Reasons Clients Complain

Below are a few complaints we've heard over the years of why clients are unhappy with the service provided to them by their accountant.

Employees lack a "Can-do" attitude

If many of your employees lack a "can-do" attitude, it may be a symptom of a greater disease. Poor recruiting, training, pay or difficult working conditions can contribute to employees’ attitudes. Once you get beneath the surface of the issue, it can help you to focus on attracting the kind of people who will deliver the "can-do" spirit. Customer service training can be tremendously helpful. Most service providers are under the stress of getting the job done and are not trained to cover the personal service bases.

Clients don’t get what they want

Many times, the professional thinks he knows what the client needs without a great deal of communication. The reason clients don’t get what they want is because either one or both of the parties didn’t take time to confirm the order. In a great restaurant, servers focus on the customer, understand the menu thoroughly and always repeat back the order. So it is with professional services. When your clients don’t get what they want, it is because their desires have not been communicated clearly and solutions are not built around those desires.

A client is treated rudely

Usually clients are treated rudely by people who don’t have ownership of the work your firm is doing for them. A receptionist, another accountant or an administrative person can severely damage a great client relationship. There is never any excuse for clients being treated rudely.

Clients experience indifference

Professionals often seem focused on the task at hand; the tax return, the will, the valuation or the financial plan. A very competent professional may lack the communication skills to discuss the technical job with the client. The trick is to talk to each client in such a way as to not be over his head or to be talking down to him. Professionals who fail to customize their personal communication around the technical subject risk seeming indifferent. As you evaluate your current level of client service, use these "common complaints" as a resource for creating a proactive client service plan.

You may like these other stories...

With our recent coverage of the recent changes and complexities found in FATCA, we realized that regulations are just part of the story. Accounting professionals have to work with foreign financial professionals, and the...
Four years after the first iPad spreadsheet, users finally have a Microsoft-sanctioned solution. When I first installed Excel on my iPad, I immediately focused on its limitations, but upon reflection I see that Excel for...
Change. For some people, it can be a dirty word. Change means adjustment, re-thinking and perspective shifts—all daunting thoughts for an industry such as accounting that is based on mitigating risk and regulations...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.