While maintaining transparency is an important step to building strong client relationships, there are other things you can do to make clients happy. Happy clients are clients who keep coming back to work with you and pay you for your services.
Consider this: customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.
Here are four ways to develop strong and long-lasting relationships with your client base:
1. Value Your Client's Input
One of the most effective and simple things you can do to make sure your clients stay happy with your service is to listen to them. Clients want to know their input matters, so take the time to ask clients for feedback and then apply their suggestions to your business model. Additionally, it's a good idea to create open channels of communication with your client so they feel heard. Plus, it's an easy way to let them know you are open to receiving constructive feedback from them.
2. Deliver Timely Results
Finish work before a deadline whenever possible. This will show your clients you have no interest in wasting their time; a client will not feel prioritized if you leave their case until the last minute. Waiting on results is likely to cause your client stress — something that might lead them to search for other options outside of your firm.
3. Make Good On Promises
Setting realistic expectations will lead to win-win results for everyone. Be sure to deliver on the promises you make to a client and never promise things you can’t deliver. If you do find yourself in that unfortunate situation, tell your client right away that plans have changed and you are unable to complete the task you had promised. While it won't be the easiest conversation, it's always better to be honest rather than procrastinate an awkward talk and make it worse in the long run. Put an emphasis on maintaining transparency within your firm — the more open and honest you are with a client, the more they will trust you with their accounting needs. Transparency begins and ends with effective communication.
4. Add a Personal Touch
Set yourself apart as an accountant who truly cares about your clients by adding a personal touch to your business. The more genuine you are about interacting with and helping clients, the happier they will be. For example, you could send clients a handwritten thank you card after you finish doing work for them. Another great way to make clients feel cared about is sending them a birthday message. Whatever you choose to do should feel authentic to your business.
When it comes to building good relationships with clients and making them happier, it’s the small actions that will set you apart from other accounting firms. Business doesn't mean being a robot — showing your human side can help clients make a personal connection with you and keep coming back year after year. Considering 90% of Americans say customer service plays a role when choosing whether or not to do business with a company, building relationships is crucial to the success of your firm.
Investing in clients longterm can be a cost-effective business model as well since onboarding new clients can be up to 5-25 times more pricey than retaining your client base, research shows.
In the end, the way you treat people matters — for better or worse. Nearly 60% of people say they will switch companies because of poor customer service, while 89% say they are likely to continue doing business with a company after a positive customer service experience.