7 Ways to Secure Client Loyalty in Uncertain Times

Businesswoman speaking on phone in officeStay on top of the issues that affect them.

By Carrie Steffen

There is a lot of uncertainty right now. Deadlines are shifting. Rules are changing. Even that which seemed straightforward is open to interpretation (like payroll costs!). There is comfort and security in routine, and now that has been disrupted.

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But now is a perfect opportunity to strengthen client relationships and secure their loyalty. After taking care of your employees and mobilizing for their safety and well-being, your next focus should be clients. Here are some practical actions to take sooner, rather than later.
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2020 Outlook: The New Growth Model

Younger employees should have more say in the firm's vision than those about to retire.

By Carrie Steffen

The need for additional capital to fund technology (among other things) is compelling leading firms to focus on better integration of the growth function into the overall management of the firm.

MORE: 2020 Outlook: Making Volume Manageable | More Engagement, Less ‘Efficiency’ | Non-Traditional Hires Might Be the Answer | Focus on Business Development | Innovate and Anticipate | Balance Advisory and Compliance | Talent Shortage Drags On | Demand Is High | Business Development Goes Borderless | Data Import on the Rise | Becoming the Most Valuable Advisor | Top Three Tips for 2020 Success | Where Do You Want to Be? | Dicey Disruptions | Upstream Mergers | Staffing Gets Creative
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The previous growth model consisted one or two rainmaking partners creating most of the opportunities with the support of tactical marketing managers or directors supporting the effort through event coordination, sponsorships, branding, online marketing and other positioning tactics. Marketing lived in a separate bucket from other areas of the practice.
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2019: Client Service Moves to Fore

Advisory services crop up in a couple of ways.

By Carrie Steffen
The Rosenberg Survey: National Study of CPA Firm Statistics

We're seeing what I would call cautious optimism. Optimistic because we've had a relatively good growth year for most, but cautious because firms are struggling with the question of how to sustain that growth and remain relevant in a changing environment.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: 2019: Expect More Alliances | 2019 Trends: Client Service Changes | 2019: Shifts in Hiring & Office Space | 2019: Firms Grapple with Change | Staff Policies Improve, But Not Mentoring
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Merger activity continues at a steady pace, with some firms looking at non-CPA firm mergers, such as cybersecurity firms, in response to the relevancy issue.
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Growing and Developing Future Leaders Is a Two-Way Street

Businessman with briefcase riding on rocket5 leadership skills to hone and 4 questions to ask about your firm.

By Carrie Steffen
Bridging the Gap

Bemoaning a lack of future leaders within the firm is not a solution to the perceived problem. Instead, it behooves current leaders to identify and nurture potential leaders, helping them develop the relevant skills and clearly communicate a defined path to leadership as well as expectations for applying targeted competencies. Young professionals with aspirations of leadership, in turn, must embrace opportunities and demonstrate willingness to meet current leaders partway.

MORE: They Don’t Want to Be Owners! | The Culture of Continuous Improvement | A Winning Culture Is an Intentional Culture | A Call for Change: An Open Letter to Each Generation
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Firms are at a crossroad when it comes to transitioning to the next generation of leaders. According to the CPACA study on Succession Readiness, 48.3 percent of firms of all sizes cite “lack of future leadership talent” as a primary obstacle in their succession.
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