Client satisfaction: What accountants can learn from Hula Hoops

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Paul Shrimpling
Remarkable Practice ltd
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Paul Shrimpling of Remarkable Practice explains why firms that make a blatant promise to prospective and existing clients at the outset have the competitive edge.

It is possible to keep existing clients, retain the fees and continue to win new work by listening to Hula Hoops – it’s easy when you know how.

On a cold day last December, I was sat on a train opposite a lady eating a large packet of Hula Hoops. On the back of the packet in the top left hand corner, it read: ‘Our promise to you’. While Hula Hoops is happy to make a blatant promise to its customers, accountants and other professional service firms avoid it. They prefer to make their promises subtle, implied or at best gent...

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01st May 2009 12:21

Great Article Paul

I have exactly the same response from Accountants when I suggest a guarantee.

However when asked if they'd expect their Heating Engineer to guarantee the newly installed central heating the answers tend to be somewhat different.

Paul's suggestion of a guarantee and then an additional risk reversal i.e. placing the risk back on you (you don't pay a penny if we fail) is a very powerful marketing strategy. It gives existing clients confidence and potential client’s piece of mind and assurance to engage. It also gives your existing clients the confidence to refer new business to the practice.

And in reality there's a real soul searching question you need to ask. Do I have the confidence in my practice, my people and my systems to offer a cast iron guarantee?

Kind Regards

Mike Smitth
Mike Smith Consulting Ltd

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01st May 2009 08:50

How about this one for micro and small businesses
Our promise to you is to provide you with a choice of free bookkeeping software, training and coaching or an affordable fixed fee bookkeeping service so you:

• Are fully in control of your business
• Have protection from tax investigations
• Spend less time on bookkeeping
• Have access to really useful management information
• Get great proactive tax advice
• Receive exceptional value for your accountancy fees

Accountant Franchise
Bookkeeping franchise

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29th Apr 2009 12:17

Aboslutely great advice here Paul
Coincidentally I recently wrote a post for my blog for ambitious accountants along similar lines - picking up on the generic service guarantees I've recently been seeing on some firms' websites. I think they're compelling - as are those you have highlighted above.

The posting is due to go live on the blog tomorrow (30 April). Here's a taster:

Whenever I ask accountants if they offer a service guarantee during my seminars, very rarely does anyone answer 'yes'. I then ask a follow up question.

"If you did some work for a client but they weren't happy because you made a big mess of it, would you insist on charging them extra to correct your mistake?"

Again we tend to have unanimity. No one would charge extra to resolve a mistake of their own making. To my mind this is the start of a service guarantee. And it's the sort of thing, which, if promised up front, can help generate confidence from prospective clients.

Mark Lee
Tax Advice Network

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