There are many different levels of service that can be provided to our clients – from bare minimum to good exchange, all the way to giving more than the client expected.The latter, I hasten to add, does not mean, giving away free service. In fact, that just undervalues the work in terms of how it is perceived by the client. If the practice charges less than others, there must be a reason for it, - is the thought process of many clients.
What “giving more than is expected” means, is something that shows the practice went above and beyond for the client.
An example of this would be one CPA who when she provided financials to her clients, she put the past twelve months on a monthly graph so the business owner had a visual of how his business was doing. This was of course unexpected and thus differentiated her from others in the profession.
Ensure your core services are top notch first of course, as you can’t give more than expected if the main service itself is not of a very high standard.
Another example is a CPA I worked with who regularly sent clients articles or links to posts she knew directly applied to their business or current situation.
Have you ever experienced “more than expected levels of service” from companies you’ve done business with?
Examples from outside the profession are:
a) an Italian restaurant that would regularly give patrons small jars of their highly acclaimed olive oil to take home;
b) a very busy chiropractic office whose patrons had trouble finding parking, who provided valet at their busiest times of the day! Or;
c) a taxi company whose owner, had each driver give a rundown to their passengers of the must-see hot spots, in the area.
The real beauty of delivering more than expected levels of service to your clients – is that it gives them something to talk about. No one talks about adequate service, or getting just what they paid for. Being friendly, being prompt, saving a client tax dollars etc are all expected by clients – that’s what they should get from any practice. Sure, if asked, they would probably recommend the practice, but you want to go above and beyond to give your clients something to share with others, without any prompting whatsoever!
How do you go above and beyond for your clients?
Having worked with accounting practices for over 17 years, and prior to that working as an attorney in a set-up, very similar to a CPA practice, Ciara MacMahon, CEO of Phase Two Management Consulting, has successfully boosted revenues of accounting practices by 3 – 4X, while allowing the owner to take more time out of the practice. Accounting practice owners are faced with endless deadlines and the challenges of managing workflow, finding the right staff, staff training as well as securing the acquisition of quality new clients! They are also often tasked with the not too pleasant responsibility of imparting bad news regarding taxes due, that the unprepared client is unhappy enough about, to oftentimes ‘shoot the messenger’!
Structuring the practice to be able to withstand these challenges and get far enough ahead of them to not only allow for expansion, but less stress and more time off for the owner, is routinely achieved by our strategic planning and consulting program. As no two practices are the same and each owner has his own vision for what he/she wants, the first step is a Planning Session to work out the owner’s goals and a strategy to obtain them, in the fastest time period, and for the highest return. To schedule your one on one complimentary practice analysis and consultation, email Ciara MacMahon at [email protected] today. www.PhaseTwoManagement.com
Services Provided to expand Accounting Practices:
• Strategic Planning, customized to each practice so you have your own 3 – 5 year Business Plan
• Efficiency/time management training
• Gaining agreement/buy-in from staff
• Staff performance review/management
• Exit Strategy – some of our clients have sold practices to other clients of ours, so having a lot of contacts in the accounting industry, has helped clients out both with buying for growth, as well as selling for exit strategy.
“I just opened my own CPA practice a little less than two years ago. What is unique in my situation is I had over twenty five years of experience as a manager and employee of small CPA practices. I met Ciara and we decided to work together to help me develop a better administrative structure, and a better marketing plan to help me achieve the type of growth I wanted to achieve for the practice. With Ciara’s guidance, I began to focus my efforts on my strengths, streamline my internal processes and more aggressively market my practice. She helped me see the value of social media and numerous other marketing techniques. She has superior knowledge on how small accounting works and knows what is needed to make the jump to the next level. My practice has grown with her guidance to the point I will need to hire help for the upcoming season! There is no doubt her guidance helped me get there. I recommend her services to anyone!”
Mark G. McNelis, CPA
“Ciara provided me with business management and development advice over the years that enabled me to more than double my CPA practice and finally sell the practice as I move into retirement. Her assistance has been invaluable ”
Howard J Crane CPA