Can you hear me now? Communicating with your accounting clients can sometimes be a chore. They’re demanding. They ask a lot of questions. They take up your time. They oftentimes feel like a roadblock to the rest of your day. But the reality is that you are their lifeline to the ultimate goal of their business: revenue and income. People strongly prefer to do business with people they know. People they trust. That means we have to connect with the client. Um. Yeah. That sounds really simple, right? It sounds like a no-brainer. Clients really want to do business with a company or CPA that connects with them, personally. Here are a few, simple ideas that you can incorporate that will nurture that relationship and keep clients happy, coming back for more, and referring others to you.
1: Be HumanGet to know your clients on a personal basis. You should be “genuinely interested in [their] success,” notes Bernadette L. Harris, a Tax and Forensic Accountant with By The Book Accounting. According to her, developing a human interest in them will not only keep existing clients happy, it’ll help to attract new clients. Have a real conversation with people, both established and prospective clients. Ask them questions and really listen to their answers. They’ll appreciate the attention and know that you’re being genuine. This will give you an opportunity to dispel any misconceptions they may have and find out if your services really are a fit for them. Be honest about what you can and can’t do for them.
2: Be a Guide and Adviser - Not Just a Number-CruncherIn a survey of small businesses by Wasp Barcode, participants ranked their professionals in order of importance to their business. Accountants ranked number one. That’s above attorney, banker, insurance agent, technology firm, and staffing service. But when asked what bothered them most about their accountant, the list included some pretty serious offenses:
- Being reactive rather than proactive
- Lack of guidance
- Failure to provide advice
- Failure to educate the business owner