The accountant’s ten steps to better client service By on Jul 5, 2019

Searching for the holy grail brings other opportunities

Great client service is an ongoing challenge for accounting firms. I was recently asked, “what are the key things you see in successful accounting firms around the world when it comes to client service?” I have summarised below my top 10 steps to better client service from observations in Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada;

  1. You are in business to service client needs and you can only do that if you know what it is your clients want. When you truly listen to your clients, they let you know what they want and how you can provide good service.
  2. Unlock and anticipate needs. Clients don’t buy products or services. They buy solutions to problems.
  3. Be a good listener. Take the time to listen to what the client is really saying. Listen to their words, tone of voice, body language, and most importantly how they feel.
  4. Make clients feel important and appreciated. Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to sincerely compliment them.
  5. Help clients understand your systems. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they can integrate their systems to simplify transactions.
  6. Appreciate the power of saying “Yes” to clients. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable, and you can achieve it) tell them that you can do it and give them a realistic expectation of completion time and the cost involved.
  7. Know how to apologise when something goes wrong. The customer may not always be right, but they need to think they have won. Deal with problems immediately and let clients know exactly what you have done.
  8. Give more than expected. Develop your unique selling proposition (USP) and think of ways to elevate your firm above the competition.
  9. Get regular feedback. Encourage and welcome suggestions about how your firm could improve. Look to client surveys as a good way to attract this feedback and act on it.
  10. Look to study exceptional models of client service like the hugely successful Disney management model of “on stage and off stage” service delivery and “over managing” through incredible attention to detail that drives ongoing success.

Better still come along to our Young Guns Workshop at the QT Hotel Gold Coast on 29 and 30 July 2019 where experiences will be shared from my very recent US trip to Disney Institute in Anaheim California to undertake the Exceptional Leaders, Recruitment, Selection and Training and Exceptional Customer Service training programs with lessons and systems that can be directly articulated to an accounting firm. Click here for further information and to register.

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