There are thousands of fiduciary companies in Switzerland. For most of them, SMEs are among the most important target group. Thus, they compete for customers. How can your fiduciary company stand out from the competition and become indispensable to existing and new clients? In this blog post, you will get an overview of the most important differentiation measures for your fiduciary company.
Competitors are “all companies, individuals, and even public services to which customers may turn instead of seeking out their own company”, writes the SME Portal of the Swiss Confederation. With thousands of fiduciary companies in Switzerland that have a similar target group – namely SMEs – your fiduciary company has to hold its own against numerous competitors.
Below we have summarised how your fiduciary company can differentiate itself and stand out from the competition.
1. With innovative services, your fiduciary company scores more points with SMEs than with the handling of routine activities.
As a manager, it is your task to make the offer of your fiduciary company more attractive than that of your competitors. What does this mean in practice? And what does advancing digitalisation and changing customer needs have to do with it? Market observers expect fiduciary companies to lose income from routine activities such as bookkeeping in the medium term. Routine work – with a high potential for automation – already no longer represents a major benefit for many SMEs. Fully automated accounting solutions often perform repetitive tasks such as document extraction, sub-ledger reconciliations and report generation more efficiently than fiduciaries. Consequently, in the too distant future, hardly anyone will be willing to pay for the handling of such tasks.
However, digitalisation does not (only) mean the elimination of work for fiduciary companies. Rather, a shift is taking place. Fiduciaries remain the central point of contact for all business and financial concerns of the companies they serve. As fiduciary professionals, you monitor your clients’ accounting, advise and proactively intervene in the event of problems. Modern fiduciary software enables fiduciary companies to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up more time to develop and promote innovative services.
2. Clear focus ensures greater customer centricity.
Smaller fiduciary companies in particular are unlikely to be able to serve all client segments effectively and efficiently in the future due to the increasing complexity of the fiduciary business. Therefore, carry out a customer segmentation based on company characteristics such as industry, number of employees or legal form. Determine which client segments your fiduciary company can and wants to serve in the coming years. If you focus more on the most profitable customer segments, you can achieve higher margins due to the economies of scale. When defining a client strategy, you should also consider whether it is worth continuing to work with all existing clients.
Closely related to more focus is greater customer centricity: If your fiduciary company focuses on selected client segments, this allows for greater client centricity. This means that your existing and potential clients will increasingly come into focus. Customer centricity can increase sales, the loyalty of your customers and the recommendation rate.
3. Become part of an SME ecosystem.
Your fiduciary company should make every effort to establish itself as an important part of an SME ecosystem. An SME ecosystem always includes providers, orchestrators and consumers. Providers such as banks use the ecosystem to provide services and as a distribution channel. Orchestrators provide the platform for providers, users and other stakeholders such as the state and investors to come together. SMEs as end users consume the services. Fiduciary companies can act in an SME ecosystem either as providers, users or both. To steer and regulate the ecosystem as an orchestrator, most fiduciary companies lack the resources and know-how. As a provider, you have the option of offering your own services. The development, promotion and billing of the new offer will be carried out via the platform. As users, fiduciary companies themselves take advantage of offerings from other ecosystem members, such as software to automate accounting tasks or services to fill specific knowledge gaps.
More and more SMEs today want to obtain all administrative activities from a single source, from bank accounts to accounting and personnel services. Digital-affine executives in particular are increasingly demanding individual overall solutions. An SME ecosystem is where all the threads come together. As an important part of a functioning SME ecosystem, your fiduciary company can make itself indispensable to existing and new clients.
4. Marketing can no longer be neglected.
Marketing and communication play a central role in the acquisition of new customers, on the one hand, and in the maintenance of customer relationships on the other. With targeted marketing, fiduciary companies can increase their reach – and thus the number of interested parties – , better address their target group and polish their image. You don’t always need huge budgets for that. Even small businesses can improve their position on the market with targeted marketing measures.
Nevertheless, marketing still comes up short in many fiduciary companies. In addition to the lack of marketing budgets, the time factor is often cited as a reason for not marketing in the fiduciary sector, which is severely affected by the shortage of skilled workers. But this does not have to be the case: As described above, automating repetitive tasks allows your fiduciary company to focus more on developing and promoting innovative services, which are still key elements of the marketing mix defined by Harvard professor Neil Borden. Work with personas, develop a communication strategy and set the tone of voice (often referred to in marketing as “tone of voice”) of your fiduciary. This helps you to differentiate and stand out from the competition.
Reading Tip: In this blog post fiduciary executives learn how to lay the foundation for successful marketing without spending a lot of time and money.