Delivering client advisory services (CAS) centers on the “people” part of the people, processes, and technology approach to CAS services. Your service offerings, at least at first, will probably center on your team’s skills and experience, and your current clients’ needs.
Thinking about implementing client advisory services may be exhilarating for some, but more likely it’s overwhelming if you are new to the idea. It’s easy to get bogged down in analysis paralysis when thinking about the types of services to offer. Fear not! We’re going to lay out a process that will help you take the first steps on your journey.
1. Review your existing client base
Let’s start by looking at your current client base. For some firms, this is easier said than done.
You may have a wide variety of clients segmented by firm partner, services provided (tax, accounting, attestation), or even by technology platform (desktop vs. online). Putting together a complete list of your current clients is extremely important.
Build the list in your favorite spreadsheet application, then add this information about each client:
- Name of individual or business.
- Services you provide to them.
- Personal vs business clients.
- Ownership structure for business clients or marital status for individual clients.
- Industry and business stage.
- Annual revenue for each client.
- Any other relevant and accessible information.
2. Sort and filter to find client patterns and trends
As you look at the list, begin sorting and filtering the data in different ways. Pivot tables can help tremendously! Let that analytical part of your brain go wild and dig into your client base. Examine these four areas:
- What services do you offer most frequently?
- Where do the majority of your clients fall in the business lifecycle stage?
- What industries are represented?
- Which clients bring in the most revenue? Later, you can figure out which clients are generating the most profit.
By drilling down into this information, you will be much more informed about your own firm. If nothing else, you’ll have a good “before picture” to measure the impact your advisory services have on your clients’ growth over time. But ideally, you’ll be gaining insights about your current clients and very likely already seeing trends in your data.