How We Changed our Firm (and Our Lives), Part I

How We Changed our Firm (and Our Lives), Part I

We have fewer clients with closer relationships.

Have you ever discovered something new about a client after they’ve been coming to you for five years?  We have.  At first it feels great to find a new way to help them.  Then you realize you should have known all along.

We have several specific examples in our firm but I won’t go in to those here.  I will say that they lead us to keep our client list shorter than most firms so we can spend more time with them.  Here are a few of the things we do to foster close client relationships:

  • We visit our business clients at their place of business as often as possible. We strive to visit all new business clients when they first become a client.  We continue to visit them as often as we can.  Some clients benefit from a visit every few years while we visit other clients monthly.  There is no better way to learn about what they do.  Business owners are, generally, ecstatic that we take this level of interest.

 

  • We look for ways to support our clients beyond the ordinary. We talk with them often which provides us more opportunity to support them in their success.  We find out what they are working on to see if there is a way that we can support them in it.  We’ve participated in client interviews of new staff, workflow process design, and many other special projects with clients.

 

  • We see our clients as unique. We don’t seek to have the same relationship with any two clients.  We consider each client and their unique needs and goals because everyone is different.  There is no standardization at our firm when it comes to client interaction strategy.

 

  • We answer our phones and deliver tax returns to our clients in face to face meetings. Having fewer clients allows us more time to spend with them.  We work hard to respond to client needs quickly… even on April 15th!  We strongly encourage clients to come in to review their tax returns before filing.  Our clients are busy, so we sometimes deliver their returns to them at their place of business.  We use this time to talk about what’s happening in the current year, too.

 

  • We choose our clients carefully based on our relationship centered service model. We provide the best service when we have the opportunity to truly know our clients.  If we cannot truly know a client, we cannot provide the best possible service.  If we cannot provide the best possible service to a client for ANY reason, we don’t take them on or keep them.

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