Yes, we all know working from home is part of the new normal for advisors and clients around the globe. We all get it, right?
We have our Zoom or Teams meetings, our webcams and off we go. But there’s a problem – with the new normal comes a make-do attitude.
Makeshift setups and approaches to remote work were an initial response to the global pandemic. Now that habits are entrenched and many will be employing remote services for the foreseeable future, you need to get professional.
It’s time for a refresh. You need to have a new look at your set-up and workflows.
Get the client relationship edge back
But why would you invest in better solutions and practices when offering remote services? Because this is now akin to better client engagement and professionalism.
Fostering great client relationships is at the core of a successful advisory.
Now that the key factor of face to face interaction has been largely removed, a major pillar in building strong client relationships is gone.
To replace this, one of the only edges you have is to really invest in client facing set-ups and technology.
If you offer the best remote experience possible, you’ll be ahead of the client engagement game and clearly superior to your competitors.
Get your advisory humming properly
This is not just a client facing game. Investing in more professional approaches to remote work is also a cornerstone of an internally high-functioning advisory.
When you remove a major facet of business cohesion – face to face communication, you leave a hole that needs to be filled.
After a hurried scramble to set up an internal workflow and comms strategy, it’s time to have a fresh look and seek out improvements and inefficiencies. They certainly exist.
Take a look at how you’re doing work and what solutions and workflows you’re using. If shared calendars and workflow tools like Asana aren’t being used properly, it’s time to investigate they’re use.
By automating workflows and providing modern tools such as cloud technologies, practices can provide faster solutions to their clients with remote and mobile solutions accessible by any staff member.
And for the staff themselves, automated workflow software, such as APS Workflow (which has been designed by accountants for accountants) means they can monitor all current and upcoming tasks from a single interface, allowing them to immediately understand where a particular project is up to.
A consolidated workflow tool acts as a one-stop-shop for the practice and client. Allowing job management to be centralised means staff no longer have to jump between applications, which wastes time and energy that could be better spent attending to their clients’ needs.
Doing a review of your communication strategy is key. Are you communicating effectively with your team and clients? Do you have a communication plan in place?
For your team, regular check ins, meeting schedules and ‘ask me anything’ sessions are a must.
Lay out expectations of when and how to communicate and keep on top of it.
It’s your job to create a communication plan and expectations for your clients as well, so they know exactly how to contact you and what tools are available to them. Communication needs to seamless and obvious. The better you structure your communications, the better your client outcomes will be.
This also involves asking and understanding how each client prefers to communicate. Some may still prefer phone, some like email and many more like instant messaging platforms. Ask and implement.
How to professionalise and upgrade your remote game
Your actual teleconferencing set-up is also likely in need of an upgrade. If you’re still using the greasy webcam on your laptop with a tinny little microphone, you need to do better.
This is more important for client facing situations than internal, but your face to face is now remote and you need to be the best at it.
Invest time in setting up a great space with:
- professional background
- lighting solutions
- a proper camera
- a proper microphone
- excellent internet connection
Your setup should now be looking like a professional interview, not a slap dash one you put together in your spare room. Your professionalism and value transmit through such a set-up so ensure you look the part, not like a university student Zooming in to a tutorial.
If you need some tips for the best cameras and microphones for remote work and webinars – check our blog here.
To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.