By Graeme Wilson on Jul 13, 2020 3:52:41 PM
Let’s think about how a truly great digital experience can enhance the relationship between the professional services company and their buyer.
In today's world, it's all about the shift from a website that's just a brochure to something a lot more functional allowing the prospective customer to get the information they need and then eventually to buy the service all in their own time.. But in most professional services companies this is far from the truth and I had experienced this firsthand.
I had a terrible experience when trying to find a US CPA to do some work for me. My requirements were simple and my budget was definitely aligned to most small and medium firms.
So I used a few different sources to find prospective CPA’s and started filling out their contact forms with my requirements. The first initial requests never responded even though on their websites they stated 1-2 days, so I found more and started the process again.
By the end, I filled our nearly 50 forms to find 1 CPA who responded and we got started.
Here’s my reflection:
As a buyer:
- I knew what I wanted and I was prepared to explain my needs in detail.
- I had money to spend and wanted to get started straight away.
- I actually wanted to self-serve in my own time and own the process. In other words, I wanted to browse online and compare CPAs in terms of the cost of their service, what’s included and what’s not included etc.
These CPA firms are going to fall behind and new digital-savvy companies are going to dominate. But I see the same across most professional services company websites. They are still brochureware and difficult to buy from.
A better solution would have been:
- A website that could understand my needs and offer solutions either as content, or packages. Move away from brochures to something more helpful. Like this example from CNA & CO Accountants
- Information on what I am buying, what's included, excluded, how the process works, estimated time-frames, ect. Read more about what you should consider when pricing your agency service
- An ability to schedule a meeting instantly, buy the package I needed and kick-off the project. I was ready to buy and wanted an easy way to get started.
- A chatbot feature to point me in the right direction and answer my questions or hand me over to a human who could.
This is the ideal frictionless digital experience altogether that can accommodate for my needs regardless of where I was along the funnel.
In the end, if I could have freely accessed the information of the services to compare providers and packages and, if I could have actually just actually bought the package when I had made my decision, I would've saved 3 weeks of researching, filling out forms and waiting for responses (which didn't happen). I was also left feeling deflated when, in the beginning, I had been quite looking forward to finding the right CPA for my business.
It’s something to think about as an agency owner: is your sales process or at least your digital process frustrating your prospects?
And more than that, think about the time and energy spent on the new business process:
- The back and forth on setting up a meeting time. It usually takes more than a week to align dairies and get everyone in the meeting room or on a call.
- The time and resources it takes to scope the work or create a proposal.
- The back and forth on the budget and Ts & Cs after the proposal is sent.
And then for most of these opportunities, the deal doesn’t even close (perhaps because the buyer has already lost interest?)
Take a look at our new e-commerce widget for professional services to sell service packages straight from their own websites.