What Clients are Thinking About You

hello everyone - I recently saw the results of the Bay Street group's survey regarding client satisfaction. While none of you will be surprised to learn that 66% of clients responding to the survey said they leave their CPA firm because of poor client service and loack of attentiveness, I am curious to know what you are doing about that?  34% said their CPA firm is not proactiove enough and 25% said they are not getting enough time with the firm's best people.

These statistics have been consistent for years. Clients want to be well treated. They want the firm's brightest minds paying attention to their problems. Why shouldn't they? And as CPAs, we typically do a good job for our clients, but sometimes we take them for granted. We stop being proactive and start being responsive.

I hate to reiterate the same tired mantra, but iwhen I am offering suggestions to CPA firms of all sizes regarding the marketing and branding strategies they need to embrace in order to maintain their status as a leading firm, the first place to begin the process is with existing clients. Those clients who already are connected to you need to be encouraged to speak on your  behalf, to be your raving fans, to send referrals and to remain as loyal clients for many years. But why should they if they don't perceive that they are all that important to you?

Building a powerful relationship is hard work. It takes commitment. It means being attentive, helpful, alert to changes that clients need to be concerned with. It means investing time and resources in your clients.

By the way, in that same survey only 5% of the business owners who made a change from their existing CPA firm said they had a personal friendship with their new CPA firm. That  means they left the firm because they truly were not happy, appreciated or well treated. Not because a good friend wooed them away.

Think about your "A" and "B" clients. How well treated are they? Are you marketing to them in a way that adds value and reminds them that they are critical to your success? If not, just remember how much they mean to you and act like it.

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Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

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