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Supporting clients through COVID-19

Read accountancy expert Paul Shrimpling’s advice on supporting clients during COVID-19. This guide includes sample scripts for calls and video meetings.

4 min read

Following Paul Shrimpling’s webinar we’ve put together a few of his suggestions on how you can support clients with constructive calls and video meetings.

Have clear and caring conversations

Remember to balance your client calls/videos with:

  • finances and feelings

  • cash and goodwill

  • business and personal.

Make personal voice/video contact with your clients

  • Plan your contact campaign to cover a 10 week, 20 week and 30 week period.

  • Create a tiered approach according to client importance and issues.

  • Schedule 15, 30 and 45 minute calls depending on need and client complexity/importance.

  • Use call forwarding on your mobile so team members can book calls into your diary.

  • Brief your team to schedule calls or to direct clients to your COVID-19 help documents and videos.

Send 2 or 3 emails to clients a week with practical help and sources of information. Upload useful COVID-19 information onto your website and for topics you share with multiple clients, create a video message and post on your firm’s website or YouTube channel. Ask your team to use these videos with clients when they are booking in their calls.

Here’s how Hallidays are supporting their clients during COVID-19.

Sample scripts to book a call with clients

Dear [client name],

I know during this tough time you might be worrying about your business, making payroll, staff, supply chain, and cash flow.

To help you navigate this, I’d like to book in a 15 minute courtesy call to discuss how I can help.

I want to see how you are, answer any questions you have and see what we can do together to ease any concerns.

You’ve almost certainly got questions about future cash flow, current risk areas and immediate tactics/ government relief that may benefit you. I hope I’ll be able to answer these for you.

[add relevant contact details: person, telephone number and email]

OR

Book a slot on Calendly [or other scheduling service. Add link]

I look forward to checking in with you.

[name]

Some clients will respond, others won’t. Keep track of those who don’t so your team can call them to book a slot. Make sure you get to everyone.

This script was inspired by Futrli. You can get more Futrli insights here.

Effective calls

Use agendas to make sure your calls with clients are effective. Signpost the length of the call at the start and suggest another call if one is needed. The scripts below have some pointers. Use a “Is that ok with you?” question (see section 2), to help your client commit to the length of the call and the next call.

Sample call scripts

15 minute video meeting agenda

1. Start the call with their wellbeing

  •  “How are you holding up?”

  •  “How’s your family?”

2. Set the time frame of the call 

  •  “We have 15 minutes then I’m committed to...”

  •  “But let’s make sure we schedule another call when we’re done.”

  • “Is that ok with you?”

3. Focus on one subject

  • q  “Tell me what should we talk about first?

  • Team issues

  • Customer issues

  • Cash issues

4. Agree on decisions and actions

  • q  “What was most important for you on this call?”

  •  “What’s your next step or key decision?”

5. Agree time for next call – give them a choice

  • q  “Let’s speak again soon – would you like to talk again on Friday or would next week suit you better?”

45 minute video meeting agenda

1.   Start the call with their wellbeing

  •  “How are you holding up?”

  •  “How’s your family?”

2.   Set the time frame of the call 

  •  “We have 45 minutes then I’m committed to...”

  •  “But let’s make sure we schedule another call when we’re done.”

  • “Is that ok with you?”

3.  Team challenges

  • “What health issues have your team seen?”

  •  “How has your team responded to things?”

  •  “What hygiene protocols have you set up?”

  •  “How are you making remote working work?”

  •  “What have you done about reduced hours?”

  •  “What are you planning next for your team?”

4. Customer challenges

  • “How are your customers reacting?”

  • “What’s happening with customers and revenues?”

  •  “What more are you expecting?”

  •  “What have you done to look at future sales?”

5. Cash challenges

  • q  “What are your thoughts on managing cash?”

  •  “How far ahead are you looking/planning?”

  •  “What are you expecting to happen?”

  •  “How will it impact you personally?”

6. Agree on decisions and actions

  • q  “What was most important for you on this call?”

  •  “What’s your next step or key decision?”

7. Agree time for next call – give them a choice

  • q  “Let’s speak again soon – would you like to talk again on Friday or would next week suit you better?”

The QuickBooks blog covers a wide range of topics for working more successfully during COVID-19 – it’s all part of our mission to support small businesses and accountants.

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Paul Shrimpling

... inspiring accountants to be remarkable.

Paul inspires accountants to achieve remarkable results through his weekly blog, 1,000s of advisory meetings & seminars remarkablepractice.com