Great quality lists are an essential element in effective communication and is one of the key advantages of Integrated CRM for accountants.

Target Lists are lists which are created from your database and can include clients and non-clients. They can be dynamic, fixed and updated in real-time which means if data changes in your practice systems like IRIS and CCH the list will automatically be updated.

The power of Integration means that lists flow through to email and marketing systems like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Vuture.

Target Lists are a highly effective way to manage customer profiles and segment data.  The contacts included on a Target List are determined from any number or combination of attributes.

The benefit of using Target Lists is that your messages will be more targeted and personalised which will boost engagement; there is nothing worse than receiving irrelevant communication all the time but nothing better than receiving the right information at the right time.

Here are 11 Target Lists your firm could be using right now if you invested in Integrated CRM.

 

# 1 List of specific accounting software users

Cloud software changes more frequently that desktop software so it’s a great opportunity to be proactive.

Demonstrate your interest and commitment by letting your clients know when there has been an update that may help them.

If you are a Xero partner did you email all your Xero users and tell them about the option of using Projects when it was released in December 2017? This email could have invited users to a Webinar where you could have explained the benefit of job costing.

In 2018, Xero announced that automated bill entry is in beta – when this goes live can you easily email a list of Xero users to ensure they enjoy this benefit?

 

# 2 Certain types of income

The tax law changes all the time which gives you an excuse to contact your database with relevant updates.

Recent examples is the changes to the rules around dividends and deduction of loan interest for  clients with property income.

Are you able to create lists and communicate with clients around specific tax changes?

Being able to produce a list based on income can also help with cross selling services and introducing strategic partners. For example, do you have a list of all clients who have bank interest above a certain level, so you can invite them to consider wealth management?

 

# 3 Types of expenses

At the time of drafting this article a tax case of an exotic dancer has been reported where her clothes were allowed as a tax deductible cost but not her home to club travelling expenses.

You may not have exotic dancers as clients but this and other decisions will likely have implications for your clients. Target Lists enable your firm to deliver real-time tax advice.

 

# 4 Contact personal situation

Your clients and contacts can be segmented into personal situations, one example is contacts who do not have a Will.

Educate contacts about the implications of their situation, invite them to meet with you and systematically work through your database proactively solving your clients’ personal problems.

 

# 5 Industry lists

This is becoming more important as accountants start to move into App consulting.

Do you have lists of clients by industry, so you can communicate about Apps that can help them? If you are a Xero partner you could match how Xero segment their Apps and have Target Lists for these sectors:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Franchises
  • Professional services
  • Construction & Trades
  • Automotive
  • Property
  • Manufacturing
  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Tourism
  • Not for profit.

 

# 6 Business results

If your firm is looking to engage clients with business development services would it be useful to have a list of clients who are stagnating, or show lower productivity per employee?

If your clients are growing, then a Target list would enable you to offer additional support in the form of management accounts and budgeting.

 

# 7 Referral partners

Would it be useful to have a list of all the clients you have referred to your partners?

This could be a bank, solicitor or Independent Financial Adviser and it would allow you to check that referrals made by you match referrals received by your firm. This is important to ensure you get what you deserve and give what’s expected of you.

 

# 8 Window of opportunities

This is a list of all your clients showing what services they buy and crucially what the gaps are.

One common example is creating a list of clients who don’t have Fee Protection, or who had it last year but have not renewed this year.

The accounting profession is moving towards a more diversified revenue stream and it’s important to maximise the lifetime of every client. An example of a Target List could be clients who are over 50 who may be interested in the benefits of a Personal Financial Director, a new initiative recommended by the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

 

# 9 Last contact

Although each client is different, a combination of communication methods could be the best option. You can use the client contact pyramid method:

  • At least one email a week
  • At least one phone call a month
  • One face-to-face meetings once a quarter.

Can you report on client communication by partner in the practice to ensure your customer experience commitments are being honoured?

 

# 10 Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships which has been widely adopted with more than two thirds of Fortune 1000 companies using the metric.

A list of detractors enables you to focus and find out what’s wrong, so you can fix the issues and create more promoters. A list of promoters enables you to identify contacts to develop success stories which can be used to build the firm’s reputation brand with PR, sell new services to existing clients and help win new business.

 

# 11 Premium clients

Many firms grade their clients “A” to “D” to help ensure their best clients have a first class experience.

Do you know how many times your best clients have been contacted in the last 60-days? Do you know if all your “A” grade clients have had a face-to-face meeting in the last 90-days?

Grading your clients also helps you measure your practice development efforts because the lower the percentage of annual revenue from “D” clients the better the practice.

 

Summary

Target Lists are the bedrock of practice development and will help you revolutionise your marketing, sales and customer experience.

They are quick and easy to setup and manage plus the data is reliable because it’s updated in real-time driven by Integration.

As accounting revenue streams become more diverse and vertical niches become more important accountants need an effective way to generate and maintain lists. Target Lists in Integrated CRM is a way to make your life easier.

As Mark Thompson, partner at Rennie Welch, said

“we can now flag up opportunities in targeted email marketing campaigns.  Fibre technology is allowing us to provide an increasingly proactive service with a greater level of client communication, in a cost-effective fashion. The clinching factor was however the realisation that the system could also be used to enhance our service to our existing client base and help us provide additional services.

FibreCRM integrates with our Iris accounting, tax and practice management systems and allows us to use the huge volume of existing client data housed in the software in new ways. Recent examples have included update emails on commercial property capital allowances tax issues and recent changes to the tax treatment of holiday accommodation, resulting in several client instructions for advisory assignments.”

 

What next?

If you would like to know more about how Target Lists can help drive better results, request a discovery call and we’d be happy to take time to understand your practice and its goals, share our knowledge and experience and maybe arrange a demonstration to show how other successful practices have adopted CRM.