As part of an ongoing series of marketing training programs one of my clients hosted three of their clients to participate in a panel discussion regarding “How Clients Choose and Retain CPA Firms.” I facilitated the panel to uncover the clients’ thoughts about:
- How and why they selected the firm.
- The most important factors in the selection process.
- The most important elements of great client service.
- How CPAs can best gain client confidence.
- What CPAs do (or don’t do) that detracts from the relationship.
The clients’ responses to these questions and follow up questions from the audience resulted in valuable feedback. Team members were taking notes. Their focus was on the discussion, not on their smart phones.
Then, from my perspective, came the most revealing comment. When asked about areas that the firm can improve on a client responded,
“Can I have the direct dial numbers for my team? I’d love to be able to call them without going through the receptionist.”
Wow. Client service can be that simple.
Needless to say, before the client left that day he had the direct dial numbers of each firm member that is part of his team. And, his feedback opened up a bigger discussion about recognizing the many factors that go into delivering superior client service. CPAs must be willing to adjust to how their clients want to do business and not what is most convenient for them.
My client was rewarded with many positive comments about their firm and reinforced marketing and client service concepts from previous training programs with feedback from their clients’ mouths. How can your firm improve its level of client service and satisfaction? What small changes can you make that will impact your clients’ perceptions of your firm?
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