Not all clients are cut from the same cloth…
Some are a real pleasure to work with, and the relationship is mutually beneficial.
But others can be really problematic.
The fact is that problem clients seriously hinder your practices growth and development.
They zap your time, they zap your energy and they drain your profits.
So how can you spot them?
Here are the 5 types of problem clients to look out for in your accountancy practice…
1. The ‘never on time’ clients
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before…
“I’ll get them to you asap”
Days and weeks pass, and still no sign.
And as if your practice wasn’t busy enough during tax return season, now you find yourself chasing the same clients every time right up till the final whistle.
Of course, having the right systems and technology in place to manage and automate this will help to some extent, but some clients just won’t ever change!
2. The ‘downright difficult and disorganised’ clients
The name speaks for itself…
These clients may well contribute a good portion of your practice’s revenue, but they can very easily provide more problems than profit.
They’re always moaning about something or communicating with your team in a less than polite way. And more often than not you find yourself doing all of the hard work because of their sheer disorganisation.
These clients can have a serious impact on your team’s motivation and really ought to be avoided, at all costs.
3.The ‘IOU’ clients
With most accountancy practices transitioning to a direct debit model, these clients are becoming less of an issue.
But often practices have legacy clients who pay on their own terms, and also those who are reluctant to move to direct debit.
And this can be fine, providing they pay in a timely fashion.
But sometimes they don’t. And it’s usually the same repeat offenders.
At the end of the day you’re running a business, you have bills and salaries to pay.
If these clients can negatively impact your cash flow – do you really want that?
4. The ‘I know better’ client
You know the type…
You give them your opinion and advice but then they always seem to know better.
Working with these clients can be a real zap of time and energy.
Time and energy that could be better spent working with clients who will listen to your advice and act on it.
5. The ‘want something for nothing’ client
Now I have to be honest, part of blame here doesn’t lie with the client.
Because a lot of practice owners out there do a pretty terrible job of setting expectations upfront regarding additional work, and therefore don’t have a system in place to charge for it.
But still, there are always clients who want something for nothing.
For new clients, this shouldn’t be an issue providing they understand up-front how your pricing works.
But for legacy clients who have always done it this way, it’s easy to say yes and just do the additional work without a fee in order to honour the relationship, but you really shouldn’t.
It’s time to take action!
Recognise a few of the names above?
I’m sure you do.
You probably have a few more you could even add to the list, right?
The reality is if you have clients like this in your practice then you really ought to be taking action.
Problem clients hinder your practices growth. And as novelist Ayn Rand once said “I don’t build in order to have clients, I have clients in order