Good communication is the backbone of a good client relationship – and good communication is possible even when managing a remote bookkeeping firm. You already know how to talk to your customers, but it can be tricky to transfer communication strategies to a digital space.
Whether you are just pivoting to remote bookkeeping or merely trying to improve your comms strategy, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips for creating and maintaining strong digital client relationships.
Establish a client communication plan
When it comes to digital communication, everyone has different preferences and needs. When onboarding a client or shifting current clients to a remote relationship, figuring out these preferences and needs should be a priority. Your client communication plan is a way of standardizing communication practices. In it, you can write down how you will communicate, how often, and what your boundaries are (such as windows where you will be available to respond to messages).
Stick to a routine
Once you’ve got your meeting schedule laid out, it’s important that you stick to it. Creating a routine is vital for remote relationships. All your meetings should be laid out in advance and this calendar should be uploaded somewhere where both you and your client have access.
Prioritize video calls
Zoom, Skype, and Google Meet are all great ways to connect with clients in a way that goes beyond words on a screen. Putting a face to a name is an important way to deepen connections with your clients. Scheduling video calls can be trickier than just sending an email or shooting a quick message over Slack, but it’s definitely worth it. Make sure your communication schedule includes regular video calls.
It can be easy to forget that there is an actual person behind the computer. So, you’ve got to get a little personal sometimes. You don’t have to be all business, all the time – don’t be afraid to take the first few minutes of a virtual meeting just to chat and catch up. Maybe try to ask some fun icebreaker questions!
Provide additional avenues for them to connect
Digital marketing isn’t just for drawing in new clients – you can also use your social media channels, web page, and email to strengthen current client relationships. Invite clients to like and follow you on social media and engage with them there. Keep them updated on changes at your firm through regular email newsletters. If you’re publishing content that might be useful to them, let them know!
Maintain work-life boundaries
It might not seem like there’s a big difference between emailing and texting, but becoming too informal with clients can be dangerous. One of the main drawbacks of working remotely is the difficulty of separating your work life from your personal life. After all, your virtual office might be right next to the living room (or IN the living room). Make some hard rules for yourself. Not texting clients and only answering emails during office hours are good places to start.
Communicating virtually doesn’t have to be a struggle. You just need a good client communication plan. If you prioritize getting to know your clients, there’s no reason a remote relationship needs to be different from an in-person one.