All too often core values and client promises are empty words, crafted by well intentioned firms and their marketing professionals, but which never truly become embedded in the firm's culture. It all sounds good, but the reality is that the culture may not sustain the promises made.
If you want to distinguish your firm, and have a profound impact on the business community, find a way to live by your own words. If you guarantee a return call in 24 hours, have a process to ensure that no calls fall through the cracks, each and every time; if you promise to be proactive, have a process that supports advisors who reach out to clients in anticipation of their concerns; if you promise timely service, have a process to meet or beat all deadlines.
In other words, don't just say what is right - do what is right. That is, find ways to sustain the promised behavior consistently for all clients.
This is particularly on my mind because so many of our newly acquired clients say that the main reason they make a switch to a new accounting firm is because they want to be well treated. My worry is - are we doing a better job than our predecessors? I believe we are, but what is our clients' experience?
At my firm, we have strong values and we have a documented promise to our clients: the key for us all is to truly live by our own words!