Practice Management Small Business

5 Ways to Delight Your Clients

Written by Nellie Akalp

In this age of increasing competition, it’s more important than ever to delight your clients. After all, satisfied clients are more likely to be loyal and refer you to their colleagues. You can delight your clients by doing something unexpected or surprising to exceed their expectations—and help influence them to come back again.

Wouldn’t you like to be known as the accounting firm that goes above and beyond for customers? Here are some ideas to delight your clients and help you build a stronger, better business.

1. Get it Done Ahead of Schedule

Think about the times you’ve been disappointed by a vendor not making a deadline. How did you feel the next time you needed that company’s service? Most likely, you looked for somewhere else to spend your money, which is what your clients will do. Instead, impress your clients by finishing a day or two ahead of schedule. If you need to pad some time into the project, to finish early, then do so. But, understand you’re walking a fine line here; don’t pad too much time into your project. Completing a project ahead of schedule surprises clients and garners positive reviews and referrals for your firm.

delight your clients

2. Remember Something Personal About the Client

Service businesses are built on customer relationships, and part of the customer experience is working closely with an accountant or financial advisor on a regular basis. Clients need to know you are familiar with their business and/or personal finances, but it’s always a nice surprise if you also remember there’s an important birthday coming up or you remember to ask about a sick relative. If you don’t have the bandwidth to keep all these personal details in your head, invest in a good customer relationship management (CRM) program. Popular options include HubSpot CRM, Freshsales and Insightly. Whatever CRM system you choose, use it to keep good notes on client conversations, important dates, and more.

3. Offer Extra Services

Another way to delight your clients is to offer services they might not expect your accounting firm to offer. For business clients, you can offer assistance with compliance and business filings, business valuation services, or even matching them with other businesses in your area for co-marketing events. Individual clients could be looking for advice on retirement issues, saving for college tuition, and more. Think of little extras you can offer your clients or consider partnering with other companies to cross-sell services. Think out of the box by brainstorming with your staff about how you can do more for clients without spending more.

delight your clients

4. Follow Up and Send Thank You Notes

Many businesses complete a job and then move on without ever following up to make sure everything is OK. Why would customers be loyal to your accounting business if they don’t feel appreciated? Most likely, you won’t know why a customer stops using your services unless you make it a point to follow up. Ask your customers to take a quick survey about your services, or call them up to see if they have questions or if there are any additional services you can provide. When it comes to money issues, most customers will appreciate any advice you can offer to help them keep more of their money. Clients will also be delighted to get a personal thank you from your business. For special clients, you may want to include a small gift, discount coupon, or certificate for dinner out. Make a calendar note in your CRM to follow up again down the road or when annual services are coming due.

5. Give Rewards for Referrals

Imagine your customer receiving a surprise gift or gift card with a note from you thanking them for a referral. Not only have you shown your appreciation, but you’ve also completed the whole customer experience on a positive note. You’ve also pretty much guaranteed the client will think of you the next time someone they know needs accounting services. You can set up a referral program so clients know what to expect and will look for people to refer, or just reward customers as a surprise. Either way, rewarding clients for referrals is a positive way to keep your clients spreading the word about your business.

All businesses strive for 100% customer satisfaction. To set your business above the rest, you need to go beyond merely satisfying your customers. Adding that special something helps you stand out from the crowd and build loyalty. In what ways have you surprised and delighted your clients? Share your ideas below.

About the author

Nellie Akalp

Nellie Akalp is a passionate entrepreneur, small business advocate, and mother of four. She is the CEO of CorpNet.com, a trusted resource for Business Incorporation, LLC Filings, and Corporate Compliance Services in all 50 states. Nellie and her team recently launched a partner program for accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs, and other professionals to help them streamline the business incorporation and compliance process for their clients. More info at: CorpNet.com/Partners.

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