When in doubt about the importance of customer service and building strong customer relationships, consider the following stats from a Harvard Business Review study. A 5% increase in customer retention increases profits from 25% to 95%. With today’s highly disruptive business environment, customers are looking for ways to reduce risk. An accounting firm study by Hinge Marketing found that buyers reported a 111% increase in the importance of existing relationships in making a purchase decision.
Customers want to work with partners they already know and have a good relationship with.
But customer management is just one of her approaches to growing her business. A business without a program to acquire new customers is stagnant or shrinking. Client acquisition allows the firm to build up its client base, expand market share, and increase sales, which can boost profits.
- Nine client management best practices that contribute to your bottom line
- What you need to know about successfully offering client advisory services
- Ten examples of leading client advisory services
- How to build a compelling brand identity
11 Proven Tactics For Acquiring New Clients
- Two crucial approaches to growing — and sustaining — your firm
- Strategies to increase client retention
- Client Advisory Services
- New client acquisition
Successfully growing your accounting firm’s business comes from two core activities:
Client Acquisition and Client Retention.
Client acquisition deals with all activities associated with creating demand for the firm’s services, thereby gaining new accounting firms. Retention focuses on keeping customers engaged, active, and satisfied over time through quality of service and building strong relations.
Retention increases lifetime value and provides a higher ROI on marketing spend than on acquisition efforts. Acquisitions, however, expand the customer base and are essential for long-term growth. To be successful in the long term, you need to acquire and retain customers for your accounting firm.
Customer management involves managing, coordinating, and monitoring company interactions between potential and existing customers. The main benefits of effective customer management are:
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Improved retention rate
- Greater recommendation potential
- Better cooperation between the company and customers
Establishing a customer relationship management workflow and pairing it with software that automates the process makes it much easier to manage the growth of your accounting firms.
Customer Management Best Practices For Accounting Firms
Successful customer management relies on personal interactions, regular and productive communication, and timely responses to customer inquiries for accounting firm. Assume an advisory role to learn and understand the client’s needs, problems, and goals for success.
- Engage with customers across multiple channels.
- Phone, email, video, and onsite meetings.
- Use planning tools to stay in touch.
Manage her customer journey to set the right expectations and ensure productive collaboration.
Think holistically and commit all of the company’s intellectual resources to help our customers. Remember the adage, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
- Leverage technology to take advantage of personalization.
- Educate your customers about the value of your service.
- Connect with customers by sharing company and industry news.
- Implement an onboarding program that gives all new customers clear expectations.
After all, people want to work with people they like. That’s why accounting firms found that, on average, a B2B customer is 32% more likely to renew with her B2B company after mastering the customer’s experience.
Offering paid processing allows us to have deeper and more collaborative conversations with our customers. We advise you on how to manage your cash flow and how it impacts your business. Many service allows you to walk up to your customers and tell them there’s so much more you can do to help them.
Contract Extension By Customer
Renewing connections with customers is also important for sustainable growth. Here are some tips for improving contract renewals.
Describe The Services Provided.
Highlight the risks associated with not updating. Costs that the customer may incur, lost opportunities, and lost knowledge gained through collaboration between the customer and the accounting firm.
Ask For Feedback
This will allow you to address and resolve any open issues that may prompt your customers to renew their contracts for accounting firm.
Start communicating the value of your service and the need for renewal before your contract renewal period ends. Set up auto-renewal email campaigns to keep your customers in sight.
Suggest An Alternative Solution.
For older products and services, it may be better to promote new offers rather than renew contracts. The success of the renewal process is closely related to the value conveyed to the customer. The value demonstrated during the renewal process should match what was originally promised. Account management, therefore, needs to understand client processes, desired outcomes, industries, and challenges.
Customer Advisory Service
Client Advisory Services (CAS) helps CPA firms add value to their clients through enhanced services. CPA firms help business owners achieve their strategic, financial, and operational goals by providing expert recommendations.
According to Sage’s The Practice of Now 2020, “79% of his accountants said client expectations extended to providing business and financial advice.”
Accounting firms Today reported that CAS is a highly profitable sector, with growth often twice as high as the more established services sector of the accounting profession. According to CPA.com and the AICPA PCPS Client Advisory Services Benchmark Survey report, CAS is the fastest-growing public accounting services segment.
The study also found that CAS practices continually leverage technology to innovate and introduce new business models to maximize employee and customer value.
