Adding value to your client relationships is one of the best ways that accountants can achieve positive differentiation. It will help, not only with gaining clients, but also with developing the client relationships you already have.
- Understand your client
- Transparency is key
- Under-promise and over-deliver
- Stay in touch
- Add more services to your offering
1. Understand your client
Recent surveys of small businesses have highlighted that their accountant’s lack of understanding of their business is a primary source of dissatisfaction. To overcome this, it’s important to gain a clear understanding of your client, their business and their personal and business goals straight away. Simple additions to your service such as site visits to meet with your clients to gain deeper understanding of their business in their environment can be combined with online survey tools, which are a cost effective way of gaining intelligence.
2. Transparency is key
Clients want to know exactly what they are buying, when it will arrive, who will be providing the service and how much it will cost. The more transparent you are with your process, the more you will be able to meet your client’s expectations.
3. Under-promise and over-deliver
Too often promises are made to clients, in order to impress, that are unrealistic and cannot be met. Avoid imposing unrealistic deadlines that you or your team cannot meet. By under-promising, and over-delivering, you can create a positive impression in your clients mind and can help you to strengthen your relationships.
4. Stay in touch
In a recent survey by Clear Books, 28% of small businesses cited communication as a key driver in choosing an accountant. Why not contact your customers with ideas and information that will help them, without asking for anything in return. Never underestimate the power of ‘free’ resources – including free brochures and printable PDFs. In the age of digital accounting with a range of online suites available, it’s important to find reasons to get in touch with customers to ensure relationships flourish. One way of doing this could be to add additional services to your offering and communicating these to your customers.
5. Add more services to your offering
New technologies, such as Skype, offer free, easily accessible communication that accountants can utilise to deliver additional services to clients.
Another way of adding more to your service is by offering a direct credit line to your clients. LDF's introduce programme is designed to support small businesses and enrich client relationships by offering unsecured loans for a wide range of purposes.