Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
Dig Deeper – It Might Not Be Your Fees
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates
Every tax season you wonder. Will all our clients return to our firm for their annual personal and business tax preparation?
There will be a few who will leave, for various reasons… they’ve moved, their brother-in-law now works for another local firm, they sold their business, etc. The most common reason the departing clients give is that your fees are just too high… more than they want to pay.
You review last year’s work and feel confident that the fees charged were valid compensation for the work performed. You contemplate giving the complaining client a reduced fee quote for their continuing work. Don’t do it!
Dig deeper. A client usually departs a CPA firm because of something other than fees. It is just easy for them to use fees as the excuse because they don’t want to tell you the truth. They feel neglected. They feel you are always reactive rather than proactive. They overheard something said by a member of the engagement team that was distasteful to them.
Studies tell us that a typical business hears from only 4% of it’s dissatisfied customers. Are you asking your clients, EVERY time you have a communication with them, “How are we doing?”
CPAs often spend much more time focused on NEW clients than they do on their OLD, faithful clients. You begin to take them for granted. Your existing clients are golden. Studies also tell us that the probability of selling to a new prospects is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing client is 60-70%.
Keep in mind:
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.
Clients are, of course, concerned about price but most will be willing to pay more for awesome service.
- “The customer’s perception is your reality.”
- Kate Zabriskie