Accountants and bookkeepers understand the value of providing outstanding service. They typically excel at all the traditional ways to make that happen. But great practitioners we work with break the rules to find innovative ways to wow their clients.
Here’s three great ways to take risks that could lead to awesome client experiences.
Push past your service limits
Take on more clients or more work than you have traditionally been able to handle. The risk is having less time to spend on each customer. Which means the client experience could suffer. But the goal here is to put yourself in stretch situations. Where you’ll be forced to consider every last option for serving clients.
You need to maintain high levels of service. So you'll have to find new ways to deliver awesome interactions more efficiently. That means testing your assumptions. Step back and review how you interact with clients. Is each interaction necessary? Does each provide an awesome client experience? If not, consider eliminating it entirely. Or automating it. Look for ways in which cloud-based apps can eliminate service steps.
Test the limits of autonomy
In The 4-Hour Work Week Tim Ferris took the risk of removing himself from the service equation. He described how he was spending time dealing with issues escalated to him by suppliers. His radical idea was to authorize them to fix anything that would cost less than $100 and not email him about it.
It was a big risk. It could have cost him a lot of money. He could have saved time, but at the cost of dissatisfied customers. Surprisingly, it worked great.
Consider doing something similar in your own firm. Give staff, partners or vendors the autonomy to act on your behalf. It's a risk worth exploring. If done right it can improve service. Clients can be helped in real time by the people closest to them. And you’ll be freed up to add even more high-value advice.
Give advice for free
Providing advice is the highest value work you perform. Giving it away means putting potential revenue at risk. But the service pay-off can be great.
A regular vendor would not just give their ideas away. They’re focused on getting paid. But giving away advice is a great way to serve clients better. It adds unexpected value. It builds trust. It’s what a PARTNER would do. And most clients would prefer to work in a partnership with their trusted advisor.
Consider teaching your clients something you know how to do well. Something that they would benefit from understanding. Maybe a better way of thinking about their business issues. Or their clients. For example, what if your SMB client better understood how forecasting works? Would it help them serve their own clients better?
So take a risk by giving away your highest value property. It will create an awesome client experience. Your client relationships become deeper and more lucrative in the long-term.
Great practitioners understand the value of taking real risks to innovate. They look for dramatic improvements in client service by pushing past traditional service limits. They test the limits of autonomy. Many see the service advantage in giving advice for free. Breaking the rules can make you a unique provider of awesome client experiences.
Whitepaper written by: Blake Oliver