How exceptional is your client service?
By Francesca Zelasko
- Share helpful information. Clients appreciate learning about ways to minimize taxes, improve operations, and achieve their financial objectives. Share such information by sending out a client newsletter with articles pertinent to their industry, profession, or personal situation. Also, e-mail articles, tax law change alerts, or links to Web sites that deal with topics of interest to them.
- Provide a free business assessment. Small business owners will be especially grateful for an outside review of their operations, strategies, or finances that suggests ways to save money or make more of it. Consider benchmarking their operations to point out areas that are underperforming, or reviewing their loans to see if refinancing would make sense. Or, perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to determine where changes in their business or marketing strategy might be in order.
- Offer free seminars. These days clients are trying to figure out issues such as how health care reform will affect them, what tax incentives they should take advantage of and how they can incorporate social media into their marketing programs. By hosting free seminars on such subjects, you can add value to client relationships and position your firm as a thought leader.
- Start a best-practices group. Bringing clients with similar interests together – for example, construction contractors or physicians – enables them to share ideas, address common issues, and get answers to questions about ways to do things better. You can start a physical group that meets, for example, quarterly for lunch. Or you can create an online group, such as one on LinkedIn.
- Social media offers low-cost way to crank up your marketing program 
- Struggling to find experienced recruits?