How to Make Your Accounting Firm Clients More Loyal
Many accountants make a common mistake in marketing their practices. Their intentions are good, but they often lose track of some important fundamentals. The mistake is having tunnel vision, focusing all their marketing and business development efforts on attracting only new clients. That may not sound like a bad approach. After all, new client acquisition is fundamental to a thriving accounting firm. More clients means more money, doesn’t it?
Sometimes more clients doesn’t mean more money
Successful accountants will tell you that “more clients, more money” doesn’t necessarily add up. The truth is, you won’t grow your practice and add more clients to your roster of existing ones if you don’t build client loyalty.
Trying to acquire new clients but not working to retain existing ones is like trying to fill a pool that has a hole in it. If you don’t work to plug the hole, the water, like your clients, will leak away, and you’ll fail to achieve the volume you expected.
Of course, a robust client base is critical, and if you plan to grow your firm, you should always work to gain new accounts—but don’t do it at the expense of losing existing ones. Accounting firms that don’t work to foster increased loyalty among their clients risk losing a solid and proven source of revenue. And, they risk sending a potentially damaging message if clients hear from them only at tax time. Clients who believe that you are more focused on new accounts than on keeping them happy will see you not as a firm that cares about its clients but as a machine focused on acquisition.
Successful accounting firms grow based on a reputation of caring about and working in the best interests of their clients.
What you never hear accounting firms’ clients say
How many times do you think people hear someone say, “You should work with my accounting firm. I don’t think they really care about me or my business, and I never hear from them. Come to think of it, I’d say they are pretty average. Do you want me to give you their contact information?” Chances are, that won’t get your attention.
In fact, I recently got an e-mail from an associate recommending I switch from a firm we both used in favor of a more hands-on and less expensive option. That got my attention!
To put the importance of client loyalty into perspective, ask yourself several very important questions:
- How many competing accounting firms operate within your practice area?
Consider clients who commute to or from neighboring communities to find an accounting firm to service them.
Now ask yourself:
- How satisfied are your clients with your firm?
- Would they ever consider taking their business to a competitor they pass on their way to work or one their wealthy brother recommends?
Stay top of mind with a newsletter marketing program
For these reasons, your accounting firm cannot afford to be out of sight, out of mind with existing clients. Instead, demonstrate to your clients that you value them and want to help them make the best, most informed decisions.
A quality newsletter program is a proven way to build loyalty and remind clients that one of the best decisions they can make for their personal or business books is to work with you. A print newsletter such as Client Information Bulletin provides valuable content, including tax developments, general business principles, financial planning, estate planning and related topics. The digital option, Accountant Client eNewsletter, provides the timely and interesting content of Client Information Bulletin in a fully customizable e-mail format.
Newsletters keep your practice in front of clients when they aren’t in your office and remind them how much they need you. They are a professional, intentional method to reach existing clients and show them that they matter to you—all year long.
Loyal clients create more loyal clients
Client loyalty can happen organically, but truly successful accounting firms are serious about implementing loyalty-building programs. Does your accounting marketing plan include loyalty building? It’s a mistake to treat client retention as a passive activity. Just because an unhappy or dissatisfied client doesn’t communicate how they feel doesn’t mean they are, in fact, happy. Instead, they often just leak away like the water in the pool with a hole in it.
In reality, if you’re not keeping your firm in front of your clients—from your most loyal to your most lapsed—you run the risk of being out of sight, out of mind.
Think of your existing clients as what they are: sources of revenue for your practice. But more than that, your best and most loyal clients should also be powerful brand ambassadors for your firm. If they know you have their best interests in mind and trust you to employ experts who act in those best interests, they are far more likely to tell their friends, relatives and coworkers about your firm and encourage them to work with you.
Newsletters remind clients of other ways you can serve them
An added bonus of newsletters is that informative articles educate clients about the services you provide and other ways you may be able to benefit them.
Successful accounting firms are adept at both acquiring new clients and maintaining their existing ones because they make loyalty building a purposeful, active initiative. They create a culture of trust and give their happy clients opportunities to help build the firm’s ever-growing roster.
Get started today. WPI Communications, Inc., makes it easy to promote your accounting firm and build client loyalty with informative, valuable newsletters for accountants.
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