hear what you’ve got to say. 

What to say?

Before you start putting pen to paper or rounding up client emails to fire out your first newsletter, it’s useful to have a plan sketched out of what you think the most important insights or pieces of information you need to communicate are. 

HMRC announcements, fiscal statements, and headlines about the economy are an obvious place to start – but the true value lies in making that information accessible to, and relevant for, the people you work with. 

By putting yourself in your clients’ shoes, you’ll have a better understanding of what they need to know. What might worry them? Do they need to do something straight away with this information? What could be coming down the line – and how should they prepare? 

Consider what information your clients likely need, and you’ll be better placed to react quickly when you need to. 

How to say it? 

You may be clear on what you need to tell your clients, but the way you say it can make the difference between a communication that’s genuinely useful – or one that’s skim-read and forgotten about. 

Again, relevance is key. Lead by acknowledging that you understand who they are and what they might be feeling – ‘If you’re a restaurant owner struggling to pay bills, you’re probably concerned about the government support package ending soon’ – before setting out key information clearly. 

Use a clear, reassuring tone and don’t be tempted to use jargon that’s not immediately clear to someone without a financial background. Make use of headings – especially questions, like the ones in this article – to help break up your writing so the reader can find their answer quickly. 

Finally, remember to address the reader directly. Use you and we, rather than ‘business owners’ or ‘professionals’. Don’t be afraid to connect directly.

Where to say it?

There are many channels you can use to communicate with your clients, and the best one will depend on who you are, and who they are. 

Firstly, look at how you communicate with your clients currently. Do they expect to hear from you via email, or do they follow you on LinkedIn? Do you share tips, tricks and updates with them via a newsfeed on your website, or send them a monthly roundup in the post? 

If you’ve got existing communication channels that work well – meaning clients are engaged with the information – there’s no harm in maintaining them. Just don’t be afraid to try new methods, too. 

The second factor is whether or not you know where your clients are present – and what their communication preferences are. Startups, for example, might be very active on social media, while an FD might be more likely to keep a watchful eye on their inbox than scroll through Twitter. 

Think about who you’re communicating with, and where they’re most likely to consume the information that you share with them. 

Remember, too, that a quick and calm reaction is better than a perfect one. You don’t have to have an impeccably crafted article ready before sharing it with clients; they’re more likely to want the information as and when it’s important to them. 

You could try a multi-pronged approach, like:

  • posting an immediate reaction, highlighting the key information, in a social media post
  • writing a more detailed, Q&A-style blog a few days later
  • sharing a newsletter at the end of each month, focusing on the most important updates and summarising them neatly. 

Using a mix of channels will often have the best result, as you’re more likely to reach a broader audience. 

Having a blog function on your website, making use of white-label content that means you’ll always have daily news and roundups on your site, or taking the time to add clients to a mailing list can all be great starting points for successful client communications. 

More important than that, though, is that what you’re saying is thoughtful, measured, and relevant. If you’re proactive in offering advice before your clients realise something affects them, you’ll help to cement your relationship as an invaluable partner for their success.

PracticeWeb offers digital marketing services to accountants. Find out how our websites, blogging, and SEO could supercharge your client communications.

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.