If you’re a professional services or accounting firm, you already know that building trusted client relationships is key to your success.

But did you know that your ability to create these trusted relationships is largely dependent on your ability as a business to collaborate? In fact, it’s so important that 70% of all client losses can be attributed to poor collaboration.

How your teams work and share knowledge with each other, and with clients, is no longer just about efficiency. It’s also about client experience – and it’s how your clients form lasting opinions about your service.

Unfortunately, today’s industry professionals still find it hard to collaborate internally cross teams, and externally with clients; relying instead on a patchwork of email and legacy file sharing services to communicate, share knowledge, and work together.

In research from our latest e-book “Collaboration & the Client Experience”, the impact of these inefficiencies is shown to range from being a drain on otherwise billable time, through to client management failings, and a loss of business.

1. Operational Inefficiency

How knowledge and documents are shared and put to use has a direct impact on workplace efficiency. For example, difficulties in document collection, managing file versions, overseeing tasks, and expediting approvals, means that the cost of bidding for new business is now over $24,000 (in lost productivity, otherwise billable time) per bid.

2. Security

An ability to work more collaboratively with each other, and with clients, is highly desirable. In fact 92% of industry professionals view a collaborative client engagement portal as the best way to gather client files, manage approvals, and share comments and updates with clients.

However, most aren’t supported with the technology they need to make this happen. Instead, industry professionals are having to put their reputations on the line (and risking their GDPR compliance) by sharing and collaborating on work through insecure channels, with almost a quarter (22%) using consumer-grade file sharing apps to share content with clients, and 16% using unencrypted USB thumb-drives.

3. Client Retention

Whether it’s managing tasks across dispersed teams or waiting on client approvals, meeting client demands can be as frustrating as it is challenging. But when deadlines are missed, and knowledge can’t be assimilated for the good of the client, these frustrations are felt by clients too.

Over a quarter (27%) of firms admit that they’ve lost business because of missed deadlines, others admit that they haven’t demonstrated expertise (27%), or haven’t been collaborative enough in their client engagements (24%).

Read the full E-Book

Remember, at best, poor collaboration can lead to a lack of transparency, broken audit trails, siloed information and duplicated effort. At worst, you may be risking a breach in data confidentiality and client satisfaction!

“Collaboration & the Client Experience” can be downloaded for free here.

 


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