Verbatim Telephone Answering Service, one of the UK’s leading telephone answering services, have uncovered staggering statistics on accountants’ digital customer service.
Results from an extensive research commissioned and published by Verbatim has uncovered that one in three accountancy companies in the UK are virtually invisible in search engine results, and over 75% have failed to use social media to promote their business; Verbatim’s research highlights a concerning picture for the industry. Verbatim’s report also highlights digital opportunities and identifies examples of best practice to show what can be possible.
What were Verbatim’s findings?
Verbatim’s research has revealed these concerning statistics:
- 1 in 3 accountancy companies have websites which are virtually invisible in search results, preventing customers from finding their business online.
- 81% of the accountancy websites we reviewed would be classed as ‘difficult to read’ even though the average reading age in the UK is nine.
- Only 8% of the accountancy companies we reviewed had web chat on their website, despite the fact that research has shown that 75% of millennials have confessed to avoiding phone calls.
- Despite over 95% of digital users frequently using social media, three-quarters of the accountancy companies we reviewed either didn’t have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or didn’t promote it. In most cases, we found that those who did have a presence on one of the major channels would have a presence on all.
Despite over 95% of digital users regularly using social media, three-quarters of the accountancy companies we reviewed either didn’t have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, or didn’t promote it.
The majority of accountants have not taken the time to re-considered their online presence and brand awareness in the context of a digital world and digital user journeys.
Verbatim’s research has found that customers’ expectations of customer service have been dramatically transformed in a digital world. It is important to make sure that the brand presence is strong, the content is helpful, and that live customer service is available on these platforms.
One in three accountancy companies have websites which are virtually invisible in search results severely limiting their ability to be found by customers.
Verbatim’s report has also discovered that accountancy firms are ignoring their Google ranking, and are also ignoring the time it takes for their website to load on desktop computers and mobile devices. This means that consumers will take their limited attention and time elsewhere to quickly receive the services they need.
Verbatim’s report discovered that 92% of accountancy companies don’t use web chat.
Digitally native customers like to be able to select their channel of preference and communicate via a screen; Contact Forms are often disliked by users, and many don’t bother with them – 75% of millennials admit to avoiding phone calls. Verbatim’s research has found that accountants who are not embracing webchat are missing out on its’ great customer service potential.
Despite over half of all website traffic coming from mobile devices in 2022, 61.2% of accountancy websites do not load fast enough for customers on mobiles.
Verbatim has discovered that slow-loading websites are driving potential customers away from the very first click. Customers are waiting more than ‘breath’ for accountants’ websites to load and will return to their search results to find another company. Customers are now using mobile devices more than ever for the convenience of doing business on the go during a busy working day, which is why slow mobile speeds will frustrate and deter customers.
Overall Verbatim has shown that accountancy companies need to be embracing digital customer service. To read more about Verbatim’s findings, view the full report here.