Introduction to the Top 10 Series
This is part of our industry specific top 10 series. Ten separate blogs cover our 10 key marketing objectives, but with a different industry in mind for each series. Currently looking at accountancy, this is Tip 6 on Ensuring Customer Adoption and how to maximise long-term potential. Our previous blogs in this series are on our website, the last gave advice on converting interest into sales.
Tip 6 – Ensuring customer adoption
Creating Long-Term Potential
Other than a location change or a first-time need, people seek a new accountant because something went wrong with their existing relationship. This could simply be that a competitor made a better offer and the initial relationship was not strong enough to withstand the pitch. So how can you ensure clients come to you, but then stay?
The term ‘customer adoption’ means that the client gets past the honeymoon phase and stays on. It could be argued that the honeymoon period for an accountancy relationship is a whole year, as that is the common cycle for the main services. In that year, how many contact points are there with clients, and how many repeated questions appear?
Setting the Tone
The first year sets the tone for the client and has a significant influence on how they view the potential for long term engagement. It’s when most of the common first-time questions arise. So why are most of these answered on a completely bespoke, 1:2:1 basis, rather than through a centralised resource, such as a video library on the accountant’s website? Queries such as how to access reports on Xero, or how to complete a common form are easy for you to answer, but it’s not always easy for the client to reach you and they may feel uncomfortable asking yet another question.
The initial client experience is what can get the relationship on a sound footing for the future. If you think about the following, you’ll save yourself time in the long-run and encourage a better relationship.
- Where do repeat questions come up?
- Where do clients struggle to undertake actions required of them?
- Are there business reports or summaries you provide which clients may need help interpreting?
- What resources could you create to help customers hurdle these challenges before they come across them?
Empower your Customers
You’d be amazed how many business owners don’t understand their accountancy reports and sign the end of year documents on trust alone. If you can empower them to read the statements, use the software, and make informed business decisions based on the numbers, clients are likely to become loyal as a result. As an ex-business coach, I can tell you that many times I dealt with business owner who never had any interpretation guidance from the accountant at all and the relationships were lacking.