Remember the days when we had more opportunities for genuine human-to-human connections? It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to throw a nostalgic classic TV reference into a blog, but sometimes you just want to go “where everybody knows your name.” Am I right?
In some ways, “the good old days” left a lot to be desired. But there was that aspect of being able to walk into your local store and have the owner greet you by name, happy to see you, and even knowing what you want before you ask for it. It was a level of personalized service the modern era has mostly lost. The good news is, for those that prioritize it now, the human touch can be a huge business differentiator precisely because it’s so rare.
At Roundtable Labs, the original community for accounting and bookkeeping professionals since 2015, personalized service is high on our priority list. It may even be at the top. And we think it should be at the top of yours too.
The personal service factor—or lack thereof
Think about the services you offer in your accounting or bookkeeping business. Are they really personalized? Do you genuinely connect with your clients, get to know them, and understand their needs? Or do you treat them as just a number, or even worse, as your next invoice payment?
Yes, we live in a world where we expect speed. We chat with computers, transfer money with a few taps on a screen, and have video conversations with people anywhere in the world with no lag. We don’t have the patience to wait—we want it now! But how does that need for speed impact personalized, human-to-human service?
Sometimes, even the best of us will sacrifice personalized service in favor of speed, efficiency, or profit. Sometimes, we need a reminder that even when we’re working in a business-to-business (B2B) capacity, we’re really just working human-to-human at the end of the day.
Bringing human back
Does everybody know your name? I doubt it! Almost everyone owns a handheld personal computer disguised as a cell phone, and social media rules the roost. We hold instant access to a world of knowledge in the palm of our hand, but we can’t even remember our phone numbers. We can chat with thousands of people in seconds through social media apps, whether we know them. It can feel like we don’t need, or at least don’t have time for, real human connection anymore. But that’s not the case!
Your clients, particularly in the B2B world, have plenty of other choices. They can drop you like a hot potato and move on to another firm that’s willing to go the extra mile. Ultimately, humans are running businesses, not faceless pieces of code. If you want your business to thrive, you’ll need to shift your thought patterns and reframe B2B as H2H (human-to-human).
Here are a few things I can promise are true for your clients as much as anyone:
People crave connection and want to:
- Be part of the crowd
- Be heard and respected.
- Have their problems solved.
You can help your clients feel a genuine human connection with you and your firm based on how you interact.
A few tips include:
- Make sure your client is your only focus during their time with you.
- Show your client their experience matters to you by acting on any feedback they give.
- Actively listen to your clients and respond appropriately so they know you heard them.
Human connection: there’s an app for that!
I know I’ve just bemoaned the technological era and how it’s caused the downfall of human connections. But I want to tell you about some apps that can actually help you form real connections with your clients.
That’s the topic of our upcoming session B2B to H2H (Human to Human), hosted by Roundtable Labs at QuickBooks Connect 2022. We’re facilitating a discussion with the CEOs of the apps that propel your practice. Join me, along with Dave Kersting of Capovario, Megan Tarnow of High Rock Accounting, and Angela Main Roberts of Main Accounting Services. It’s happening on Friday, Dec. 9, at 9 a.m.
Check out the full schedule and sign up to reserve your spot in this session and others here.