With coronavirus pandemic posing unexceptional uncertainty, it is a crucial time for enterprises of all sizes and shapes. Every professional from CEO to accountant is struggling to make ends meet and retain customers.
Especially, accounting firms that used to operate from a specified location and meet clients on a regular basis are falling behind. On the one hand, where there are insecurity and confusion in the business ecosystem, on the other hand, there's still an opportunity for accounting firms to learn and become better.
This article will discuss some tips for your accounting firms that can help retain your customers and improve operational efficiency. If you are successful in retaining users in these pandemic situations, it is highly likely for you to retain these users for the future.
Let’s start exploring some tips and tricks.

6 Tips To Retain Clients During COVID-19

Do you want to help your clients?
Are you willing to fulfill the need of the hour by offering accounting business advisory and help to your customers?
If so, then read on. Below we have discussed 6 crucial factors that can help you become better at serving your customers, which would lead to high retention and better performance.

1. Reach Out To Clients

During the pandemic and lockdown, the first thing that you may be thinking is reaching out to your clients. There’s nothing wrong with that. Talk to your clients, understand their problems and requirements, and provide a solution.
However, here, follow a structure and prioritize your client communications based on the importance of the client. If you are using a type of rating for your clients such as A, B, and C, then reach out to A-level clients first to know their physical, financial, and mental wellbeing.
If you are reaching out to your accounting clients based on their service lines, then ensure that you consider cross-referencing lists to avoid contacting one client more than one time.
Why this prioritization can help you?
Based on the industry and level of clients that you are reaching, you can personalize your approach. We already know how well personalization works. So, to improve the manner in which you contact your clients, prioritize according to service lines, industry, profession, etc.

2. Maintain Social Distancing

It is a time of social distancing and instant messaging. One thing that COVID-19 has taught is how to use digital media for almost everything. Utilize cloud technology to enable mobility in your accounting firm.
Honestly, there’s no need to ask your client to visit your office for tasks. That can be risky for them as well as you. So, create a workflow for online communication. Get on a call, talk about the details, and complete work.
If you are unsure of something, call again or message again to clarify. This would enable your client to manage their accounting and also maintain social distancing. Even if there's a situation when the client needs to visit, sanitize the chairs, and maintain distancing rules.

3. Be a Friend

These are stressful situations and hectic times for businesses as everyone is struggling to survive this economic fallout. More than anything, every enterprise may be looking for a friend in their accountant.
We can’t deny the fact that due to COVID-19, a lot of businesses have come to a halt and others are barely breathing. Accounting, in such times, is imperative.
As an accountant, you can make the difference by offering peace of mind to your customers financially. This means being a friend when they call you and helping them in unusual situations is the key to maintaining your relationships and retaining customers.
These efforts can be as simple as increasing your work hours to help the client in the night or reaching out to them to help them in the morning.

4. Join Online Communities

One of the great methods is to join online accounting communities. These networking channels may not help you to connect with your customers directly. However, through communities, you can learn a lot more than you may have anticipated.
There are so many accountants out there who are also trying to retain their clients. They can offer you tricks, hacks, and solutions, which are unique and extremely innovative.
Simply put, with community support, you can serve your clients better. You can ask questions, resolve challenging issues, and offer advice as well.

5. Use Right Technology

Undoubtedly, technology is our only support in the time of the pandemic. You can’t leave technology behind and work in sync with your clients with traditional methods. It is just not possible today. You need to have supporting technology to communicate, share data, and automate admin tasks.
Hence, the key here is not to put this digital transformation on the next day. Adopt it today and strategically integrate technology in daily tasks and functions. For example, using QuickBooks software to manage admin accounting activities. With this tool, you can encourage your clients to connect with you easily.
Benefits of using technology:
• Improved communication through a seamless network.
• All-time availability of data for any time, anywhere access.
• Enhanced business decisions with seamless communication and data availability.
• Improved data security and management.
Reconfigure your workflows, improvise your processes, and implement new structures with technology.

6. Consider Offering Business Advisory

Customers value financial advisory the most. When you have already implemented technology and automated your admin tasks, you can offer business advisory.
This includes the following:
• Extracting insights from collected data for future decisions.
• Collating data in one place for a unified view.
• Using this data to find market trends, which would help in the coming quarters.
You can simply advise your clients on ways to mitigate the huge impact of the pandemic. It is possible to help them improve their cash flow through certain budget cuts and financial strategies. Encourage them to accept the change and rise from the ground once again.
While you may not be able to advise them on what tech to use and what product to launch, you can advise them on how well your finances can handle the load. So, work in sync with your customers to help them improve their operational efficiency.

Conclusion

Every effort that you would make today to retain your customers would serve as a foundation for change management processes of the future. It means that now is the time for leading the change in your accounting firm.
If you are successful in digitally transforming your enterprise and making it feasible for crisis conditions, then you would become future-ready. So, read the above tips and implement these strategies to retain your clients during the pandemic.

Author's Bio: 

Bhavleen is a writer at Ace Cloud Hosting – a leading hosting provider for tax software, with several years of experience in the cloud industry. She loves to research on various technologies and has a firm grasp on topics like Accounting, ERP, VDI, and HIPAA.