09 Oct 5 Strategies for Accounting Firms to Retain their Clients
As you scale your business you will find less time to connect with each client on an individual level. The bigger your team grows, the less opportunity you will find to closely monitor the quality of service your clients are receiving. While every accounting firm is striving to expand, it is important to ensure that you strategize to retain key accounts.
Here’s why client retention is important:
1. Your ability to retain your clients is a great indicator of financial stability and revenue predictability.
2. Improving client retention means you’re working towards client satisfaction. The happier your clients, the more willing they are to refer you to others and leave positive reviews for you online.
Here are 5 ways you can improve client retention:
1. Up-to-date Technology Resources
You must ask yourself, what are the latest software impacting the accounting and bookkeeping space. If there are new technology resources that can benefit your clients through data analytics or improved digital workflow, adopt them! Competitors are constantly on the look out for clients that need to refresh their technology stack and may jump ship if offered more lucrative apps and automation tools.
As your clients grow, their technology needs may evolve. Is your team trained to adapt to keep up with their expansion?
2. Nurture Relationships
Ask yourself, don’t you prefer doing business with people you can trust? To build this trust and maintain it, you must ensure that your clients feel prioritized.
Don’t send out generic email blasts. Call them regularly. Personalize your communication with each client and make sure you get back to them fast. Consider appointing a relationships manager that continually checks in with your clients to ensure they are getting the most out of your services. Understanding specific needs of each client will give you the insights you need to be a client satisfaction champion.
3. Hire the Right Employees
When you hire an accountant, make sure you screen them for strong interpersonal skills. Your clients aren’t just looking for the most knowledgeable accountants but the ones who can collaborate with them effectively to improve on their financials.
Develop a culture of strong work-ethics. Your clients will be less likely to move on to another accounting firm if they are a fan of your team’s professionalism. Consider creating an ethics guideline to help your employees to understand how they can embrace a culture of virtuosity at work.
Keep the employee turnover low. Look for people who showcase commitment to their jobs. Once your clients settle into a working relationship with an employee, they do not want to invest more time finding stability in another.
4. Be Competitively Priced
Thanks to technological advances in the industry, accountants are able to achieve a lot more in less time than before. More time on hand means, your competitor may be willing to undercut your prices to poach your clients. Rather than focusing on margins, think of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities that create more value for your clients and enlarge your slice of the pie.
Be cognizant of the market price of your services. Offer both value based and hourly pricing so businesses can choose the one that fits their financial model best. Consider fixing your price too. Hourly prices incentivize your clients to keep their communication with you at a minimum. This negatively impacts the bond you can potentially create with them to win their loyalty.
5. Incentivize Loyalty
Reward the clients that stick it out with you. Send them gifts on special occasions or give them exclusive discounts on services you cross-sell or up-sell to them. Show them recognition by posting about what their business means to you on your social media or website.