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How accounting firm Frank HQ stayed connected through the COVID-19 pandemic

Kobus Retief
7/07/20 10:58 AM

Background

Auckland-based accounting firm Frank HQ is known for giving ‘frank’ business advice. The team of 10 pride themselves on giving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expert advice on a range of topics including compliance, business growth, financial planning, and deals and transactions.

As their website says: “They’re sharp, they’re experienced, they’re well-read and they’re analytical. They’re focussed while lateral, mildly obsessed yet personable, they’re detectives, they’re businesspeople, they’re economists. And THEN they’re accountants.”

While the Frank HQ team are experts at creating annual accounts for clients, the real sweet spot for them is providing business advisory services.

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The challenge

“We help customers to run their businesses more smartly, and so managing our time and relationships with our clients is key, particularly during the pandemic,” says COO Linda Hodgson.

“Most of our SME clients are very good at what they do and these days software like Xero will do most of the work that traditional accountants used to do. As a result, we’re very tech-driven and have cut out any costs that don’t add value for our clients.

So, the perpetual challenge for Frank HQ is twofold: How does each team member best spend their time to ensure they are adding value to clients, and how do they keep a record of the interactions and value they are adding to continuously improve?

The solution

The Cradle team installed smart desktop and mobile apps for every team member that integrates with Hubspot, Frank HQ’s existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.

“Cradle recommends Jabra headsets for the best experience, but we kept our existing Logitec headsets and they work very well too,” says Linda.

“Previously, we had a traditional set up with one number and a receptionist answering all calls. We thought that was providing a personal service, but clients can find that annoying. With Cradle’s smart routing, every customer call goes to the right person no matter where they are,” says Linda.

“Integration and onboarding is very straightforward. [Customer Success Specialist] Joel is just the most wonderful person. He’s amazing. All instructions are well documented but, even so, Joel spoke to everyone and tailored the onboarding to each user – which we appreciated. Some people need more time to learn the functionality.”

The outcome 

Cradle does all the things you would expect from a modern phone system. For the Frank HQ, in particular, there were four key outcomes:

1. Smart routing: Cradle allows you to quickly route calls in whatever way you need to. That means customers bypass a traditional receptionist and speak directly to who they need to, for example, who they spoke to last, or who owns the relationship.

2. An accurate CRM with high data integrity: Cradle integrated with HubSpot gives better data integrity and visibility, which leads to more prospects and more business opportunities.

Linda, Aroha and FrankLinda Hodgson, Chief Operating Officer

“The reliability of our data now is high and the accuracy of our CRM has improved dramatically. Before we answer a call, we know who’s calling and when we last spoke to them. That means much better customer service. It’s a more human touch,” says Linda.

3. Focused sales and customer service: Cradle allows a team to measure their performance by having calls, emails, meetings, notes, and deal activity recorded in Hubspot.

“The reporting shows us how many calls each staff member is making, and which customers we have and haven’t been in touch with. Ultimately, it pulls people away from emails and onto the phones to build valuable relationships,” says Linda.

4. A connected and engaged team no matter the location: Cradle’s smart desktop and mobile apps allow the team to make, receive and track calls from their laptops and mobile phones from anywhere with a Wi-Fi or 4G connection.

 

“While working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cradle allowed us to stay in touch seamlessly. We can send messages, make, answer, and transfer calls, and it’s all logged,” says Linda.

If you’d like to talk to Cradle about any of these benefits, then please do get in touch. You can message us from here or, even better, give us a call. We’d love to talk to you.

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