As an accountant, you are more or less tethered to the success of your clients. If they begin seeing better financial performance and more genuine growth, then you should benefit from that. If they struggle to benefit as you had previously claimed, though, you can expect an unhappy customer to be in touch. This is why customer service is an absolutely essential part of the process moving forward.
The best customer service gives you all the help that you need to turn a one-time customer into a loyal user for life. Managing the books of a business or the tax returns of a professional is something that happens every year. For that reason, you should really look to make sure that you invest in improving your customer service. If you would like to make the best impression of your accountancy firm, then, what are the simplest ways that you can improve upon present customer service?
The single worst mistake that you could make is to spend all of your time being stoic and stern. Yes, accountancy is a serious business; but when there is a customer problem to be dealt with, it should quickly become a much friendlier place. For that reason, we suggest that you try and make sure every client – no matter how irate – is served with positivity and a smile.
Often, a warm greeting and clear, honest answers will help to diffuse even the most volatile of individuals. A bit of personal charm and candour can go a long way, after all. If you would like to make the right impression, then, you should be sure to serve even the most frustrated customers with a smile.
When you know that you need to speak with a client about a service-related issue, do your research. Spend 5-10 minutes before the appointment combing over their file. What has gone wrong? At the very least, get to know the foundational facts of your accounts and what you have done for them in the past. If you do this, you can avoid annoying gaps in the conversation while you scan their details to see if what they are saying is correct.
Keep clear notes of everything that is done during a particular job, too. A bit of extra analysis on what previous operations done to their account is very useful. The more information that you can collect now, the more information that you can learn about the customer and provide them with a much more considerate level of customer service. The end result? Customers who feel wanted.
You might think that the client is perhaps overblowing their criticism to an extent. You may feel like they are being excessive in their accusations, also. What you should never do, though, is make it an argument. Show respect for what they are saying: remember, you could have potentially put them in a lot of trouble with even the smallest of mistake. Poorly managed accounts often cost a lot of time and money to correct, so it’s likely they’ll be justifiably irate.
Instead of letting it turn into an argument or a battle over professional pride, listen to everything they say. Treat them with professional respect and decorum, and avoid pushing them when you are in the debate. Always be courteous and appreciate that the problem they are experiencing is, to them, very serious. If you do this, you’ll be much more likely to reach a positive compromise.
Lastly, you should bring all of this into your accountancy firm starting today. Mae sure that every member of staff is genuine in what they say. Always listen to them and pay attention to the problems that they face, and always make sure that staff are happy to follow this to the end.
If they do this, they are much more likely to create a happier and more comfortable end to the problem at hand. Make sure that your staff can properly represent your corporate values by investing in proper customer service coaching for all.
The single biggest mistake that you can make is not listening to the customer. As we said, you have potentially created a massive headache for the client. Listen to their concerns, and always take the time to listen to what they are saying. Always listen to their verbal communication and to pay attention to the language that they use.
If you feel like the conversation is going well, listen closely to their tone. You might find that their words and their tone tell a very different story from one another. Never, though, disregard their comments or criticisms.
As time goes on, you will be expected to improve. If you notice a recurring theme in the responses that you get from customers, you would do well to pay attention to them and listen to what they have to say. Often you will find that the criticism is fair and provides you with the chance to change.
Customers will appreciate a business that appears to learn its lesson and come back from a mistake. If you want to impress your customers, even those who you have hurt or annoyed, show them your willingness to change and adapt.
With the above, you should be able to make it much easier to be seen as an accountant that people can trust and hire with comfort. If you would like to make your life a bit easier, then, making this investment into improving your day-to-day customer service qualities will hold many benefits.
The ideas above should make it much easier to help your customers see you are a business which adapts. While they may not be enamoured with you at present, you’ll soon find customers returning. Why? Because, even after a negative experience, good quality customer service can keep even irate customers coming back.
It’s acceptable to make a mistake as an accountant; it’s not acceptable to not treat clients with the respect that they deserve. Make the changes suggested above, and your corporate culture should reflect a more considerate humane accountancy business.