Most businesses focus their time and money on acquiring clients. What they don’t realise is that retaining existing clientele requires more effort than attracting new ones. Having a cohesive client experience should be a top priority in your business. When your customers are satisfied with your service, they become delighted; and when they do, they become promoters of your business.
Personally, I value transparency in doing my business. We want to be open with how we get paid and where we get paid from, so everything we do must be in the client’s interest. As they say, solve for the customers, not for the numbers. I know that it’s easy for our industry to be tempted to look at how we can benefit instead of how the client can benefit, but we want to shatter this impression. We want to focus on our client and our system, and the way we designed the business reflects this.
When you want to delight your target market, you have to go the extra mile to provide something above the minimum work. Here are some ways you can add value to your client services:
- Build trust
According to Mark Kilens, founder and leader of HubSpot Academy, building trust is core to customer delight, and trust can be built in every interaction. This means that from the very first moment they interact with you – say, a tweet, an e-mail, or a comment – you have to start building trust with them. As Kilens put it, “it is a pre- and post-sale activity.” When you have established trust, your client will remain loyal, and even recommend your company to others.
- Establish constant communication
One way to get to know your clients personally is to reach out to them. Listen and ask questions to learn more about their problem and be able to deliver the best and personalised experience. Track every interaction and collect data if you must. You have to maintain an open communication with your clients because your aim is to help them solve their problem and let them understand why they need your service.
- Get innovative
In this increasingly competitive industry, firms must be able to communicate well their expertise to their clients. To make sure you’re on the right track, think of ways to improve every aspect of their experience by offering value-added services like advisory. You can also focus on certain specialties like SMSF or retirement planning. Remember, you have to constantly think of innovative ways to provide integrated business solutions to your clients in order to avoid becoming redundant or irrelevant.
- Educate your clients
When Kilens started out as a HubSpot customer, he thought of a way to create an environment where customers never stop learning – that’s how HubSpot Academy was founded. In the accounting industry, your aim is not just to prepare financial reports; you want your clients to understand these numbers. Help them grow their knowledge by sharing information that adds value to their lives.
- Teach your team
Simon Sinek states, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Therefore, you should train EVERYONE in the organisation to be focused on client’s delight. Let them be immersed with different people in order to build their skill and hone their character. Let them live by the company’s principles by instilling these values. Don’t just settle for lectures and presentations; share your personal experiences. When you team is educated, they will know how to identify a client persona, answer client’s queries, and give the right information.
With growing number of tax regulations and auditing rules comes changing client expectations. As Rob Nixon said, if you want to remain relevant, you are going to have to add value.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522, and download our e-book.