Client Service: The Only Thing That Matters Today

Steve Erickson
Steve Erickson, national consultant to CPA firms

Four ways to prove you're serious about customer satisfaction.

by Steve Erickson

Most partners in CPA firms tell me that client service is one of their primary concerns as work is often delivered at the 11th hour before a deadline or they have failed to meet their client’s expectations.

Extraordinary client service is achieved by communicating and agreeing on the mutual responsibilities of both the client and the accounting firm and then meeting or exceeding those expectations.

Too often these agreements and expectations are not defined and as a result clients develop expectations that are not realistic or understood by their accountants.

I continue to be amazed at how few accountants ask their clients how they could provide them with better service and better value for fear of what they might hear.

If accountants are really serious about client service they need to:

1. Make sure the client understands and agrees to the engagement plan and timing before starting the work.
2. Communicate early and often as to the status of the engagement.
3. Make staff aware of the engagement plan and their responsibilities to make sure it is accomplished.
4. Maintain your “great place to work” culture.  Happy employees give much better service and greater value to your clients.

3 Responses to “Client Service: The Only Thing That Matters Today”

  1. CPA Exam Course

    As a society it seems we expect more out of life. If we click a web page and it’s not instantaneously delivered we freak out. If a plane is delayed for 15 minutes mass hysteria ensues. So clients will naturally expect more of out firms and if they don’t get what they want they’ll threaten to go elsewhere. So firms are in a struggle to meet client demands while not completely burning out their staff. It’s a tough place to be in but your advice is pretty good to make sure everyone is on the same page.

  2. mentioned on Twitter by Earl Rudolfo, Blackman Kallick

    mentioned on Twitter by Earl Rudolfo, Blackman Kallick

  3. Ken

    I was taught by a wise mentor that the tax deadline is not March 15th or April 15th it is when the client wants it done.

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