One of the most frequently quoted riddles is “what comes first, chicken or the egg?”. There is no answer, without a chicken there is no egg and without an egg, there is no chicken.
If you asked most accountants why they chose professional practice over other career choices, they would probably list potential for earning a decent living as their prime motivation.
For example, are you going to create a thriving, profitable practice if client service is of secondary importance? We would argue that it would not; that if making money is top of your list then client service will be relegated.
Unlike the chicken and the egg conundrum, where there is no solution, the issues of service and profitability are clearly linked: if you provide a bad service you are unlikely to build a profitable practice. And, if you are focused on building client service the door profitability will open. The key is do you focus on service and do you open or close the door to increased profitability?
In our opinion, the best way to approach client service is to provide services that clients value. If services are valued, then the price for those services can be set accordingly.
And building client service levels does not mean bowing to the “race to the bottom”. The current trend for businesses to seek the cheapest solution to “grudge” purchases: accounts and tax return preparation for example, as compliance solutions are offered by an increasing number of less qualified concerns.
Surely, your challenge is to offer services that distinguish you from your competitors. Services that offer real “wins” for your clients and that they are willing to pay a realistic price for. In this way, we would assert, client service can lead the way to increased profitability.
To see how we are supporting practices to achieve this, take a look at our Fee Builder program.
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