Client expectations are unpredictable.

The willingness of your business owner clients to recommend your firm and buy more services from your firm are determined by your clients’ unpredictable expectations.

For example: My unpredictable expectations have just been unmet!

As I write this I’m enjoying a green tea in a local café where I regularly start my day.

It’s a good café.

It was once a great café.

You don’t want this said about your accountancy practice.

“Sorry we don’t have any lemon”

Feeling a bit under the weather I thought a slice of lemon in my green tea would do the trick, so I asked for a slice of lemon.

When the tea arrived at my table it came with the statement: “Sorry we don’t have any lemon”

Across the road from the café is a Coop. The Coop sells lemons.

Doesn’t the 10 years I’ve been coming to this café warrant a trip over the road for a 30p lemon?

You might argue that my expectations are too high. Good luck. They’re my expectations and I’m disappointed – why else would I write this piece!

What are your accountancy firm’s lemons?

I know this is an overused phrase but do you have a culture of going the extra mile?

It’s easy to talk about ‘client care’ and ‘the extra mile’ but harder to make it a natural, automatic, habitual part of running your accountancy practice.

What could you do to build this ‘automatic’ way of meeting the unpredictable expectations of your long-standing clients? And more than that, exceeding them?

- Measure the number of ‘remarkable moments’ created between your firm and your clients – make it an agenda item in your weekly team meeting to drive action. At Remarkable Practice we regularly send relevant business books to our clients because we actively seek the opportunity to do this. The best book gifts are relevant books.

- My accountant, every year without fail, sends me a birthday card and everyone in the firm signs it. It means so much more because it’s signed by everyone.

- Capture the questions your firm is asked by clients. ‘Could I have a slice of lemon’ is a question that has been asked many times in my café, I know because I’ve asked several times. Sometimes I’ve got lemon (but not today, making the disappointment even more stark!). If your firm obsesses about the questions and requests from clients at least you’ll be flagging up the obvious ‘remarkable moments of truth’ between your firm and your clients.

Beware of taking these moments for granted…

You know how demoralising it can be to be taken for granted by friends and loved ones. The same distress happens for your clients when you take them for granted.

Alternatively, you can commit to creating a culture of seeking out opportunities to impress clients in small but not insignificant ways. This then underpins the future success of your firm​.

Check out this 4-page business breakthrough report to give you more ideas and more ways to manage your clients’ unpredictable expectations…

I’m now nipping over the road to buy a lemon for my next cup of tea!