This may come as a surprise to you, or it may not…
What clients remember about your practice is very rarely associated with the core part of what you do.
As their accountant, they expect you to be able to do these things. They don’t particularly care what you do or how you do it, as long as it gets them the results they have been promised.
For example, if you had a bad knee and you went to see a knee specialist, you wouldn’t be too concerned about how they fixed it, as long as it got fixed.
More often than not, what clients actually remember are the little things, and it’s these little things that help mould their perception of the quality of your service.
But what exactly are these ‘little things’?
Dr Paddi Lund, an Australian dental practice owner coined the term ‘Critical non-essentials’ when he was developing the customer service strategy for his practice.
Critical non-essentials are the things that aren’t strictly necessary in order for you to run your practice, but they are highly critical to your ongoing success.
Some of the things he introduced were:
- Serving tea in impeccable china cups
- Having their names and photographs on the door of the lounge when they arrived
- Being greeted by their name on arrival
- Having fresh flowers in all the rooms
When he introduced these things, he found that the perception of his quality dramatically increased. And as a result, so did the number of raving clients and new referrals he received.
One of the main reasons for this is that whether it’s right or wrong, people naturally tend to judge things based on appearance.
For example, if there is a broken sign outside your office, clients will perceive this as your service being lower quality. And if there are dirty cups or plates lying around on desks in your offices when they visit, they will also perceive this as your service being lower quality.
So, part of your customer service strategy should be to improve your client’s perception of your quality, by systemising all of the little things that make a difference:
- When a client signs up, ask them what their favourite tea/coffee is. Next time they visit, make sure you have some in the office.
- Reserve car parking spaces for your clients with their names on boards.
- Have their name on a sign in reception when they first walk in.
- Create a clean and comfortable space for clients to relax when they first arrive.
- Make sure that your team greet them by their name.
There’s 101 different things that you can do, the key is to systemise them and create a culture with your team where attention to detail is vitally important.
Because when you do this, you will stand out from the average accountancy practice, have a client base full of raving fans and generate more word of mouth referrals.
What little things have you systemised in your practice to deliver superior customer service? What little things could you systemise that you haven’t already? Let me know in the comments below…