Accounting careers are about much more than just crunching numbers. According to a survey by Accountemps, employers take several important non-accounting job skills or ‘soft skills’ into consideration when hiring candidates. Among the most sought-after soft skills were customer service skills, with as many as 13 percent of employers listing these as main attributes they seek in candidates.
This proves that in the eyes of today’s industry leaders, customer service skills are a must-have for accounting career success. Whether you picture yourself working in a public accounting practice, corporate accounting firm or offering your services as a freelance bookkeeper, accounting assistant, or payroll administrator, customer service skills will be an important part of your professional toolkit.
Interested in your own accounting career but unsure how these skills will help you on your way? Here are three reasons today’s top accounting training programs teach customer service.
1. Teach You to Connect with a Broad Client Base
Once you graduate from an accounting program, you’ll be eligible to work alongside a wide range of business professionals serving clients and vendors daily, and the way you treat each one will determine their respect for you and your business. Often, an accounting assistant or administrator serves on the frontlines of the accounting industry, connecting chartered accountants to their clients and ensuring all aspects of an accounting/payroll system run smoothly. The importance of each client and co-worker interaction is why today’s best accounting training programs promote the development of customer service skills like patience, attentiveness, and business ethics.
With these skills,s you will be able to effectively listen to, respond to, and serve everyone you encounter throughout your career, from demanding clients to friendly coworkers and beyond.
2. Customer Service Skills Will Help You Retain Clients
Good customer service not only helps attract new clients to your employer’s accounting firm, but it also helps you retain these clients in lasting, loyalty-based professional relationships.
For example, by consistently providing reliable bookkeeping services along with a positive attitude, a modern accounting professional can earn a strong professional rapport with clients and employers.
According to the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada, a friendly professional rapport based on reliable customer service can not only increase customer loyalty, but also the amount of money each client spends on your services, how often customers visit you and your employers, and perhaps most importantly, generates a positive word-of-mouth reputation for you and your workplace.
3. Customer Service is Essential in the World of Online Reputation Management
As you complete each accounting course in your program, you’ll develop the skills you need to maintain a professional image. That’s important in today’s online-review marketplace. Web services like Yelp, Yahoo Local, and the new Google MyBusiness Review site make it possible for clients to report any poor service experiences online for the world to see, putting your reputation as an accounting professional and that of your employer at risk.
Today, online service reviews have a real impact on consumers’ decisions. For example, poor reviews could keep potential clients from investing in the payroll administration services you may offer. On the other hand, great reviews can generate interest in your administrative services. Your friendly professionalism can leave clients with positive impressions that they might want to share online, which can attract new clients and secure their loyalty.
With the right training as well as finely-tuned customer service skills, there is nothing stopping you from achieving your own accounting career and succeeding in this modern marketplace!