You can get more referrals when you get more complaints... and grow your firm! | AccountingWEB

You can get more referrals when you get more complaints... and grow your firm!

Like me you'll agree it is two groups of people who determine your firms success, now and in the future.

1. Your team

2. Your customers

Managing your daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly processes designed to keep these two groups happy and profitable will therefore also determine your success.

One of these processes is rarely found in an accountancy practice. And if it does exist it is anything but a positive, proactive and profitable process. But it should be, can be and in my view must be!

What is it?

Go get more complaints.

Hunt for them like a heat seeking missile.

You have to hunt them because we British are bad at complaining - we'd prefer to suffer in silence and walk away quietly. Are you willing to allow good customers to walk away quietly? No?

Then go get more complaints.

And when you find them go out of your way to resolve them with energy, commitment and panache. Because this approach happens so rarely (if at all), when you do resolve issues with energy, commitment and panache your customers will be amazed. Their amazement will turn them into raving fans and they'll stay with you for life. They'll also be more predisposed to refer more work to you. Even if they leave they'll talk about you in a better light don't you think?

One 60 person team I work with has upgraded it's complaint process in the last 18 months and it is now the responsibility of the managing partner! Why him? Because he recognises the opportunity to create raving fans from those complaining. His involvement is a wow in it's own right. Shouldn't you?

When speaking from stage I tell a story about a lawn-mower reseller who gets 4 or 5 referrals for every problematic lawn-mower he sells. This compares with 1 or 2 referrals when he sells a fully functioning mower. Why? Because he's so good at resolving problems his customers are stunned and can't stop talking about him.

How good are your complaint hunting and complaint resolving processes?

Would you let me know?

Paul Shrimpling


paul shrimpling's picture

Toyota learned the hard way!

paul shrimpling | | Permalink

A brilliant artricle in Time this month discusses - "What's Wrong With Toyota?"

The article quotes Steven Spear of MIT

"The big deal is this question, does an organisation know how to hear weak signals, which are the problems, or does it have to hear strong signals? You have to listen to weak signals. By the time you get to strong signals, it's too late."

Make your firm good at spotting weak signals and you'll be setting yourself up for future success through passionate ex-complainers. The alternative is what Toyota are experiencing at the moment.

You choose!

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