What does client retention mean? Your guide to retaining accounting customers

What does client retention really mean for your firm? Research shows that when firms are able to increase retention by 5%, they witness a profit increase in the range of 25-95%. But, how do you get clients to stay with you? 

This guide will share some helpful tips to help you keep your clients happy and loyal:

  • Personalise your communication
  • Offer advisory services
  • Upgrade your technology solutions
  • Leverage outsourcing
  • Keep employees happy
  • Finish tasks promptly
  • Charge a fixed rate
  • Implement a feedback system

Personalise your communication

The more clients you have to look after, the more difficult it becomes to communicate with them regularly. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that the communication you have with them adds value. 

Clients in the modern business world expect personal attention from their accountants, no matter the firm’s size. It’s imperative to demonstrate that you genuinely take an interest in every client, asking insightful queries about their finances and providing appropriate solutions. 

You can also make notes of little pieces of non-business information they share so you can ask about it when you next speak to them. Perhaps they mentioned taking up a new sport or planning a trip, asking about this adds a personal touch.

Asking your clients about non-business topics they’ve mentioned before proves that you care about them, not just their business. 

Offer advisory services

A couple of decades ago, clients were happy with their accountants just doing the number crunching and financial reporting. These days, clients also want their accountants to offer advice on topics relating to accounting, finance, and even business. 

According to research by Sage, 82% of accounting clients also expect their accountants to offer advisory services on relevant accounting and finance technologies. Doubling as an advisor will allow you to provide the added value to your clients they need to keep paying for your services.

Keep your accounting software up to date

Keeping your technology up to date is crucial in this day and age since you can’t meet your clients’ ever-changing demands with outdated and slow solutions. 

Additionally, 2020 accelerated technology adoption as companies scrambled for digital solutions to their traditional business procedures. The business world is more digitised than ever, and firms are expected to evolve and keep pace with the changes by keeping their accounting software up to date. 

 Try implementing a software that directly connects to your client’s business current account. Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software. Clients with the Countingup business current account are always connected to your Countingup accounting software, giving you instant access to your client’s real time transaction data. It means no more waiting for missing information. And it’s free for accountants, so your clients receive a great value business current account and you’ll save on accounting software costs and increase your practice efficiency.

Keep employees happy

If you run an accounting firm, a key component to increasing client loyalty is to maximise your employee retention. The reason staff retention is so important to client retention is that people like consistency and prefer working with the same accountant for as long as possible. 

Your accountants can only build long-term relationships with clients if they stay at your firm for an extended time. Therefore, you want to make sure your employees feel valued, supported and like they have opportunities for career progression. 

To increase client retention, accounting firms need to understand the importance of their employees and the value that comes with their presence.

Finish tasks promptly

Retaining clients is all about satisfying their needs and impressing them with your services. An excellent way to wow your clients is to serve them efficiently before the expected time. 

When your clients ask you to prepare their taxes or manage other accounting tasks, they understand that it may take some time. That said, if you can complete the tasks efficiently a day or two before the deadline you set, your clients will be delighted and impressed. This action shows that you value their time and that you’re willing to go the extra mile. 

Implement a feedback system

Introducing a feedback system where clients can share their thoughts and opinions about your service is probably the best way to uncover areas needing improvement. You can either ask your clients directly or send out surveys where you ask them to rate your service. 

Ask for feedback after you finish a project and about your service in general. Make it clear that you value your clients’ opinions, understand their pain points, and will take action to address the issues they raise with you. 

Another way to check for feedback is by looking through people’s comments on social media or your website. Be quick to respond to any negative comments, asking how you can rectify the situation. Public messages like these demonstrate your willingness to improve both to the person or business in question and anyone who sees them. The way you handle feedback can have a direct impact on client retention.

What does client retention mean for my accounting firm?

Retaining clients is probably one of the main challenges accounting firms face, especially in a business climate where people expect their service providers to go above and beyond for them. With so many options available, clients have become picky and could choose to abandon your firm for one that promises to do more. 

At the same time, retaining clients is key to your firm’s survival, partly because a high retention rate boosts your reputation and partly because acquiring new clients costs a lot more. In fact, acquiring a new client may cost up to 5 times more than keeping an existing one. 

Boosting your client retention will increase your revenue and allow you to build strong long-term relationships with them. You will no longer be just another number cruncher, but a serious business that clients trust with their money, knowing you’ll give them value in exchange. 

No matter the size of your firm, these strategies should give you a good starting point for improving your client retention and staying one step ahead of your competitors.

Improve your accounting services with Countingup

You can save your practice time on manual admin and help your clients keep organised records with Countingup’s free accounting software. It is full of features for accountants to review and manage client accounts efficiently, prepare journals and client taxes accurately with direct access to their real-time organised data via the Countingup app. Find out more here.

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