Tax season can present many challenges, not only in the form of ridiculous new forms, ever changing regulations and unorganized clients, but also in the matter of client/customer relations. It is very important you treat your clients with the same zeal after they give the job to you as you did before they bought your services. One of the most important tasks for an accountant is to identify ways to successfully retain clients, not just in the busy season but throughout.
Here are 12 simple rules of thumb that you can follow to improve client retention.
As the old saying goes “make new friends but keep the old ones”, and this is the mistake most businesses make; they spend tons of money and time to acquire new clients and in the process lose the existing clients. Retaining an existing client is far more cost effective than attracting a new client. Stay in touch with your current clients even if it is over lunch or coffee.
They aren’t your clients just during the tax season, most clients appreciate the phone calls and check in after tax season and throughout the year.
The more your client feels like you know them, the safer and more comfortable they will feel. Hence, they will stay.
Commit only when you know you can do, otherwise be open with your clients and tell them if something might not be possible.
Clients look to a CPA for guidance, ensure you are updated with all the latest tax changes and confident about your job or else your client might end up feeling uneasy and unsure of doing future business with you. Also try to maintain a professional image; no one wants news that their CPA has a tarnished reputation.
They are leaders because they have figured out what works. More often than not it’s enough to just use these ideas to your advantage instead of always coming up with something new.
Your clients are your best teachers and you can learn an awful lot from them. Try to duplicate the positive things and eliminate the things your clients find most frustrating. Consider conducting a client survey as this will help you measure satisfaction.
You can teach people accounting skills but people skills cannot be instilled and each individual has a different approach when it comes to handling people. An employee who strives for customer satisfaction can make all the difference.
Focus on a target group and become an expert for them. When you become an expert in a specific field, you become the go-to person and word of mouth will bring you new business. This will also help bring in new clients who are looking for a CPA with specialized skills.
This makes the client feel that you see them as a person and not just a source of income. Who knows, maybe they might have the exact same ideas running
It doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. Your clients will appreciate being recognized for their loyalty.
Increasing your knowledge will benefit you and your clients. Stay connected with your customers as they are your best source of growth.