Congratulations! You’ve just signed up a dream new client.
Welcome to the honeymoon period…
They’ve just signed on the dotted line and they’re excited about working with you and your practice in the years to come.
It’s at this precise point, that leaving your new clients with a lasting impression of your practice is incredibly important for 3 main reasons (although there are others as well):
- It confirms to them they made the right decision choosing you as their accountant prior to you even starting work for them
- It will provide the foundations for a solid relationship meaning they’ll hopefully stay with you longer (Increase retention = Increased revenue)
- They’re much more likely to sing your praises and give you some referrals if you WOW them early on
And yet, most practices don’t seem to do much in the way of leaving a positive, lasting impression on their clients.
In fact, sometimes practices might leave a lasting impression of the wrong kind…
So, let’s take a look at what the ‘traditional’ onboarding process might look like:
- The client needs to provide personal & business info
- The client needs to give details of previous accountant (if applicable)
- The client needs to set up their direct debit
- The client needs to complete and return any number of other forms etc
The point being, there’s a lot stuff that the client needs to do, and often a lot of you chasing the client to get it done.
All of this ‘stuff’ is transactional.
Sure, it’s important. And yes, it can be streamlined and automated to some extent, but it adds zero value to your relationship at this point in time.
So, what can you do differently to leave a lasting first impression with your new clients?
The answer is to focus on adding some relational touches to your onboarding process.
This could be things such as:
- Sending them a branded welcome pack in the post with some useful info to help them get started
- Having members of your team give them a quick call to introduce themselves and check in with them
- Send them a welcome SMS or record a sequence of videos to be emailed to them
- Run onboarding sessions to get them up to speed with how your process works + any tech you’ll want them to start using
All of these are easy to do and can leave a positive lasting impression with your new clients straight away.
So here’s what you should do…
Sit down with your team and map out a 30-90 day timeline – this is the honeymoon period where you want to focus on WOWing your new clients.
Then, over the 30-90 day period, draw out what all of the ‘transactional’ touches are that need to take place to get them onboarded e.g. signing engagement letters, provide info etc.
Then, the most important part, draw out what the ‘relational’ touches are going to be that will leave them saying WOW.
With greater use of technology in accountancy practices in some cases reducing the contact that you may have once had with a client (although if you’re going down the advisory route, this contact will likely increase) it’s imperative that you focus on delivering exceptional client service.
By doing so you can increase your client retention, and hopefully generate a few more referrals along the way.
What are you doing to leave positive lasting impressions with your new clients?
Let me know in the comments below.