Well, I promised some good ideas after the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conference concluded on Friday, June 25, so this will be the first of many posts referencing insights that came out of the last three days in Washiongton, DC.
Here isLesson #1: In an internal survey conducted by E&Y, 98% (you read that right!) of the partners who responded said they would rather have five extra hours in a week than a $50,000 bonus. Time is that scarce - and indeed that valuable - to us all. Knowing that time is an important resource, how can you translate this information into a new approach when interacting with clients?
Well, knowing that every business owner values time, find ways to save your clients time in a meaningful way when connecting with your firm. This may be as simple as improving the wait time for a return call (or how long they are "on hold" waiting for someone to speak to); limiting how long they sit in the lobby (especially during tax season) waiting for an appointment; decreasing how long they are on the phone regarding billing or other nontechnical questions, or shortening how long they wait for financial statements when you are running behind schedule. Keep in mind that they value their time - and find ways to make it efficient for them to deal with your firm at any and every point of interaction.
This may be one of the best ways that your firm can really have a meaningful impact on a client - so be sure to tell them what your intent is. Explain that you value their time, and explain that you want to work together on identifying ways to help them have a good, and efficient, experience with your firm,