Here we look at the particular challenges for accountants who want to ensure that they retain their clients for the long term. It’s not enough to rely on the annual tax return or audit to secure your client and keep them loyal. After all it’s a competitive market out there and whilst some services can be price sensitive and may cause clients to shop around, ultimately people buy from people. Here are a few of our top tips for ensuring that your clients don’t get poached or worse still drift away when it comes to tax issues:
- You need to demonstrate that you have the client’s best interest at heart, trust is essential in business
- Keep in touch, find out if they have come across anything they find interesting that relates to tax and the services you offer and make time to discuss
- Always inform clients of new regulations and in particular let them know if they apply to them. Clients like to know what their advisers are doing and whether you’re up-to-date with new information as well as spotting potential upcoming changes which might affect them
- Pay attention to the specifics of your clients and make them feel you know what they want and they are welcome to discuss any tax or business related matters with you. You may need to call in an tax expert, such as Bedrock, but you need to become their trusted route to the right adviser
- When speaking to your client always remember to avoid jargon and use layman terms. Encourage them to ask questions and feel comfortable with admitting they don’t understand or want more information
- People in general dislike paying taxes and they will always believe that others are paying less. Be open and honest about their tax position
- Your client could ask about broad financial trends, insurance or even interest rates. Are you up-to-date with those trends and the latest information? Have you got a trusted adviser you can turn to?
- Never assume your clients are satisfied always ask them, they need to know you care about their views as well as their business
- If a client has drifted away and gone to a competitor it may still be worth re-establishing contact. You never know they may not be happy with the service they are now getting. Even if they are it’s still worth trying to find out why they made the move, you could learn something useful that will prevent that happening again.
The Bedrock team support a wide range of accountancy practices that don’t have either the capacity or knowledge in-house on tax matters. We can become your trusted to advisers working with you to ensure you retain your valued clients. Take a look at this case study where we worked with a firm of accountants to ensure their clients got the best possible service.