If you provide business-to-business services, then you know well the value of retaining your clients and the disappointment when they take their business elsewhere. It is obvious that the best way to keep your clients happy is to meet their needs and exceed their expectations – but figuring out what those needs and expectations are can sometimes be a challenge.
The Sleeter Group recently released their “What SMBs Want” research study for 2014, identifying what growing businesses are looking for in their CPAs in particular. Although this study is focused on accountants, the findings can be applied by any business services provider looking to better retain clients. The study clearly points to the following ways that services providers can keep more business clients:
- Be Proactive – 76% of small business owners feel that they are getting reactive service from their accountants, for 72% of business owners, that lack of proactive service was enough to make them switch. Anticipating and identifying your clients’ needs and suggesting new solutions before they start looking will help you stand out and stay actively engaged with your clients.
- Provide Business Strategy Support – 57% of respondents indicated that they would like additional business planning and strategic advice from their accountants. By understanding how the services that you provide affect the whole organization, you can better provide advice and become an integral part of your clients’ business strategy.
- Enable Better Business Analytics – Business decision makers are constantly looking for more efficient ways to analyze their rapidly growing business data and make better decisions more quickly. If you can help them accomplish that goal, even if it is just within your sphere of influence, you will prove your own value and motivate your clients to keep you around.
- Engage with Technology – 85% of respondents wanted their accountants to take a proactive role with their business technology, but only 13% believe their accountant was “ahead of the curve” in terms of technology in order to provide that technical direction. Staying engaged with technology trends and incorporating new technology tools into the services that you provide will help your clients to see your ongoing relevance and foster their faith in you provide them with the most up-to-date services and solutions for their business.
It’s often the case that, in order demonstrate these capabilities to your clients, you need to first establish them in your own business. With Socius Professional Services solutions, you can leverage proven and emerging technology to become more proactive, streamline and automate your business processes so that they better align with your strategy and gain access to better business analytics.