Example Of Customer Consultation Service
- Manage cash flow and expenses
- human capital management
- corporate finance
- Financial planning and analysis
- Trend analysis and benchmarking
- Corporate advisory board support
- Internal audit and risk consulting
- Business consulting and business building
- IT system backup and IT solutions
- GST – Advice and Compliane
CAS Best Practices
- Focus on a few key niches.
- Secure buy-in from firm leadership
- Educate clients and staff on CAS and its value
- Use fixed-fee or value billing
- Establish a dedicated CAS staff as well as allow for outsourcing
- Select clients that align with the firm’s CAS direction
- Use technologies to drive efficiencies that enable staff to focus on premium services
- Stay in closer touch with clients throughout the year to collaborate on a much more frequent basis
Benefits Of Offering CAS For Accounting Firms
Demonstrating expertise in a particular area builds trust and credibility with clients, prospects, and referral sources, contributing to more sales. Marketing efforts also become more efficient and cost-effective when you focus on a few key niches. In addition, you can charge higher fees when you offer premium services. The synergies generated by offering CAS elevate your firm as clients see you as more than providing a transactional service.
New Client Acquisition
From bringing in new clients to increasing revenue, from growing market share to building brand awareness, new client acquisition is crucial to a firm’s success and sustainability.
Differentiating Your Company
Competitive differentiation refers to how a company’s products or services differ from those of its competitors. What your customers value—features, brand, pricing, and customer service—will determine your competitive differentiation. Marketing should help potential buyers understand what makes your business different from the competition. Companies gain competitive advantage and market share through product differentiation.
11 Proven Strategies For Acquiring New Customers For Accounting Firms
Be a thought leader. Strengthen the company’s expertise in areas of great value to its customers.
Prospects are more likely to engage with you if you offer something relevant and educational rather than “selling.”
Build A Compelling Identity.
By creating high-quality content, profiling your company’s expertise, and interacting with your industry on social media, you can manage your company’s reputation to attract new prospects and build trustworthy relationships.
Actively Seek Out Recommendations.
Search LinkedIn to find previous contacts for high-value customers who have moved to a new company.
Communicate The Problem You Solve And Who It’s For.
Generously share your ideas and solutions to generate quality leads, build trust, and generate demand for your services.
Host A Virtual Event.
Give prospects the opportunity to learn more about your business and the customers you’ve helped.
Interview Your Ideal Customer.
Invite someone you think would be your ideal customer to interview her on your YouTube channel or podcast. Use your content for newsletters, blog posts, and social media.
Ask Satisfied Customers For Recommendations.
There is nothing more genuine and insightful than the experiences of people who have already had and benefited from your company.
Networking At Industry And Business Events.
Join your customer’s online and offline professional organizations and industry groups.
Networking is a proven way to understand the needs and challenges of your ideal customer and their industry.
Join Us On Social Media.
Your customers and prospects now expect multichannel access to your company. Invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
A survey of 500 professional services firms by Hinge Marketing (Online Marketing for Professional Services) found that “SEO was the most effective tool for generating leads online. It’s probably one of the most cost-effective approaches to generating leads.”
- Create a marketing strategy for your accounting firm.
- Building an effective marketing strategy starts with telling your business story.
- Inventory of the company’s intellectual assets
What Expertise, Experience, And Skills Does Your Company Offer?
Which areas, industries, and markets do you excel in? What relationships and connections give you a competitive advantage?
Be Sure To Include Technology Resources.
Does your technology help automate and streamline your system’s workflows, allowing your teams to focus on delivering high-quality, revenue-generating services? Will your technology help you collect, manage and analyze customer data so you can deliver personalized, high-quality service?
Thoroughly Research Your Ideal Customer.
What sore spots can be treated? Responses help identify interesting topics and messages that get the most attention and establish you as an expert.
What sets you apart from your competitors, and what value does your unique selling proposition provide to your audience?
Create A Story
Summarize everything from the perspective of your audience: who you are, your relevance to them, and the value you provide. Once you have your story in front of your audience, monitor the results and fine-tune your message to maximize its value.
At the core of a company’s marketing strategy is understanding its strengths and knowing how to bring those strengths to market while being flexible in responding to market changes.
Create A Marketing Plan For Your Accounting Firm.
The power of a marketing plan is that it helps you stay focused and strengthen your company’s business plan and vision. Your marketing plan should include the following:
Your Usp (Unique Selling Proposition)
What makes you different from other companies? Why should prospects hire you over your competitors? SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).Know what you are good at and where you can improve. Also, be aware of business risks and opportunities.