How Cloud-Based Accounting Can Enhance Your Business Image
You probably don’t think of your accounting application as a marketing tool. Your company’s strategy probably includes tools like targeted emails, white papers and/or e-books, social network promotions, and other customer-focused content. These materials carry your messages and attempt to convert prospects into customers, but if they’re done well and distributed to the right audience, they do more: They reflect on your image, your particular brand.
Every time you “touch” customers about their sales relationship with your company, through an invoice, an email, a follow-up on an unpaid bill, etc., the same thing occurs. You’re telling them something about who you are, creating an image in their minds. Are you:
- Proud of your identity?
Most businesses aspire to be all of those things. If you take the time to use all of the tools they offer, cloud-based accounting applications can help frame your corporate identity in a positive light, illustrating your:
Commitment to state-of-the-art business technology. If they’re socially active online, your customers will take note of the content you provide. Your website and blog will offer how-to’s and other problem-solving posts. You’ll have a section devoted to rapid-response customer service on your Twitter feed or other site. Content will be well-written, updated regularly, and aesthetically pleasing.
You can also show this commitment when it comes to your financial relationship with them. Do you offer to email invoices and accept payments online? Can they communicate with you about money issues without picking up the phone?
Conscientious debt management. Accounting websites help you keep track of your bills and pay them prior to the due date. If you have a repeating financial commitment to another business or an individual, you can automate it so that it always gets paid on time.
If you have a bill that recurs on a regular basis, your accounting website can pay it automatically.
Attention to detail. Cloud-based accounting applications come with pre-designed forms that may or may not contain the fields you want on them. You can change these by modifying the field names that appear, and sometimes even remove fields so that forms look custom-design.
Understanding nature (to a point). There will be occasions when you’ll share more than item descriptions and amounts due to your customers. Leading-edge accounting websites provide “boilerplate” text for content like the messages that appear on forms like invoices and quotes, and any emails that you send to different customers on different occasions. You can edit these to read the way you want them to. Of course, chronically late payments will require stronger language. But you can still maintain a professional, straightforward tone.
The best cloud-based accounting applications include email templates that can be modified to better match the tone you want.
Insistence on accuracy. Sales and purchase forms go out on time, and are correct. You don’t misspell customers’ names or get their addresses wrong. Once you have those details right, they’ll never be wrong again since cloud-based accounting sites re-use your original data where needed.
Brand identity. You can make your brand visible by inserting your logo on multiple forms that your customers will see.
Being heard above all of the noise online is an ongoing challenge. Let your cloud-based accounting application provide some of your marketing muscle.