Angie Grissom, President of the Rainmaker Companies, knows what it takes to deliver 5 star service. (And it’s not in the way you might think).
Not only does Angie’s company help partners and owners “make it rain” with new clients…she consults on delivering incredible service, which leads to more growth. Funny enough, growth may not start with getting more clients…you’ll see what she means today.
In this episode of the Growing Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and Angie Grissom discuss:
- How to Implement 5 Star Service in Your Firm
- How to Generate Honest, Constructive Feedback from Your Team
- How to Empower Your Team to Grow with the Firm
And so much more…
5 Star Service For Clients to Generate New Busienss:
Angie Grissom, President of Rainmaker Companies, has helped build a diverse service company. Not only does Rainmaker provide ‘biz dev’ help to firm owners and partners…
They also have live classes to attend across the United States. (her company is based in Nashville, TN). They also have ‘niche’ associations and consulting for popular niches including healthcare, non-profit, real estate and more.
They have ‘enterprise worldwide’ which is an incredible opportunity for owners and partners to come together, refer, share ideas, even share team members!
Lastly, Rainmaker Companies houses a consulting division geared towards practice development. This is what Angie discusses most with us today. She goes into: Growth, Employee retention, Communication, Leadership…and more.
The biggest shock you will get from Angie…
Growth doesn’t automatically start with ‘business development.’ No.
Instead, it should start internally with teaching your own team the ‘5 Star Service for Clients’: How it works is quite simple. Angie doesn’t believe you’re able to offer clients incredible, referral-juiced service if your team doesn’t take on a new mindset for service.
The way to do this?
Think of your 5 star service offering like a 5-star restaurant. Let’s walk-thru what you see at a restaurant:
- You walk into restaurant, host/coat check will start a conversation with you…break the ice
- You’ll be taken to your seat, you’ll be asked what you’re ‘feeling’ tonight
- You’ll be presented with options that fit your needs
- Your food is delivered on time and still hot
- Your waiter checks in on you periodically to make sure all needs met
- Your check is brought and paid promptly
- The staff fixes any and all mistakes they made with your order, etc.
The wait staff simply want to provide you with the absolute best service possible. Yes, sometimes mistakes will happen. But, they clean them up promptly and don’t point fingers at you. With your staff, you want to train them to do the same.
Creating a ‘better than average’ service offering, you’ll be able to stand out from competing firms in the area, 5 star service gives you a leg up and a way to differentiate yourself. Especially as accounting services, at times, feels ‘intangible’ according to Angie. It also positions your firm as ‘high quality’ which allows you to price services higher.
DAVID’S TIP: There are tons of opportunities within your day-to-day firm life where your employees can deliver 5 star service and you’re not even aware. Clients want consistent service throughout. So: How you answer the phone, put clients on hold, deliver them work, follow-up…All these touch-points create an ‘aurora’ about your firm. For each client, it should feel similar.
The Power of “Ascertaining”
The problem in firms is the owners tend not to put employees first over clients. If employees aren’t put first, their interactions with clients will reflect that and thus hinder potential 5 star service opportunities (and thus, more referrals).
That’s when Angie recommends the power of ascertaining satisfaction. This all first starts internally with managers, associates, owners etc. What is it?
Ascertaining feedback is where everyone in the firm sets up time with those above and below them on how that to be better. You collect feedback on your work in a non-confrontational environment.
Just like waiters don’t wait until you’re walking out the door to collect feedback on your food, you don’t wait until an employee is leaving for a new firm to get feedback. Angie recommends team members collect this feedback every 8-10 weeks from all around the office (not all at once…in pieces). Angie’s found those that do ascertain feedback become much easier to work with going forward. A huge win for employee retention.
How should team members ascertain feedback without causing conflicts?
Angie recommends asking these two basic questions to superiors and subordinates:
- “What would you like to see more of?”
- “What would you like to see less of?”
Angie recommends scheduling these ‘sit-downs’ at least a week in advance to give the person actually giving the feedback some time to prep. These sit-downs don’t have to be long. 15-30 minutes works great.
The key is not to create a culture of griping. Only employees who want to make the firm better.
DAVID’S TIP: This process of ascertaining feedback would work awesome with millennials. Millennials need constant feedback and want to feel heard as well.
Building a “Growth Culture”
If you build a team and teach them to solve problems, they will become consultants for your clients. Consultants are high-value and can charge a ton. Why wouldn’t you teach your team members how to become consultants?
If you can get everyone in your firm onboard with the “growth” of the firm…imagine how much your firm could grow! The key is getting everyone motivated.
Growth doesn’t mean everyone on the team is cold-calling. But, you must have team members with a strong passion for your firm. Nobody will care about it as much you (if you’re the owner). But, if you can get team members engaged when they express interest, you’ll be on the right track.
What that means is that everyone isn’t meant to drum up business. Some of your best technicians could be awesome client service members who land referrals. Your admin team could research new companies in the area and send over welcome letters.
Get everyone invested in the “Growth Culture” and make sure they understand what they will get from it. If only the partners benefit from profits in the firm, you could see problems in retention. And it doesn’t always have to be monetary.
Angie recommends thinking about: “How do I create a win-win for everyone?” Angie admits looking for ways to motivate and create opportunities can be difficult. However, it’s essential for keeping your team motivated and at the firm.
The challenge for you is: “How are you going to start implementing 5 star service practices in your own firm?” These practices are easy to put on the backburner…but, you’re leaving new clients on the table if you do nothing.
Put together a gameplan today!