The ICPA has over 1,200 accountants as members operating in 966 practices throughout the UK. There are many reasons why we have to get in touch with members and we use all the methods available to us – post, email, text and, of course, the phone. But when we ring an accounting practice I find it frankly astonishing that there are so many practices that don’t answer the telephone – which is then compounded by the fact I can’t even leave a message!
Accountants need clients, it’s the most obvious of facts: if we have clients we don’t want to lose them, and if we get a chance at obtaining a new client we don’t want to pass up the opportunity, do we? Yet that’s what could be happening every single day, if you leave the office or home and don’t have a facility to transfer calls to your mobile, or leave a message or have a dedicated answering service whereby a real person answers your phone on your behalf.
It could be a client who has an urgent question they want to put to you – it’s always urgent, isn’t it? And when they ring and ring and get absolutely nowhere, can you really be surprised that they go off and try to get an answer from someone else?
OK, you could still placate your client because you aren’t out every day. But what about potential new clients who made a call based on a personal recommendation and got nowhere? Well, what you don’t know about you don’t grieve over, but how do you feel when your existing client tells you that he doesn’t recommend you anymore because when he does you never answer the phone to his friends. Worse still, he is now recommending someone else!
Not all business is conducted by email or by text, sometimes people just want to talk to another human being. And if it’s you they want to contact make it easy for them, even when you are out.
- Tony Margaritelli Chair, ICPA
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