A key determinant of success for any practice is client satisfaction. Happy clients are less likely to churn, and a great chance of providing you with referrals or upsell opportunities. To find out some of the innovative ways progressive accounting firms are keeping their clients happy, we asked Jennie Moore from Moore Details to share five of her best strategies.
Moore Details was founded in 2006 upon a passion for giving clients what they needed the most—feedback! We are a Firm of the Future focused on client satisfaction and retention, and we achieve this through the amazingly strong relationships we have been able to form.
Here are some of the most effective strategies we use to keep our clients happy.
Don’t treat clients like a number
We focus on the client relationships, not conversion rates. Our objective is to please our clients so that they would never consider leaving us, and because of this, our retention rate is high. Several of our clients have been with us for 11 years (the same amount of time as we've been in practice) and continue to refer new business to us. Chances are that if your firm is “rate” oriented, your clients are going to feel it.
Tip: If you are rate-oriented, try looking at the value you offer per client through MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) instead of the number of clients (Client Conversion Rate) you cater to.
Have a super-strong vetting process
We only accept the best clients that understand our value. Typically, these clients have complex needs that don't fit into a traditional accounting ecosystem. We take the time to understand their uniqueness and solve their pain.
As referenced in our first strategy, we focus on providing a client relationship. In order to be successful in doing that, we need to ensure we don’t bring in any bad apples to the batch. We do this by asking each prospect to complete an online questionnaire before we offer our complimentary consultation. Our questionnaire process and questions are designed to attract our ideal client.
This process has several key benefits. It keeps our current client base happy as we have fewer problems in our workflows created by a difficult client. Our team runs more efficiently when they are respected and know their work is valued by the client. It makes it much easier for us to scale when our clients match our workflows.
Tip: A strong vetting process starts with describing your ideal client. Start by collecting data from your team on clients they enjoy working with. Focus on the positive. Then build up your social media to attract that client.
It’s all about communication
How do we measure the strength of our client relationships? We talk to them… regularly.
Depending on the engagement, each client must speak with us on a pre-determined meeting date and time each week, month or quarter. No excuses. We realize that we can't build a relationship if both parties don't actively talk.
We have found virtual meetings are the most productive way of communicating with our clients. The client sees my cheerful face, and I am able to understand their nonverbal communication. I can easily understand if the client has a concern or not.
I always leave each meeting with a temperature reading, determined by asking the client if they are comfortable. This may sound ridiculous, but the truth is that we are accounting professionals. Clients are trusting us with their hard work and they should feel comfortable. I don't know if any metric can measure that, but that is what we focus on. It shows that we care, and boy, does that earn referrals!
Tip: Focus on building relationships with your clients by having regular virtual check-ins using Zoom
Hire people who care. A lot!
Nobody wants to speak to grumpy troll, let alone pay for that service. So hire people who deeply care about the well-being of each client’s bookkeeping story. Encourage them to take ownership in the client relationship. Perhaps this is wishing client employees a happy birthday if they are running payroll. Or sending a funny GIF to a client who is having a bad day. And of course, lead by example. You need to show gratitude to your own team in order for them to do the same for your clients.
Tip: Make customer care one of your key selection criteria when you are recruiting a new team member
Innovate your workflows
Karbon has been a big part of improving the customer service experience we provide to our client base. Our team members are instructed to act on Triage items by close of business—either by answering the client’s question or scheduling a work item for the following week. To us, Triage is our ticket system for customer care.
At Moore Details, we always have a pulse on our practice. Our Strategic Planner can easily see the caseload of our team and flag any risk items during our weekly meetings hosted on Slack.
Our workflows are also pumped using other amazing applications that integrate into our cloud accounting systems. We encourage our clients to be a part of the bookkeeping story—for example, clients can run their own payroll using Wagepoint, or capture receipts using Hubdoc.
These five strategies are helping us to deliver outstanding service to our clients, and in return, they stay with us for the long haul and refer the great prospects just like them. Everyone’s a winner!
Jennie Moore is owner and operator of Moore Details Bookkeeping, a fast-growing, forward-thinking business that has helped numerous clients evolve and fine-tune their financial operations for more than 10 years. Follow the journey with @mooredetails on Twitter
Jennie is hosting a QuickBooks App Review of Karbon in July. Find out the benefits and features of Karbon from an accountant who uses it every day, and how it can tie into your workflow. Register now.