The Need for Integrated CRM: Part 6 – Enhancing Proactive Operations
It is accepted that it is six to seven times more expensive to win a new client than to retain one, so it makes sense to invest in operations as part of a client retention strategy to maximise gross recurring revenue.
Research by Accountex found that 72% of small business owners have changed accountants because the firm “did not give proactive advice, only a reactive service”.
Timely communication with existing clients is vital, and Integrated CRM supports this by constantly checking data and making suggestions based on predefined strategies. What’s more, automated workflows can be set up to save time on repetitive and mundane tasks, like chasing clients for information and sending them timely tax payment reminders with automatic emails or text messages.
This frees up valuable time, which can be invested in more important work, enabling firms to improve the overall client experience.
Integrated CRM drives operational efficiency by providing:
Reliable systemised processes
Increased employee/departmental productivity
Dynamic reporting & BI technology
Centralised source of the truth
When clients interact with a proactive, integrated firm, which delivers a better client experience, trust and loyalty are developed. This increases retention rates and the chances of clients buying additional services.
The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) is an opportunity for progressive firms to be even more proactive. MTD is encouraging businesses to adopt Cloud Accounting and embrace new ways of working; using data capture applications like Receipt Bank and benefiting from Machine Learning embedded in accounting systems like Xero. This frees up valuable time and gives accountants the data they need to be proactive.
Cloud Accounting is disrupting the profession and transforming the culture in firms; moving accountants’ thinking away from being “job” focussed towards being “client” centric. Integrated CRM supports this transformation; as well as automated reminders for clients around MTD deadlines, repeating tasks remind and encourage accountants to discuss or meet with their clients more regularly.
With VOIP telephony, connecting CRM to a phone system also means that when clients call, their details pop up on screen. The person answering the call has immediate and complete access to all the relevant information about the client, prospect or introducer. There’s no need to bounce people around the different departments within a firm because all information is up to date and to hand.
CRM should integrate with common work systems like Outlook, making it easier to manage diaries, share contacts and archive important emails.
For further information please download our Accounting CPA White Paper – The Integrated Practice