Managing Customer Relationships
I have just read 7 mistakes accountants make and how to avoid them (I hope I'm allowed to mention it in this way). The most important message to me was to nurture the relationship with my clients, as I have lost 2 clients over the years due (I'm fairly sure) to a paying a lack of attention to them. I've simply been too busy churning out work to focus on this quite crucial area of practice management.
The problem is, the focus for my practice is on smaller businesses (sole traders and limited companies) in general subcontractors, consultants, etc. My ideal client would be a small limited company with a turnover of under £150k per annum, with less than 5 employees. My reasons for this are that I wish to create a small firm that fits in around my young family and affords me a life-work balance in the long term. I suspect larger firms prefer an accountant with a swanky office, receptionist etc and that is simply not where I aspire to be.
So my question is, how can I successfully maintain an excellant relationship with my clients without being too formal or pushy? For a lot of small businesses I get the impression, they are not to bothered about me pestering them with tax newsletter containing information they neither have the time nor inclination to read. I feel like phone calls to "touch base" would be met with irritation or indifference. So in the past my approach to customer relationship management has been very passive and simply a case of waiting for them to get in touch with me. Is there anyone else in a similar position, or with similar aspirations, who feels that a more passive approach is more relevant to smaller sole practitioner practices, or would there be a benefit to having a more structured and proactive (for want of a better word) approach?
I'd be grateful for any advice or guidance.