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The CAS Team: 5 Steps to Elevate the Client Experience



Today, being a successful firm isn't just about technical skills; it's the people responsible for leadership, relationships, and innovation. A firm's strength lies in its dedicated team of professionals committed to ensuring client satisfaction, regulatory compliance, and streamlined operations.


Leadership and first-class marketing and sales are critical skills and must be integrated with technical accounting and finance skills to create the desired experience for clients and team members. It takes a unique ability team with well-defined roles. However, many firms lack some of the required skills or have people working outside their unique abilities.


Let's review some of the critical roles and develop an action plan that will accelerate your success and transformation.


Client Relationship Manager


A partner often plays the role of the client relationship manager, but is this a sustainable strategy to drive the desired growth and experience? This role is often the first point of contact for a client and acts as the bridge between them and the technical team. The CRM ensures someone addresses client questions promptly, mitigates concerns, and provides a seamless and positive client experience.


The old saying, "What got you to this level won't get you to the next," is generally true, especially if the person (partner in this case) isn't willing to give something up to add value. A CRM with a firm grasp on the tenets of client service can positively transform the client's experience by keeping clients informed, anticipating their needs, incorporating feedback, and paving the way for long-term relationships.


The Marketing Specialist


Tasked with promoting the firm's services to the firm's target market, the marketing specialist creates strategies to reach current and prospective clients and position the firm as a thought leader in the accounting profession.


By leveraging tools like digital marketing, content creation, and branding, the marketing specialist ensures that the firm's value proposition (message) is communicated effectively to its target audience, leading to an elevated client base.


The Sales Executive


The sales executive is often referred to as a business developer because of the accounting profession's history of distaste for sales. The primary responsibility is converting potential leads into clients in target service areas and industries. They do this through networking, nurturing client relationships, and understanding prospects' specific wants and needs to tailor the firm's offerings accordingly.


A deep understanding of the firm's services and a pulse on market trends allow sales executives to craft proposals that resonate with potential clients and positively impact the firm's bottom line.


The Technical Team


Naturally, accounting firms think of accountants, auditors, tax professionals, and other specialists with a CPA license. However, today's business capability model includes leadership, talent, technology, processes, and growth.


Many on the technical team may not often be in the direct line of client interaction, but the quality of their work speaks volumes. Timely reports, effective tax strategies, and business acumen elevate the client's trust.


The Support Team

The support team includes technology, human resources, talent development, administrative staff, and others who ensure smooth firm operations. They are critical in ensuring data security, resource and risk management, legal agreements, and profitability.


Their indirect contribution to the client experience is monumental. An integrated technology platform ensures client data privacy and security. At the same time, effective operations mean clients get timely responses, support, and the capacity and capability to sustain success and remain future-ready.


A 5-Step Action Plan to Elevate the Client Experience

  1. Personalize client interactions. Understand the unique needs and wants of clients who meet the firm's criteria. Terminate or transform clients who do not meet the filtering criteria. Utilize the 3 X 3 X 3 strategy. Clients utilize three or more of the firm's services, with a team of three or more firm contacts and three or more client contacts.

  2. Invest in training beyond technical continuing professional education. People in every role need skills in project management, process management, marketing, sales, and data analytics.

  3. Actively seek feedback. The CRM can accomplish this by asking the right questions and using tools such as the Net Promoter Score.

  4. Integrate marketing and sales efforts by ensuring that marketing strategies support sales goals. A unified approach leads to a consistent brand message and more effective lead conversion.

  5. Leverage technology for an enhanced client experience. Cloud-based platforms, integrated applications, automated workflow, machine learning, and 24/7 client support driven by AI-driven chatbots optimize operations and enhance the client's experience with your brand.

The evolving landscape of advisory services requires a harmonious blend of a competent unique ability team, strategic marketing, and unparalleled client service. By recognizing the key roles within the team and emphasizing their significance, firms can position themselves for sustained growth while remaining future-ready. Think-Plan-Grow!

 

Could you benefit from a peer network of other advisory service leaders?


The Boomer Business Transformation Circle is a peer group of advisory service leaders from top accounting firms who benefit from sharing knowledge, best practices and lessons learned. Apply now to get plugged into the Circle and start transforming your firm.

 

L. Gary Boomer, Visionary & Strategist of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is recognized in the accounting profession as the leading authority on technology and firm management. He consults and speaks around the globe on several topics including strategic and technology planning; mindset, skillsets and toolsets for the future; change management and developing a training and learning culture. He also acts as a planning facilitator and coach to some of the accounting profession's top firms.

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