The Disparity Between Client Care and Firm Service

Transcript: In the CPA firm world, there’s a disparity between two things. So my partner and I, we work a lot with CPA firms, with firms trying to grow, so we know them and accounting firm owners really care about their clients. That is just something that’s about these entrepreneurs, these service-based entrepreneurs, that serve in the accounting world. I think it’s just the types of people that become accountants, that run firms, I don’t know, but they really do care about their clients.

But here’s the thing we hear and I know other firms hear often when they get a new client, they always say, “That last firm never cared about me. They didn’t follow up, they didn’t lead me. I would’ve given them more money. They didn’t tell me new things I could purchase from them.” We hear this disparity often where we know accounting firm owners care about their clients, but yet when you hear clients change firms, they describe something that sounds the opposite where the other firm didn’t care about them. There’s this disparity and what is that?

Well, there are some client management strategies called onboarding where you can actually bring a client along to understand how to work within your firm. A lot of times the difference in disparities is really a lack of education. It’s a client not fully understanding what that firm intends to do for them and how it doesn’t match what the client wants them to do. There’s this disparity often in the knowledge or education in the service being provided. accounting firm owners think caring looks one way because they do it for all their clients whereas a client is looking for very specific care in another way. It takes education through an onboarding process for a firm to tell a client exactly what they’re buying, what they’re going to get, what they’re not going to get, what they can do, what that client can not do, these kinds of things help a client understand, “Oh, this is the kind of care I’m paying for,” and that clarity alone really keeps a client coming back to a firm over and over and over.

And they do. They start to understand. You allow the client to be a better partner of yours when you educate them on what the scope is that they do get or don’t get and then they’ll stay with you. Often a client will say, “Hey, I know this is not in scope, but I want to give you more money to do a new thing for me.” That’s when that client’s become a great partner, when they understand how they’re meant to inform you as their firm how to help that client grow.
But how do you lead these client management strategies? Well, that’s up to the firm. It’s the firm’s responsibility to build an onboarding process, to bring a client into their firm in a way that helps them understand how they’re going to be cared for. If that’s something you struggle with, we help firms with things like that in Thriveal. Hit us up at [email protected] and we’ll walk you through the complexities of how to figure this out. Thanks so much. Take care.

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