In today’s day and age, technology and global marketing has transformed the accounting profession. As the profession continues to evolve, so are client expectations and demands.
Many public accounting firms are now offering more varied and specialized areas of service. This not only helps them expand their product offerings, but also to ensure client retention. Here are 5 tips you can use to ensure your firm is doing just that.
Know Your Clients’ Pain Points
You can’t offer proper solutions to your clients if you don’t know what their problems are. You also can’t upsell your services if you’re only working with them on surface level. In order to get to really know what your clients need, ask the right questions.
This can come in the form of a survey, luncheons, or multiple interactions where you check in with them and simply listen to what’s happening in their lives and in their businesses. Encourage them to share what keeps them awake at night to build trust. Then see what you have in your repertoire to help them from there.
Go the Extra Mile
The phrase, “Go the extra mile—it’s never crowded” is a good adage to live by when it comes to making your client feel more like part of your firm’s family than just an organization you do business with.
Therefore, doing little things like sending holiday cards, well wishes for a family member’s wedding or graduation, or condolences during difficult times makes a big difference and separates you and your firm from the rest. While your clients may not remember the daily tasks you perform for them, they will remember personal gestures such as these that lead to client loyalty and appreciation.
Provide Valuable Information
Whatever your clients hired you and your firm for, you want to make sure that you’re also the ones they go to for resources related to their industry in the accounting space. This shows that you’re more than just a public accounting firm; you’re also thought leaders in the industry.
So share information such as trends, legislation, or other news with your clients that could potentially affect their business. Just beware of how much information you send and how often. You don’t want to overwhelm your clients, so a good rule of thumb is to provide resources that you think are relevant and important.
Take Initiative on Keeping in Touch
Don’t go too long without hearing from your clients. And don’t assume that no news is good news. It could be that they’re just extremely busy or have been traveling and haven’t had the time to get in touch with you.
Taking the initiative to contact them first is a great way to show you care about their needs and are always thinking about them. This gesture also reflects your concern for their financial well-being and touching base will give them the opportunity to ask you questions and get your advice on issues they’ve been meaning to discuss but haven’t had the chance to. Until you called, that is. This is a great way to show that you’re on top of your game and that they matter to you.
Make Life Easier for Yourself & Your Clients
Analyze the service you’re providing for your clients case-by-case, and see what you can do for each to better streamline your workflows with one another. This can be using technology for better data storage and transferring information; requesting documents ahead of time to stay ahead of deadlines; or discussing the usage of different software or other platforms for easy automation.
Whatever the case may be, make sure resources are being leveraged on both sides to maximize productivity and efficiency.