You already know how the story goes: a client arrives and agrees to a trial, you’re happy and thinking, “Great! Another client for my business. We’re winning all over the place lately!”, and just when you seem to be getting comfortable with them… a month later they're GONE!
We all remember the movie, right? Oh, wait. That movie was about scaring away a romantic partner, not a client. Well, you’d be surprised how similar the two are ;)
CPAs all over the world are wondering how they could have possibly ruined relationships with certain clients so quickly.
But don’t worry; we’ll shed some light on the situation, touching on the top mistakes a CPA can make to ruin their relationships with clients.
In fact, here are our top 5:
- Meeting just once a year
- Charging them for manual data entry tasks
- Not using technology
- Investing in avoidance technology (websites, marketing, emails, newsletters)
- Failing to communicate and deliver timely results
And just like ruining a relationship with a potential partner, making these 5 mistakes can often cost you your clients.
Meeting just once a year - sure, most companies only do their taxes once a year but were you just hired for taxes? Didn’t think so. Business owners want updates on their financials and by meeting face-to-face allows for additional rapport to be built and the natural flow of questions and answers could actually lead to more business (or at least referrals).
Charging them for manual data entry tasks - charging for mundane data entry is a good way to get fired by a client (or at least have them not return/renew). They could easily hire an assistant to do this work and it doesn’t really provide them any value if there’s no sort of analysis afterwards. Where can they conceptualize their data that you just processed? If there’s no answer or value for the client here, they will drop you faster than you can say “keyboard”.
Not using technology - by avoiding technology, for whatever reason, you’re missing out on all sorts of communication channels, data analysis, forecasting, modeling, and general knowledge that could provide value to your clients. By providing these types of services through technology you’ll be able to meet with more clients than ever before while providing a greater value to everyone. It’s win-win.
Investing in avoidance technology (websites, marketing, emails, newsletters) - now we’re not saying “don’t do marketing” but you need to make the marketing actually work for you. No one will subscribe to your newsletter or follow your social media if you just post about when tax season is and what to do to prepare. You need a basic website that outlines your services and focus your marketing on all the value you can add for your clients. Screenshots of improvements over time are a great way to get started and to keep your clients sticking around.
Failing to communicate and deliver timely results - like in any good relationship, communication is key. Failure to communicate and follow-through on your promises is one way to get fired within 30 days. It’s simple, just do the thing you said you would do, on the day you said you would do it. Something important came up? Let them know ASAP and tell them how you’ll make it up to them. And that’s how you lose (or avoid losing!) a client in 30 days ;)