Have you ever thought about what companies do with all the data they collect from the surveys you find printed on the back of a receipt? The answer has a lot to do with technology systems that allow companies to manage and judge the success of their customer-business relations. This customer relationship management, or CRM, system has recently found use in a variety of industries where it has shown a positive impact.
CRM tracks an entire consumer lifecycle and has seen rapid change as a field recently thanks to advances in data analysis techniques and computation that have made studying large data sets not only possible—but useful as well. This has led to CRM being used in fields as disparate as accounting, consulting, agriculture, and the hospitality industry.
But what is CRM? And more importantly, how can it be used by your accounting firm to stimulate growth and improve business outcomes? Well, the answer is more complicated than it first appears, CRM is more than a technique, technology, or tool for interacting with customers, it is all those things (and more) in a comprehensive package. Don’t worry if this all sounds a little confusing, we’ll dive into everything you’ll need to handle CRM for your accounting business like a pro.
What is CRM?
Explaining CRM is best accomplished using an example, in this case, one from tech giant Apple. Apple uses CRM in a few interesting ways, the most obvious being its reliance on forcing users to register an Apple ID to use its products. This move by Apple is shrewd for a couple of reasons:
- It allows Apple to build a better data set for each user via enhanced tracking and demographic information.
- Apple can use its knowledge of users to offer better recommendations so that users find its services more satisfying.
So, how can CRM best be described? As we can see from the above example, it is a way to better manage customer relations through the use of data and technology. But it is more than that, it can also be a way to market to consumers. An example of this would be targeted marketing such as personal email promotions or discounts for a subset of users. In short, CRM can help accounting firms organize and access information about clients in a central location to help improve tracking and outcomes.
How Can CRM Help My Accounting Firm Grow?
As an accountant, at this point, you may be wondering how CRM could be harnessed for your practice’s benefit. And the answer is simple, accounting firms can take advantage of CRM’s benefits just as much as any business can. These benefits include an improved outlook in customer relations as well as serving as a central database for client intel.
CRM database services make keeping track of all client interactions easy and transparent for all stakeholders. In addition, good CRM will be able to keep your customers engaged and happy through analysis of advanced metrics. CRM can also often cut down on things like negative social media mentions through proactive monitoring. And using quality CRM solutions need not cost an accounting business a fortune, in fact, they often lessen customer relation costs overall.
How to Choose the Best CRM Options
The CRM market is predicted to reach a value of over $96 billion by 2027, this means that there is a wealth of providers available. And when looking for accounting CRM software, you’ll quickly find that the variety of options can be overwhelming. However, the next thing an accountant specifically is likely to notice is that most CRM solutions are designed for companies that deal with issues related to goods versus services. To combat this, look for a CRM solution that focuses on client relationships, as this is where the value will be for an accounting business.
The best CRM solutions will leverage technology to take the tedium out of maintaining good client relations. For example, correspondence can be automated and yet still retain a personal touch. A firm can track who is interacting with a client in a transparent and motivating manner, leading to better outcomes. The use of CRM database services is a great way
CRM Accounting Solutions Help Firms Grow
By now the utility of using CRM in aiding an accounting firm’s customer relations should be clear. More than the latest technological flavor-of-the-month, quality CRM management allows accounting firms to optimize their customer relations and often economize their practices at the same time. In this way, CRM can be seen as bringing order to the chaotic world of customer relations.
Of course, there can be a lot to consider when it comes to CRM and accounting practices, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with whatever questions or comments you may have. As always, thank you for reading!