Client service: Managing expectations

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The most successful and profitable firms are those that know how to manage their customers' expectations, explains Paul Shrimpling.

It's pointless telling a community of accountants that in order to grow profits, firms need to keep all their valuable clients and win new ones; this much you know. The thing that keeps clients coming back for more is the perception that they are getting value for money and to do this, accountants need to know how to manage clients' expectations to ensure they feel they're getting what they paid for – and hopefully more.

Why are expectations so important?

  1. Only your clients can determine whether they receive value for money or not.
  2. The value they receive is determined by the expectations they have before you start.

Whether y...

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About Paul Shrimpling

Paul Shrimpling

For 14 years Paul has worked exclusively with accountants in practice.

The last 9 years as MD of Remarkable Practice, a consulting practice, Paul has helped many firms achieve significant results:

  • A 3-partner firm adds £600,000 of net fees in 18months
  • A 9-partner firm adds £475,000 of cross sales in the first 12 months of working together
  • A 2-partner firm doubles profits in 3 years
  • A sole practitioner significantly improves profits but more importantly takes more holidays and enjoys the business of accountancy more than ever

Here’s what Laurie Riley, Managing Partner of a multi-owner firm in Shrewsbury, had to say recently about their first workshop with Paul:

“I’m not sure we have ever received such a positive reaction from the whole group, and what made it even more satisfying for me was that the ones we thought would be cynical, were anything but! A great achievement, which bodes well for the future.”


"You’ll find me either consulting with accountants to help them grow their firms or presenting to accountants for the same reason. A few times a year I present to business owners – on behalf of the firms I work with. I especially enjoy presenting the concept of the KPIs because it helps transform the results of any business. When I’m office based I do what I can to help the Remarkable Practice team develop and promote our products and services for accountants who want to grow."  
                                                                                                   Paul Shrimpling, Remarkable Practice

Creator of ‘Business Bitesize’ – cultivating a greater flow of new clients for your accountancy firm through profitable word-of-mouth – 

Author of ‘Bamboo Marketing For Accountants’ – the route map to marketing success for accountants in practice – 

And let’s get LinkedIn


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11th Jun 2010 10:55

Managing expectations

Thanks for the article, very interesting insight.

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18th Jun 2010 10:15

thanks for the feedback Peter, it's appreciated. There seems to be so little written about expectations which is why the 'Moments of Truth' book is a worthwhile investment. If you come across anything else would you please let me know?

Paul inspires remarkable results in accountancy firms...

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27th Jun 2010 10:29

One firm I worked at...

One firm I worked at had the slogan "Exceeding Expectations" plastered on all of their note paper and literature. Needless to say no effort was ever made to determine what their client's expectations were (other than receiving big bills with great regularity). It was tokenism at its worst.

I think you should always be in communication with your clients to let them know what you're doing for them (how else will they know you're looing after their interests) and finding out what they want from you.

Otherwise the only way you'll "exceed expectations" is by being even worse than they thought!

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20th May 2016 05:08


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