5 Tips to Improve Client Service at Your CPA Firm
In an increasingly commoditized marketplace, client satisfaction is crucial to ensuring the profitability and growth of your firm.
Digital Exclusive - 2022
With more than 46,000 CPA firms in the United States today, your firm must deliver exceptional service to differentiate itself and keep clients satisfied. If your clients feel that your firm isn’t delivering to meet their immediate needs, they can easily turn to a competitor. So, how can your firm stay top of mind with its current clients while standing out to new prospects? Learn what they want. Going about your daily business without knowing this central piece of information could render all your business development activities irrelevant. Here are five tips to help ensure you’re delivering the strategic business advice clients need all while providing the quality of service they want.
1. Communicate With Your Clients
The ability to effectively engage and communicate with your clients allows you to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Ask questions that establish what their needs are. This ensures an understanding of their fundamental issue(s) and how you can best serve them, and it also makes them feel valued and heard, which feeds into client loyalty further down the line.
2. Highlight the Human Factor
Illustrating that your firm is about more than just numbers and data is more important than ever as clients and companies increasingly try to align their values with those of whom they do business with. A great way to create client engagement and attract new prospects is to show off what makes your firm buzz—it’s inspiring people! Highlight who makes up your team, what your collective values are, and how the various cultures and different walks of life within your firm add to the level of client service and expertise your firm provides.
3. Keep Up With Industry Trends
Whether your firm serves just one niche or several, you can preempt your clients’ needs by being experts in their respective industries. Keeping up with the trends and challenges impacting your clients’ businesses is crucial to ensuring your firm is able to provide the tailored solutions they need to drive their growth and profitability—and yours.
4. Evaluate Client Satisfaction and Success
Do you measure client satisfaction? Do you know if your strategic business advice is working for them? If not, it’s time to start evaluating the ROI your clients are getting from your firm. I believe it’s imperative that your firm creates a benchmark to ensure a high level of client satisfaction and success is maintained. Doing so will help you set goals, implement new business and talent development strategies, and evaluate outcomes to ensure that your team is helping your clients hit their milestones alongside your firm’s milestones.
Your firm’s success is paramount, but so is your team’s wellbeing! Creating an environment where your people feel comfortable decreases stress and helps inspire more creative mindsets and drives productivity—all things that will boost client service.
Simply providing accounting and finance solutions isn’t enough in today’s increasingly competitive and commoditized marketplace for CPA firm services. Firms looking to ensure their long-term growth and sustainability must differentiate themselves by paying close attention to client retention and satisfaction while also developing a staff of strategic business advisors with top-notch customer service skills. By incorporating these measures into your firm’s daily operations, I think you’ll quickly observe stark changes to your clients’ satisfaction, start growing your client base, and ultimately transform your firm from good to great.
Henry Hols is a contributing editor and writer on business and finance-related articles for Ratio CPA. He has over 10 years of industry experience specializing in areas of tax reduction, tax preparation, accounting, business accounting, and more.