5 ways accountants can up their client experience game
We’re not going to sugarcoat things: It’s hard to make your accounting business stand out from the competition. 67% of accountants say that the profession is more competitive than ever. But, there’s one way that your accountant business can be the obvious choice in your area: superior client experience.
Let’s talk about why client experience matters, and how you can start improving yours today.
What is client experience, and why does it matter?
Quite simply, client experience is the total sum of experiences that clients have with your business from the moment of first discovery. It includes every interaction that the client has with your brand – even actions as seemingly mundane as browsing your website and scheduling an appointment.
Nowadays, client experience is crucial because clients are expecting more from your business than ever before. With the kinds of seamless experiences that are being offered by big businesses like Amazon, clients are now offering similar experiences for every business they go to. In fact, 83% of accountants say clients are demanding more from them today than they did five to 10 years ago.
Investing in client experience pays off. The businesses that do take time to invest in client experience find that these positive experiences are amplified through review sites. Businesses with high review ratings are more trusted by clients and rank higher in search results.
5 ways to up your client experience
Here are a few ways that your business can provide world-class client experience:
1. Map the client journey. It’s important for you to map out the client journey. That means understanding the different phases a prospect goes through to actually become a client. Every step along the way must be considered part of the client journey, including finding your business on Google and speaking with an employee on the phone.
Taking some time with your team to map the client journey can help you identify common problems prospects may encounter on the way to becoming a paying client. For example, maybe clients often have trouble scheduling an initial phone call, get frustrated, and go elsewhere. Taking some time with this exercise can help you to identify these potentially weak areas.
2. Build trust from the very first moment. Remember, the client experience starts from the exact moment that clients first become aware of your business. Therefore, it’s important that you’re displaying social proof and credibility right off the bat.
Clients are looking for trust in any purchase decision that they make, whether it’s trying out a restaurant or a new barber. Clients will look at review sites on Google, Facebook, and Yelp to make sure that the businesses they’re considering offer quality services. For something as important as an accountant who can help handle their online finances, the stakes to find a trusted option become even higher.
Remember, no matter how a potential client hears about you, chances are that they are going to Google you. Whether they hear about you from a Facebook ad, a social post, or even a billboard, they will most likely look you up to see what other clients are saying about you.
To show them that they can trust their finances in your hands, make sure that you’re collecting reviews from your current clients. The best way to do this is by simply sending review requests to them via email and text. That way, all the client has to do is click the link to the relevant review site. Since the process is so much easier than having to look up your business manually, you’ll see much better results.
3. Monitor feedback on review sites. The work doesn’t end once you’ve collected reviews from your clients. Reviews are also a great opportunity to engage with your clients and identify potential areas of improvement.
Dissatisfied clients often go online to air out their grievances. Don’t treat this like a failure. Sometimes, these clients are simply looking for someone who can help them with the problems that they’re experiencing.
To deal with negative reviews, it’s important that you take the time to leave a polite response soon after it’s posted. Apologize for the problems that they experienced, and give them a phone number so that you can solve their issue offline. Most of the time, if you manage to do this in a timely manner, the client will be more than happy to delete or edit their original review.
4. Personalize client experiences. Navigating through the tax system can be a frustrating experience for most clients. That’s why it’s important to provide personalized experiences. It’s an easy way to help relieve the stress your clients are going through and improve their overall experience.
Personal experiences are all about paying attention to the little things. Personalizing a client experience can mean something as simple as sending a Happy Birthday text or an email. It can also mean getting on a video call, rather than a phone call, to show them that you are their biggest priority.
5. Send client surveys. The best way to improve client experience is to collect data on client satisfaction. To do this, consider sending client surveys. A client survey can give you the data you need to identify possible areas for improvement.
Accountants can collect quality feedback by sending Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys. NPS surveys ask customers how likely they would be to recommend your business to family and friends on a scale of 0-10. This can give you a great gauge of overall satisfaction. If you’re planning to make any changes in business operations, keeping track of this metric over time can show the effect these changes are having on client experience.
Moving forward with a top-notch client experience
A great client experience leads to stronger loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. So, make sure you’re taking the right steps to ensure that your business is the obvious choice in the area.