One of the most important factors influencing the success of an accounting firm – or any business for that matter, is customer retention. If you have loyal clients who you can count on through long periods of time, you can make plans and take calculated business risks.
While 80 per cent of companies believe they provide superior customer service, only 8 per cent of their clients would agree with that. And, given that 70 per cent of clients say they would leave their current firms if they received poor customer service, the only way for accounting firms to maximise client retention is by ensuring they are satisfied.
And the best way of learning what needs to be changed to make your clients happier – if anything at all – is by asking them. An online survey with well-designed simple questions is a good way of getting feedback. Studies show that surveys with 10 to 15 questions perform better than short ones, and response rates are higher for surveys sent out on Mondays than any other day. So make sure you ask your clients good questions that can provide you with insightful information, and do so early in the week.
Training staff to regularly ask clients for feedback or to check if they have any concerns or need any other services or insight and advice – which your firm can help them with – is another way of building customer relationships based on communication and trust, which encourages your clients to stick around, as they know the firm truly cares about their needs.
When meeting with clients in person, or talking to them on the phone, we recommend trying and getting deeper, more meaningful feedback, opinions and suggestions they wouldn’t be able to express on an online survey. Lastly, make sure you always keep in touch with them, not only during tax time.