Some months ago, one of our clients in New Zealand, Craig Yarndley from de Lautours.co in Te Awamutu shared with his coachingclub group that he had started offering free goal setting sessions with clients. This involves meeting with the client and using a whiteboard to map out where is the client now and where are they looking to get to in five years’ time.
Craig reported that his clients love this service. And I am pleased to say that on two separate webinars today I had similar feedback from two other firms offering exactly the same service as part of a client nurturing program. One of them, Scott Dawes at Walker Lynch Peterson in Forster, NSW, said that he and his clients have been getting so much value from these sessions that neither party has minded spending three hours on this extremely valuable work. The accountants are not charging for this; instead, they are taking the opportunity to invest quality time with the client. In 100% of cases additional projects pop up that the accountant can then scope and price upfront. This is great client service. Very few business owners have goals (either in their head or written down) and the moment you help them get clarity on this issue, you are not only creating a lot of value but also helping the client understand what needs to happen so that they can achieve their objectives. And clients are more than happy to pay for the implementation work that is required.
Some clients are finding business tricky right now. Any opportunity you can take to truly focus on the client and help them understand what is important to them is time well spent. This is what client service is all about and it is becoming more and more important. As the inevitable advance of Cloud accounting makes the commoditization of compliance services more and more inevitable, you need to be on the front foot in helping your clients. Don’t overthink this; a client, a meeting room, a whiteboard and you is all that’s required.