Kregel has a number of IT customers who are clearly technology smart and understand the issues with data security. One customer even tested the firm’s security measures. “One of our IT customers made it his personal mission to try and hack into a password-protected PDF of a tax return. He broke the code in less than 10 minutes and made sure I knew about it. With SmartVault, we know data is secure in the Cloud and sharing data via Vaults is the safest method. And this particular IT customer is thrilled with the system’s strong security features.”
Overall, Kregel is very pleased with his document management solution choice. “We started with a focus on enhancing the customer experience...and that’s what we were able to do.”
The ‘Small Stuff’ Makes a Big Difference
Beyond setting up an easy-to-use and secure workflow for his customers, Kregel also maintains a focus on the small stuff.
“Never underestimate the impact that small gestures have on customers,” Kregel said.
According to Kregel, the ‘extras’ are what really make a difference with customers—the things they will remember—like a birthday card. The firm sends every customer a birthday message each year either by text, e-mail, or a paper card through the mail.
“It’s a small thing, but just remembering their birthday and sending a quick note makes our customers feel special.”
Kregel and his staff also throw a Tax Return Signing Party every year for their longest standing customer—complete with streamers, balloons, coffee, and treats. “The customer that’s been with us the longest is a multi-state corporation, which traditionally meant a lot of paper being mailed. Now, we bring them in to our office, shower them with attention, and present them with a few e-file documents for signature.”
The focus at Kregel & Company CPA is always on the customer. “For us the key is staying true to our ‘why’ [the firm’s mission or why they exist]. We are in business to identify opportunities and offer peace of mind and inspiration to our small business and entrepreneur customer base. We first look to understand the customer and then, working in partnership with them, capture and present the financial data that will help them make sound financial decisions. It’s a great feeling when our customers remark how working with us is such a positive and different experience.”
Back to the Basics
Leading firms like Kregel & Company are applying advanced technologies and tested workflow practices to improve firm operations and customer service. And while these are necessary elements in today’s progressive firms, Kregel maintains a focus on the basics.
“Some things don’t change, and quality customer service is one of them. The customer experience will always be our main concern,” Kregel stated.
While Kregel’s firm does stay ahead of change in terms of technology, the focus is and has always been on the customer. It’s refreshing to know that while the world changes rapidly, some firms still stay true to the basics and maintain the customer as King…or Queen, as the case may be.
Stats at a Glance: Kregel & Company CPA
- Year founded: July 2009
- Total employees: 3 F/T, 2 P/T
- Home base: Philadelphia, PA
- Firm description: Full-service accounting and tax strategy services firm
- Technology of Choice: SmartVault, Google Mail, GruntWorx, UltraTax CS, FileCabinet CS, QuickBooks, Bill.com
About the Author
Kristy Short, Ed.D, is partner and Chief Marketing Officer in RootWorks LLC (RootWorks.com) and president of SAS Communications 360 (SAScommunications360.com)—firms dedicated to providing practice management education, branding, marketing, and public relations services to the accounting profession. She is also a professor of English and marketing. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.