Relationships. Whether you sell a product, or as a CPA, your services and expertise, you need a way to develop and nurture relationships. Potential leads, like relationships, have a way of fading away if they’re not given the attention they deserve.
Today, many accounting firms have ramped up marketing programs for their firm, including a more prominent social media presence, more aggressive direct mail advertising, and increased email marketing campaigns hoping to drive new business to their firm. The end result of such a campaign usually results in a slew of names and email addresses. But what are you doing with those names and email addresses? Anything?
While collecting names is always a good first step, those names and email addresses mean nothing if they remain untouched on a spreadsheet. They will never develop into a relationship.
Maybe your firm is at its max, and you’re not taking new clients. What are you doing to ensure that your current clients are happy, and remain so? Anything? Do you engage them throughout the year, or only during tax season?
That’s why CRM (customer relationship management) software can be particularly useful for your firm.
Traditionally used by businesses selling products, CRMs are now becoming a staple in service businesses as well, allowing you to keep track of potential clients, while also helping to ensure that your current client base is kept happy.
Additional CRM Add-On Tools:
While each application is different, they all provide you with the ability to manage both potential and current clients easily. It’s up to you to decide what specific features your new CRM application needs. Here are a few other features to consider:
- Online accessibility – This should be a must, since it’s likely you or other firm employees will be entering information while out of the office.
- Mobile app available – See above.
- Ease of implementation – Do you have the time and resources to spend on a long and (sometimes) costly implementation, or do you want to be up and running fast?
- Scalable – Can the product grow with your firm? Can you add new users at any time?
- Integration – Is it important for your CRM to integrate with other applications your firm uses?
- Reporting – What kind of reports do you want to create? Does the application you’re interested in create those reports?
- Import/export options – Can you easily import or export client lists?
- Help/support – Help and support are important for new CRM users. Does the product you’re looking at offer support options that work for you?
That’s all a lot to think about, but knowing what your firm needs up front will make it much easier to find and implement a CRM application that is well-suited to your firm.