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Armanino’s Financial Advisory blog is your source for thought leadership around cloud ERP and accounting solutions and integrations. Supported by the Cloud Accounting Institute and numerous experts in cloud, finance, reporting, integration, compliance, and technology, Armanino’s Financial Advisory blog features must-read content on what’s happening in the finance industry, case studies, white papers, and much more.

July 31, 2013

Staying grounded in the cloud: The importance of providing customer service with cloud software

Posted by Armanino Financial Advisory Team

Cloud technology makes it easier to service clients, but it is no replacement for high-quality customer service. In fact, it actually requires companies to provide more personal touches, quicker responses, and better service to ensure relationships are being built and maintained.

In the equity administration world (that’s me), there are currently no on-premise software solutions being sold; everything has moved to the cloud. This means I service clients across the country, sometimes without ever meeting face-to-face.

By eliminating the need for travel, clients that utilize cloud solutions don’t have to wait for a consultant to come on-site. Instead, changes to the system can be made from a different location and clients are able to see the results almost instantly. This allows consultants to be more readily available, provides faster diagnosis/resolution, and reduces costs for clients.

The above exemplifies all of the great powers of cloud based solutions, but like any technology, if put “in the wrong hands,” there can be negative consequences.

It’s important for companies to realize that the “cloud” does not replace the human element of professional services, but should push us all to become more conscious of the level of service we provide. The cloud requires a higher level of connection to clients: more phone calls, more check-in e-mails, and better communication and instructions either through emails or video conferencing.  Otherwise we can lose insight into our clients’ businesses and their business needs.

While the cloud offers unsurpassed flexibility and cost savings for companies, it’s important to remember that it lacks the personal contact that builds relationships. A different type of collaboration is needed between service providers and clients to counteract this; and of course, it’s always a good idea to get on-site when it makes sense.

I’d like to hear your feedback. If you’re a provider, what have you done to improve your customer service and interactions with “cloud” clients? For businesses utilizing cloud services, how can consultants and software companies serve you better?

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