5 Strategies for Onboarding New Technology to Your Clients
Your small business clients tell you all the time—managing a business is hard enough without having to keep on top of compliance, GST dates, and cash flow. That’s why they hired you. Or at least, that’s what they sometimes think. You know that they really hired you to help them run a smarter, more successful business. Tax compliance is just one part of that equation.
Small business clients need smart tech advice. They may already be using a point of sales program or social media, but helping them get an evolved tech stack can transform their business and strengthen the client-advisor relationship.
Getting your clients on board with the right tech stack for their business makes your clients more productive and profitable. We’ve pulled together 5 tips to help you get your clients moving with a tech stack that’s right for them and the one thing that really makes it all worthwhile.
1) Start with Xero
No matter what kind of business your clients run, Xero needs to be at the top of their tech stack. Xero makes it easy for your clients to automate invoices and bills, get paid, and access up-to-date reporting of their financial performance. Online invoicing speeds up the process of getting money into their accounts so they can stay ahead with positive cash flow.
Most small business clients hate data entry, and Xero helps eliminate the need for manual entry of paper receipts and invoices come tax time. Less data entry means more data accuracy. This helps your client know where they stand and gives you the power to give them advice based on actual transactions that aren’t at risk of human error.
2) Be ready for their questions
Is it hard to learn? What will it cost? Do I have to use it? I can’t believe I have to remember another password.
It’s important to anticipate client questions because no matter how much you prepare the perfect tech stack for a client, they’ll inevitably need to ask you questions. Some clients might be hesitant to incorporate something new into their business, especially if they’re already struggling to stay on top of everything. Some clients might be worried about safety, especially if they’ve been using the same system for a long time. You can tell that cloud technology companies invest a great deal in keeping individual data safe and use security protocols that are typically safer than local applications and physical documents that are easy to lose. The cloud is more resistant to a virus or a crash than their business desktop computer.
3) Think in categories for your clients
One of the best ways to help your clients understand why they need a tech stack is to break things down into categories and explain what pain points each solution addresses. Here’s a short list of some of the most common general categories for a small business app stack
- Client Service
- Team management
- Point of Sales
The idea of a tech stack can be overwhelming for your clients. It’s a lot of new information all at once. Make the process feel more simple and exciting by mapping out how each app satisfies a specific need within a small business and highlight how it’s an improvement on what they are currently doing. Helping clients see how a tech stack will make their businesses more successful and efficient is a huge part of onboarding.
To help make things easier for you, their advisor, identify a suite of apps that would work for 70-80% of your clients, and then research more specialised tech to satisfy your clients various industries.
Read about some of our favourite apps for small businesses here
4) Document to save time
You want your client relationships to be ongoing. The more your clients trust your advice, the more they will see you as the advisor they can count on to help them grow their businesses. Getting your clients the right tech stack isn’t a one-off event, especially as part of the goal is to expand the services you offer. Accompanying any recommendation for a tech stack should involve documentation about the best ways to get started.
Create documentation of best practices for the type of businesses you advise. You could do this in PDF form, create short videos, or have template emails ready to go. Your documentation might include the top benefits of each app you want to recommend your clients. Or you could chart the pathway to signing up for recommended technology. At the bare minimum, have a list of recommended apps for each type of business—a retail or hospitality business will have different needs than a consulting firm. Many SaaS companies have a great deal of info on their website that you can copy and paste, and some offer PDFs that you can pass on directly to your clients. Doing this work upfront helps you grow your business without having to reinvent the wheel each time you want to onboard new clients.
5) Tie it all together with a digital assistant
Your clients are not wrong. A tech stack involves multiple new systems and your clients will need to learn how to use them. The secret to helping them get the most out of the recommended tech is to connect them with a digital assistant.
A digital assistant links directly to Xero and other business apps to provide your clients instant access to the information they need to run a smarter, more efficient business. Instead of digging through each app to try to figure out what to do next, your client can ask their digital assistant questions, like “what was my revenue yesterday?” or “how many followers do I have on Instagram?” Their digital assistant provides them with instant answers and proactive alerts based on their data. Give your time-poor small business clients the tool that saves them time by helping them make data-lead decisions on the go. Digital assistants are built to understand business language and look for anomalies in your clients’ business data—and your clients will find out before it feels too late.
Digital assistants can do more than just answer questions. The more your clients use their digital assistant, the smarter it gets. Your clients schedule, manage and automate business tasks and notifications. They can also monitor and predict their social media activity and use voice or text to stay on top of admin from wherever they are, 24/7.
What’s more, when you connect your clients to a digital assistant, like the Aider Client App, you also get access to all the data in their tech stack through a client engagement platform, like the Aider Advisory Intelligence Portal. Digital assistants that link to engagement platforms provide accountants and bookkeepers with the data they need to provide proactive advice based on real-time business data. Together, a digital assistant in each of your clients’ pockets and an engagement platform for your practice gives you the power to manage all your clients more efficiently and offer more specialised advisory services. Your clients will access all their business app data through a simple, conversational tool while you keep them one step ahead so they can grow.
Read: 5 questions your clients will have about digital assistants
Learn more about how Aider can help you help your clients thrive. Set up a demo by clicking here.