Digitisation is changing the way we interact and deliver services to our clients. Some believe that robots will mean the end of our profession as more and more services are automated. Others are of the view that the “human touch” can’t be replaced. It seems more likely that we will have to become humanoid – a hybrid machine and human if we want to take our practice to the next level.
One area that is affected more than most is client service delivery. A recent panel in the UK found that “…the digital age has evolved the way firms deliver client service”.
“If you haven’t got a yardstick to measure performance against, how do they even know that they’re performing well or not so well. In that sense, it adds a lot of value because it gives them clarity about where they’re going.” “These meetings bring accountability. “As a minimum, even for a tiny client, every 90 days we’ll have a conversation with them and ask them whether they have achieved those goals and then we’ll reset the goals.”
Other firms introduced monthly meetings with their clients to talk about new tech that is available to enhance the relationship between the accountants and the client. It works like a onboarding process to ease the client into new accounting tech.
“Ad Valorem’s Adams explained how her firm runs monthly tech drop-in sessions. This was borne out of the firm’s ‘millennial team’ drive to increase cloud uptake within the business. Having that extra support has taken the fear factor away from non-tech savvy clients. “If they’ve got an iPhone they can use an app and with Receipt Bank the process is easy.”
Digitisation has the potential of freeing up our time, away from boring capturing work to a more advisory function. Something that will ensure we remain relevant and stand out from the competition. One of the firms interviewed in the panel viewed the benefit as ”
“It is an opportunity to find out what the client needs and as they grow and if you can help them grow, your fee levels will grow with that client…And you’re just getting them there sooner with your expertise.”
He added: “If you’ve got a prospect and they’re interested in your services you’d have a coffee with them for an hour. But a lot of the time accountants wouldn’t sit with their own clients for an hour and they’re the hottest prospects.”