Succeeding in any business is centred around building relationships with clients that last, and the accountant-client relationship is no different. Maintaining positive client relationships will reduce churn and increase opportunities for referrals and upsells. Effectively managing your clients will improve their experiences and make things a lot easier for you. There are numerous strategies that you can adopt to help keep your clients happy, but here are just 7 ways to succeed.
What is client management
On the most fundamental level, client management is how client relationships are managed to offer the highest quality of service. To deliver successful client management, you need to assess their every need and measure how well they are being met. To do this, you will need to implement some fool-proof strategies.
Accountant practice management software
Investing in a reputable practice management software is a wise idea. It will organise your clients, automate follow-ups, and keep track of what is happening with every single client so you never miss a beat. If you look around, you can find top practice management software from BTCSoftware, which offer excellent CRM solutions that integrate perfectly with Xero and other essential systems. They are just one of many brilliant companies who are looking to help you out.
The best way to ensure your client relationship remains strong is to talk to them regularly. Everyone will have a preferred method of communication, so factor in this discussion at the initial meeting and be sure to provide any means of communicating that you can. By offering them the choice and finding out when the best time to contact them is will leave them feeling valued, and you won’t be left constantly chasing for responses. It’s simple to implement and a win-win for both parties.
Make sure you follow up with clients on a routine basis as opposed to limiting it to certain instances. No matter why you are following up, be sure to utilise your CRM tool to create automated responses. Manually creating emails and calling clients to follow up will be extremely time-consuming. For best practice, put some time aside once a week to schedule all of your follow-ups.
The more your client knows exactly what to expect from you, the less likely they are to be concerned with checking in for the sake of it. By promptly setting your boundaries and expectations, your client will not try and enact unacceptable behaviour.
Working relationships go both ways, so just as a client would cease working with you for subpar behaviour, you are well within your remit to pause work on their case if they breach set expectations. For instance, when you set your client deadlines for documents and they miss them, simply stop service until you have them.
Offering a client portal will greatly improve your collaboration efforts. By using a portal, you can both send documents and other information securely without them getting lost in an inbox. With a client portal, you eliminate the need to wait for them to visit your office with important information – it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Believe it or not, the saying that the client is always right isn’t true at all. You need to learn how to delicately say no to client requests that you know will be a waste of time. In the long run, your client will appreciate it because you have saved them money. Work with your client to find a solution that you can both agree on – you are the accountant after all.
People, not numbers
You can implement any of the strategies you want, but to get the greatest client retention, you should steer away from being conversion rate orientated. Instead, have quality conversations with your clients and treat them as individuals as opposed to numbers on a spreadsheet.
Client management isn’t easy, and you will have to put a lot of careful thought into it. However, by utilising practice management software, setting your boundaries and expectations from the first appointment, following up effectively, offering a client portal, and communicating effectively with every person that your firm serves, you are already on your way to great success.