This blog by Kristen Nies Ciraldo talks about how to make a client feel like a regular. She calls it the ‘Cheers theory of client interaction’.
What are some of the methods you use to keep client engagement strong?
Prior to a first meeting I’ll request access to a client’s file…it’s so easy with QBO. I poke around for a couple of minutes to see any glaring issues and get an idea of what their business looks like financially. I want to make the most of their time, so getting a sneak peak of their QBO file is essential.
Most often I’m meeting with a new client or current client because they have questions about something. Sometimes I request the questions beforehand just to know what I’m walking into. One of my first QBO clients had a list of 20+ complicated questions...including questions about multiple 3rd party apps I’d never used. I’m so glad I asked for their list of questions before our first meeting! I was able to do some research and provide solutions during that first meeting and we’ve worked together ever since.
To strengthen client engagement, I typically ask a bunch of questions. Mainly, I’m trying to understand their bookkeeping/accounting pain points. Sometimes I simply ask them, “what’s your least favorite part about bookkeeping/accounting?” Or “what have you been struggling with recently?” Once I have their answer it’s an opportunity to give them time saving tips or offer to do the service for them. I find this helps them to realize that I’m there to help them and their business succeed…I’m part of their team.
Thank you for sharing all the great tips @ScottMeisterCPA ! And I can see how having a list of questions from your client prior to the meeting would allow for a very productive session.
I am curious if you've been using the new Overview screen within your client's company when you are taking that first sneak peek? If you have, what do you think so far?
@CherylGrindell I've just recently been using that screen; and it's pretty insightful! I used to use the Clients screen in QBOA just to see how current the client was with transactions. Most of the time I focus on the Balance Sheet, P&L, AR, AP, and if they've been reconciling. I'm looking for anomalies and common issues (large amounts in Undeposited Funds, Open Balance Equity amounts, etc) .
A lot of the time clients don't know they have an issue, so it's good to review these items and ask questions. For example, I had a client initially not realize the benefit of reconciling credit card accounts...they also stated the net income looked low. Come to find out there were duplicate credit card transactions (manually posted & bank fed (not matched). Removing $30,000+ in duplicate transactions made their Net Income look better; more importantly, it was finally accurate!