Marketing Strategy: It's the How

By Jack LaRue, Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

How is your firm different? Our president, Jon Baron, asked that question at the 32nd Annual Thomson Reuters Users' Conference for Professional Tax & Accounting Firms. It's an important question, and it can be a tricky one in the tax and accounting business.
After all, most of your deliverables are defined by law or regulation. So, by necessity, your final product is very similar to that of every other firm. Sure, the numbers may be different and your expertise may be reflected in those differences, but do your customers really know or understand that?
Since the "what" of your firm has already been defined, it may be a good idea to take a close look at the "how" of your firm as a way to set yourself apart from the competition:
  • How do you interact with your clients?
  • How do you gather information?
  • How do you deliver your end product to your clients?
  • How do you give your clients access to their information and to you?
  • How do you give advice and expertise?
  • And perhaps most importantly, how do you make sure that your clients see the value in it all?
For most tax and accounting firms, the real differentiator is the customer experience. That's what ultimately drives customer satisfaction and referrals. When was the last time you really looked at the way you interact with your clients, from their perspective? How does their customer experience truly differentiate your firm from others they may have dealt with in the past or may be considering in the future?
If you can't differentiate your firm on the "what," and you don't differentiate on the "how," you face the danger of your clients differentiating on price. And ultimately, that's a losing proposition for everyone. With that in mind, it's a great time to ask yourself what sets your firm apart.
Read more marketing articles by Jack LaRue.
About the author:
Jack LaRue is the senior vice president, myPay Solutions, at Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting.

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