Business moves at the speed of the internet; and those who don’t keep up will be left behind. This is especially true in the delivery of customer services, whether to other businesses or consumers.
In the olden days of the 20th century, good customer service consisted of doing what you promised to do, and responding in a timely manner to queries from customers. Of course, you still need to do those things, but it’s now considered the norm, not an exception. Today, to satisfy and delight customers, you must take their experience to the next level.
That’s where digital capabilities come in. New technology which makes the customer’s journey more painless and pleasurable, is revolutionizing a wide range of industries, from retailing to passenger transportation.
Which grocery store would you rather patronize: the one that provides high quality products, wide selection and friendly staff, or the one that provides all that PLUS shop online/home delivery, automatic coupon clipping and self check-out?
The accounting services industry is another field that’s ripe for change. At Xendoo, we’re fortunate in having been built from the ground up for the 21st century, while many traditional accounting firms are struggling to adapt. Here’s how we crafted our customer experience, using principles that work for any business.
Identify Your Customer’s Pain Points.
Look not just at your own business, but your industry as a whole. What do people complain about most often? It could be lack of communication/information, one-size-fits-all products that don’t fit their needs, or slow delivery.
Even if a pain point seems to be an unavoidable aspect of the industry, write it down. This is the first step to creative problem solving that may give you a huge competitive edge.
The typical customer experience with traditional accounting firms is littered with pain points. Slow delivery is often an issue, from waiting 60 days or more for monthly financial reports to not filing tax returns on time. Another problem is difficulty communicating with the CPA, who may not return calls for several days.
Identify All Customer Touch Points.
These are where the problems actually arise. Examine the mechanics of each step in the customer journey, from first contact to final invoice. Which steps are causing delays, inconvenience or frustration for your customers?
For example, you might have installed an IVR system to answer your phone. But if it doesn’t offer the right options for customers to get the information they wanted, they’ll be just as angry as if you didn’t answer the phone at all.
Xendoo found that the most painful touch points with traditional accounting related to interactions with the CPA. When CPAs do the books by hand, there’s no time to actually talk to clients. There’s also more hassle for the client in having to come to the office to process physical paperwork.
Implement Your Solutions.
How can those touch points be improved for a faster, more enjoyable customer experience? The answers for each business will be different. You may decide that you need to retrain or hire staff, revise workflows, or bring in new technology.
Xendoo solved the problems of traditional accounting by utilizing a cloud platform. This proactive approach prevents customer pain points before they happen:
• Mobile app or desktop computer access to financial reports anytime, anywhere
• Scan and send documents or ask questions through the app
• P&L statements delivered by the 5th day of the following month
• Bank transactions automatically entered in the books in real time
• Eliminates the risk of human error
• Digitized receipts and automatic tax coding for easier return filing
• A team of 2 CPAs and a bookkeeper have time to talk with clients
• Easy integration with more than 500 business management applications
Both You and Your Customer Reap the Rewards.
The speed and efficiencies of Xendoo’s cloud accounting system does make our lives easier. But the ultimate benefit goes to our clients, who have more profitable ways to spend their time than on bookkeeping hassles. It’s a win-win!