You are in complete control of the care you personally deliver to your clients over the phone, face-to-face and in your letters and emails. 

You have less control over your people.

Here’s why this is so important:

1. Customer care determines (more than anything else) your ability to get recommendations and win new clients.

2. Customer care is so easy to screw up. If you are blissfully ignorant of the standard of care your clients receive then your firm’s gross recurring fees and capital value is built on quick sand.

Here’s how one hiccup loses a dedicated customer.

Last Tuesday at 6.35am and one miserable customer service moment loses a life-long customer. It’s not an accountancy example but the lesson is clear…

…for 6 years I’ve caught 2 to 4 trains a week from Derby train station on my way to consult with accountants around the UK. There’s 4 places from which I can buy my morning beverage (green tea) before I board the train. One of them has had 95% of my purchases over six years – I’m one of their better customers.

Not any more.

Like most commuters I have a few moments before my train arrives to get myself my 6.00am-7.30am cuppa. The thing is I’m short on time – a quick response is essential, if it’s friendly too all the better.

Tuesday at 6.35 I walk up to the counter and the lady behind is filling out a report of some kind. She doesn’t look up at my arrival but I know she knows I’m there, I’m not shy at making my presence known due to the time shortage and my desire for the first tea of the day. I know she wants to finish what she started – who wouldn’t? But I need my tea urgently! 13 seconds later I walk away. I go catch my train without my Green Tea.

I now buy my green tea at one of the other outlets. I’m now spreading out my £600 a year on green tea and croissants amongst the other three outlets.

One miserable customer service moment and a life-long customer has gone.

How well do you train all your accountancy and support people to put the customer first rather than the work they are doing?

What weekly or monthly processes do you have to recognise good customer care?

In what ways do you get customer feedback specifically on the customer care your people deliver?

Warmest regards

Paul Shrimpling
Remarkable Practice Ltd

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