Client retention needs to be a major concern for accountants. In fact, according to a study conducted by a service provider for accounting professionals, most CPA firms are most worried about retaining clients.
Dissatisfied clients can leave and have an impact on your revenue, not to mention your brand reputation. As a professional, you must always prioritise improving client experience to keep them happy.
If you think this is daunting, think again. As a matter of fact, client retention is not rocket science. There’s only one thing you need to do: show them that you care.
It’s that simple. Everything else will follow if you show clients some love. Below is a list of simple yet effective ways to retain clients.
Identify the good clients
Here’s the thing: you shouldn’t have problems trying to make clients stay if you’ve found the right ones in the first place. This is the foundation of successful client retention. And the key to this is effective marketing.
What makes a good client? It’s one that generates a significant portion of your income compared to the usual client, pays on time, and even sends referrals. A good client is easy to communicate with and doesn’t have unreasonable demands.
Communication is vital in forging and improving client experience. The last thing your client wants is someone who only checks in with them once or twice a year. Make sure that your clients feel that they are front of mind; that even when you’re not talking to them, they are confident that you’re taking care of their needs.
I can tell you now there are firms out there that are doing monthly — what they call “How’s-it-going phone calls”. Just ringing their clients to say “How are you going? We noticed your financials did this last month. Do you want to come in and have a chat? Is everything under control? Let’s catch up for a coffee.” If you’re not and these firms are starting to deliver a higher level of service for the same cost, who are they going to stay with?
CEO The Outsourced Accountant
Pick up the phone and see if they have any concerns. Even if you don’t think they have one, call anyway. Touch base. You don’t have to limit your conversations to business matters. Ask about their kids or the weekend activities they’ve mentioned before. Just remember to keep things professional.
Checking in with your clients shows that you value their business
Conversations like these will put your clients at ease; they’ll feel that you genuinely care about them. Eventually, they will look at you as more than an accountant but a trusted ally. Bear in mind that a loyal and satisfied client is more likely to stay with you than a new client that might shop around for new firms.
Most importantly, whenever you can, pay them a visit. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings. Take them out to lunch or coffee. They’ll appreciate the effort.
Promptly attend to their needs
Always return calls and emails as soon as possible. Your clients will appreciate prompt responses mainly because it shows your level of commitment. In addition, attending to their queries immediately allows them to finish their work faster, making them more productive.
Clients really are demanding more, they’re wanting it quicker. Because of this cloud technology they can now see whether or not you’re actually doing your job.
CEO The Outsourced Accountant
Being available is equally important. Your client must trust that you’re ready to provide assistance when the need arises.
Always take the initiative. There’s very little room for error if you’re two steps ahead. Foresee potential problems and plot out possible solutions so you can efficiently overcome roadblocks in the future. Suggest methods that would streamline their processes–a new automation tool or efficient ways to cut unnecessary costs–and solve existing challenges they may have.
Pay a visit and touch base with your clients from time to time
Have a client retention plan in place. Use this as a guide in dealing with clients so they stay with your firm for the long haul. But if there’s one thing you need to do, it’s to, at the very least, is to show appreciation. A client who feels appreciated and valued will have no reason to look for another firm.
If you have capacity restraints, are looking to scale your firm, or just want to know what is possible with outsourcing, contact our local industry experts specialists for a consultation today at 1300 896 522.