Times have changed these past few years, haven’t they? There have been so many differences around the world, not only in our personal lives, but in our professional lives as well. The changing times are impacting everyone, including clients—your clients are reevaluating their needs when it comes to their accounting professionals. Gone are the days of clients sticking with a CPA solely because they’ve been with them for years. Take heed, as your clients have greater and higher expectations now than they have ever before. What does it take to keep your clients coming back year after year? Ultimately it comes down to customer experience.
Qualtrics released a very compelling study that shows some shocking statistics for consumers in 2022. Let’s take a look.
According to the study, a whopping 9.5% of a company’s revenue is at risk due to bad customer experience. Organizations that ignore their customers’ feedback will face challenges getting more feedback in the future.
“Great CX only happens if you have the ecosystem to design, improve, & deliver it. Organizations need strong experience management competencies, customer-centric culture, & technology to execute at scale,” the research states.
So how does your firm approach this new data? You do something about it. As we can easily deduce from the above quotes, clients have four points where they would like to see improvements this year:
- They want to be viewed as humans, not statistics
- They want to be heard, and they want you to act
- They want to be able to complete tasks that you’ve given them with ease
- They want to feel that they are spending their hard-earned money in the right place, on you.
Let’s jump right in!
What?? Your clients want to be treated like people?? Crazy, right? We understand that it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of tax season and turn on auto-pilot, get your work done, go home, and then do it all the next day. But, with tax behind us, take the opportunity to look at how you could be better next tax season. You have to develop personable skills in order to make your clients happy. Not once have I heard any peer of mine mention how delighted they were to not be communicated with and updated by their accountant. That's how the world works now. If you do not have the decency, respect, or compassion to put in a little extra effort towards your customer’s feeling valued, they will leave and find a tax professional who will!
As I mentioned in a recent article, your clients not only want to be heard, they want you to take action. Gathering feedback from your clients is vital to improving your firm’s customer experience skills. Go ahead, send out those surveys during post-tax season and you will be amazed at how much feedback you will get. It’s true, not all feedback makes you feel great, but it’s necessary to not only give your clients a space to speak (type) freely, it’s also only going to make your firm better and better. In the long-run, you will be grateful that you asked.
Your clients are looking for a pain-free way to submit documents, sign tax forms, and make payments to your firm. What better way to do this than with the help of a practice management software? Simply investing in cloud-based practice management software will provide ease of access for you and your clients.
For example, Canopy’s practice management solution creates a connected client experience through an easy-to-navigate client portal, secure file exchange, quick e-signature features, and even an opportunity for them to pay invoices, without making a single call to your firm.
Clients don’t want to be confused during a stressful time like tax season, just like you. They want an easy go-to that they don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out. Just think how easy it will be for you, your team, and your clients to come to invest in practice management software and make your next tax season go a lot smoother!
Now, let’s talk about money. Your clients want to know that they are paying you for a good reason. Show them! Be the rockstar that you are, keep in communication with them, go above and beyond to show them that they deserve a good experience and that you deserve what they are paying you. It’s as easy as that.
All of your clients know that tax season is so insanely hectic for your firm, so going the extra mile and showing your responsibility and ownership for them will speak volumes. Simply taking the time to be observant when filling out forms, compassionate when in conversation, and dedicated to giving clients the best experience your firm can give them, is going to be so impactful for you and your team.
I know the past few years have been tough for everyone: you, your team members, your clients, everyone. It’s hard to see a silver lining sometimes. Just know that the fact that you can provide an outstanding experience for your clients, it will cause them to talk to friends, family, and colleagues about your firm and the great things you have done for them during this time. It’s a win-win situation. Your clients feel valued and heard, and your firm gains more and more clients because of your ability to adapt and change to better suit your clients’ needs.
Courtney is a Customer Experience Specialist at Canopy.READ MORE BY Courtney