I participated on a panel comprised of three “women of influence” for a business association in New Jersey just last week, and one of the other panelists mentioned that, ‘while it is nice to be important, it is even more important to be nice.’ It was a great wake-up call!
This message may seem so simple as to be downright silly, but the idea of being truly nice to clients may sometimes be overlooked in the search for new and more exciting ways to build the firm’s brand and communicate with the business community, our own clients included.
Time and again during our first introductory meetings, we are told by prospects that they are dissatisfied with the treatment they are receiving from their current CPA. Occasionally we hear some business owners say that they are unhappy with rising fees. We have learned though, that this complaint is usually the symptom of a deeper problem - because when a client perceives value, fees are not usually the deciding factor that drives change. Instead, clients typically just want to receive the attention they believe they deserve from their trusted advisors. Rising fees only exacerbate the situation and fan the flames of growing discontent over poor service and little attention.
It cannot be stated often enough that your most effective marketing strategies include delivering exceptional service to clients. This can be accomplished in many different ways based on the clients, their situation, their needs and their expectations. You can deliver great service by being proactive, offering innovative ideas, calling without waiting to be called, and being nice to them. In today’s climate, especially, a little encouragement and some “TLC” will go a long way.