Accountants are often times hidden in a back room far away from customers. So why should customer service matter to accountants? As the accountant, it is our job to interact with both vendors and customers to ensure that our business continues to have an excellent reputation and standing in the business community. It is important to realize that accountants interact on a daily basis with the people who are 1) in charge of keeping our business running (customers) and 2) the people who help establish our credit and are responsible for our raw goods (vendors). Direct communication generally arises from phone calls and emails. Indirect communication comes from paying bills on time, responding to vendor/customer messages in a timely fashion, etc. Our direct and indirect communication with customers makes a much bigger impact than we realize.
Responding to vendor/customer inquiries via phone or email is a direct communication of customer service. As an accountant, we might not feel like we need to worry about customer service, but our actions will always leave an impression of our business as a whole. For example, an accountant calls and communicate directly with vendors and takes a few extra minutes to get to know them a little better. With minimal effort and only a few minutes extra on the phone, you can establish a good relationship with your vendor. Should the business ever experience a cash crunch, the accountant can call up the vendor, explain the situation and often have the terms extended for enough time to get us through the crunch. This is only possible because of the direct communication with phone calls and emails.
The very simple act of paying your bills on time is a form of indirect communication. This practice shows that you respect your vendors and their business. Make no mistake; the vendor is very aware of which customers pay on time on a consistent basis and which ones do not There may come a time when you will need to rely on your businesses’ good standing to get through a difficult time.
Accountants may be hidden in a back room, but our actions directly influence the community’s impression of our business. Our level of service can single-handedly influence the survival of a business. For this reason, we must always be aware and pay special attention to how we interact with our customers and vendors.Written by: Jake Cavanagh TGG Accounting