Reaching Out to Accounting Clients and Keeping Doors Open

Matt Shelly
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As tax season draws closer, many US accounting firms are putting all their focus and energy into time-sensitive accounting services. In the process, many accounting professionals fail to check in with their existing clients, which can damage the relationship and affect loyalty. By making a point to keep in touch with your clients, you can keep their business and ensure the long-term stability of your company.

According to a recent story from Groupon Local Merchant, client retention can have a significant impact on your company's bottom line. In general, it is up to five times more expensive to bring in a new client than to retain an existing one. In addition, when you boost your client retention by just 5 percent, you can see a boost in profit of between 25 percent and 95 percent.

Businesses that provide accounting services often ignore client retention because clients seem plentiful. When times are tight, however, customers often opt to bring accounting services in-house—or switch to a company that provides better service for the same fee. By making an effort to stay in touch throughout the year, you can reduce accounting client turnover and increase profits.

Many accounting professionals pay special attention to their clients in the months leading up to tax season but fall off the grid during other times of the year. Avoid that trap by setting a regular communication schedule. Send out a monthly newsletter to all clients to keep your name at the top of their minds. Include helpful accounting services tips for cutting costs, managing money, and preparing for taxes.

For large, high-value accounting clients, take your relationship-building efforts a step further. Make a monthly phone call to inquire about business and offer advice for any problems that have arisen. Make notes about any personal or business information the client reveals; it can help you provide more personalized interactions and suggest the most useful accounting services down the road. Let the client know that your door is open and that he can call with questions at any time. This simple act, which usually takes less than fifteen minutes, can position you as a helpful, trusted source of information. Cultivating strong client relationships will make it easier for clients to stick with you during tough periods. 

One of the easiest ways to establish a lasting connection with a client is to demonstrate that you are dedicated to building their business. You can offer suggestions to help the client navigate a particularly tricky area of financing or taxes, and pass along book recommendations that address client concerns. If you see your client in the news, reach out to offer congratulations or support. Over time, these small actions add up to a strong relationship that can weather the ups and downs of the economy.

Whether you run a small accounting services firm or a large accounting corporation, relationships are crucial. By taking the time to reach out, you can create trust and build powerful, lasting business partnerships.


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