When CPAs meet with clients they tend to focus more on service delivery instead of their customer service. To differentiate themselves within the field, CPAs can and must develop distinct skills to impress and retain clients.
The Importance Of Customer Service In Accounting
A successful CPA views the client's problem comprehensively by listening to and analyzing their queries. They have all the necessary skills they need to be successful in helping individuals, businesses, and other organizations reach their financial goals. But oftentimes, CPAs overlook the quality of their customer service.
With a growing need for preparing reports for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), representing clients in front of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and other administrative tasks, a client looks for a CPA firm that delivers excellent customer service. Here are a few examples of how high-quality customer service can contribute to growing a CPA’s business and career:
1. Break down communication barriers
CPAs should develop soft skills so clients feel open to discuss their problems. These accountants should always answer a client's call to avoid making them feel alienated. Use the clients preferred mode of communication (texting, email, phone call, social media, etc.) in order to connect with them on their level. By doing so you demonstrate respect for their time and show that you pay close attention to their needs.
2. Let your clients speak
Clients seldom get the opportunity to speak during meetings. These meetings are often conducted by the CPA. Just reviewing paperwork and pressing matters doesn't create a connection with a client. Give them a chance to express how your services and initiatives help with their taxes or improve their productivity. Give your client permission to present their questions and feelings about what you're helping them with. This allows the opportunity for your client to feel a personal connection with you.
3. Become their trusted financial Adviser
Clients seek various sources in order to obtain professional advice on accounting, tax planning, and other financial decisions. If you can direct them toward the right sources of information, clients will look to you every time they make these decisions. It is an ideal way to build trust among clients and creates repeat customers. By giving out good referrals, you'll also receive more referrals for your business.
4. Ask for their feedback
Some CPAs may appear pretentious or condescending to clients while providing services. To avoid this, ask for their feedback in order to understand where you're lacking and what it is you can do to improve your services. You can ask for feedback through online surveys in emails, through your company newsletter, or your phone calls with them. You could even entice clients to take surveys by offering a reward such as a prize drawing for gift cards or even a deal on their billing invoice.
Disarm Your Customers With Superior Customer Service
Despite your great aptitude in accounting, poor customer service often becomes the bone of contention among clients. They seek personalized care that will differentiate you from your competitors. Breaking communication barriers, listening to them, advising them, and seeking their feedback are steps you must take to improve your client's experience.
An excellent way CPAs can enhance their customer service is channeling their business calls through an accounting answering service. It is efficient, cost-effective, and convenient. Customers will experience superior call quality from professionally trained live receptionists who are able to screen calls, take messages, and answer phones 24/7. Ultimately, high-quality customer service provided by your business through an answering service will help you build long-term relationships with your clients.
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