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Proven Strategies for CPA Firms to Keep Their Clients Satisfied!
If we talk about CPA firms providing CPA accounting services or other business firms for that matter, they must deal with their clients with the utmost care. The simple reason being it is the clients only that can make or break a business, and the CPA firms do not fall outside this phenomenon.
Every CPA firm has a lot to manage on a daily basis, from handling client data to dealing with accounting complexities, preparing strategies for business growth, providing exceptional customer service, and more. Out of all this, customer service holds immense significance and let us throw some light on the same.
What do Clients Really Want?
In order to satisfy the clients to the fullest, it is imperative to understand what do they really expect from their CPA firms. A report by the CCH Survey revealed that the percentage of customers opting for the following services are:
- 93% for accounting and audit
- 89% for added tax services
- 75% for added advisory/ consulting services
However, if we talk about the additional services, here’s what they want from their CPA firms:
Customers demand round-the-clock support. They want their CPA firms to have access to their financial data from anywhere to serve them with whatever requirements and reports they might need anytime.
Customers do not want delays in the form of e-mails and like to gain access to important files instantly. They want the information to be centralized so that they can collaborate with their law firms in real-time.
Business Data Security
Never ever, the customers of the CPA firms want to experience a data breach. They want their CPA firms to have the latest and advanced security measures to protect their business data against every data breach threat.
Financial Strategic Planning
Clients do not merely want their CPA firms to help them with their taxes. They want them to understand their overall financial position and devise financial strategies that aid personal as well as professional growth.
Detailing & Reassurance
Clients want price clarity and complete financial detailing, along with the explanation of complexities involved, if any, and their possible solutions. Time and again, they need assurance from your side that their entire financial tasks will be managed efficiently.
Top 7 Strategies to Keep Clients Satisfied
When it comes to satisfying clients in the true sense, there isn’t a single solution to it, as CPA firms need to work on all the following strategies, and may be even more:
1. Build Relationships
As per the Statista report, between the period of 2008-2016, the number of clients for accounting service dropped by 20%. The very first step in satisfying your clients is to take approaches to build long-term relationships with them.
Take an interest in their lives, listen to them with an open heart, and have mature discussions with them to eliminate their misconceptions and provide clarity, to build trust and relationship eventually.
Once this has been achieved, your clients will prefer you over others and be satisfied with the service of your CPA firm only.
2. Provide a Clarity of Price
This goes a long way in building trust and long-term relationships. According to the National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) survey conducted in 2016 by the AICPA, the growth rate in client fees was a mere 5-10%.
If you price fairly and provide clarity of price to the clients, you appear genuine to them. They are able to make their decisions regarding availing the services of your CPA firm easily, eventually adding to their satisfaction levels.
3. Build a Positive Online Reputation
Building and maintaining a positive online reputation is essential if you want to acquire new clients, along with retaining the previous ones. Urge your clients to leave a positive review about your services on the leading review sites like Yelp. By practicing the following, you will be able to pave the way towards a positive online reputation:-
- Set up your Google My Business profile.
- Set up your Manta profile.
- Set up your Yelp listing.
- Pay attention towards your company’s page and address both the positive and negative reviews carefully.
4. Benefit Clients with Referral Relationships
Your clients avail a lot of services that are directly or indirectly related to your CPA firm. This can include anything, like providing details of cost-effective financial planners, lawyers, etc.
This way, you are not only providing them with accounting solutions but also helping them deal with their other problems, eventually giving them a feeling of complete satisfaction with your services.
As per ProfitCents, cross-selling to previous clients accounts for 25-40% of new business revenue for the CPA firms.
5. Utilize Technology for a Superior Client Service
In the present competitive scenario, superior client service can be achieved only with the help of technology, and the following technological solutions pave the way for the same:
- Use cloud-based software for data security, ease of access, and sharing of files between you and your client.
- Integrate multiple functions of your CPA firm with cloud software for a single platform solution.
- Adopt a responsive approach to using smartphones and tablets for enhanced client convenience.
- Speed up tax-related tasks with automation like research, returns, workflow, compliance, and more.
- Set up client portals and chatbots on integrated solutions for effective round-the-clock communication.
- Incorporating the use of technology will surely benefit the clients at large. This is the reason, as per a survey, CPA firms that used integrated end-to-end software were able to enhance the satisfaction levels of the clients by 81%.
6. Don’t Just be a CPA but a Trusted Advisor
The Wasp Barcode survey revealed that a lot of clients are dissatisfied with their firms because:
- No guidance or advice is offered.
- No pro-activeness exists.
- Skills lack to educate business owners.
According to the CCH Survey, CPA firms are still not utilizing their complete potential with respect to client service, especially when it comes to providing advisory services.
Clients do not want their CPA firms to handle numbers for them simply. Rather, they want them to have the skills to help clients in devising financial strategies that aid business growth and profitability. So, make sure you are just not an accountant to them but an advisor whom they can trust.
7. Set up a Strong Vetting Process
Set up a strong vetting process using an online questionnaire for every client. This helps in understanding the specific needs of every client and provide personalized solutions for the same.
Every CPA firm can provide common services to its clients, but when you offer personalized services to them, you will be taking their satisfaction levels to a whole new level.
Some Additional Tips
- Regularly inform them regarding payment and filing deadlines.
- Simplify the complexity of accounting terms for their better understanding.
- Send your client personalized videos instead of e-mails.
- Provide regular updates to them related to accounting, taxes, amendments, and more.
- Set up a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to know about the overall client satisfaction and work towards improving the same.
This brings us to the conclusion that client satisfaction is extremely vital for the profitability and growth of a CPA firm. Yes, firms need to provide them with the best accounting solutions, but they also need to keep client service in mind for long-term relationships with them.
Also, CPA firms need to make the best use of technology in order to streamline their accounting processes and to provide enhanced data security and convenience to the clients. Yes, there can be issues with work overburden, but then there are solutions available in the form of outsourcing CPA accounting services, which provide efficiency and accuracy at the same time.
If you are looking for an outsourcing firm, look no further as Cogneesol can be the solution to all your accounting problems. We have professional and highly skilled staff that can reduce the burden of your accounting tasks and bring more efficiency to your processes. Contact now, at +1 646-688-2821 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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