HOW CPAs Can Take 3 Steps Towards Delighted Clients

June 20, 2018 | By Paul Latham

Strategically 3 is a Magic Number

All good things come in 3’s ….. and so it is with CPA strategy.

  1. Business Purpose – Why?
  2. Value Promise – What?
  3. Deliver the Promise – How?

These are the 3 steps that CPAs must take towards ensuring that they have delighted clients.

Step 1. Business Purpose – Why?

CPAs need to be clear – Why are we in business?

What is main purpose of your CPA business? What are the main aspects that will drive your people to perform - what are the values and business culture that you are trying to instill in your people?

Will your answers to these questions make it feel like a job worth doing?

Compare and contrast these 2 examples of a CPA Purpose:

“We are a backward looking CPA business – reactive to our clients needs – and our main purpose is to calculate how much tax our clients owe and to ensure that they pay their tax on time.

We are a forward looking CPA business – proactive to our clients needs - and our main purpose is to help our business owner clients to clarify their business direction and to maximize their business potential”.

Would you rather work for the “backward looking” or “forward looking CPA?

If you were a successful business owner – which CPA firm would you be interested to talk to?

The answers to those questions are obvious.

A clear and interesting purpose and values will excite and sustain the efforts of your people – and are part of “looking different” to your best target clients.  

Step 2. Value Promise – What?

CPAs need to be clear – What do you do to create value for your clients?

Does your value proposition help you to look different – to look like a 21st Century Advisor rather than a 20th Century CPA?

Why do your clients choose you as their CPA? Compare and contrast these 2 examples of a CPA Value Proposition.

“Choose us because we will efficiently produce your tax return on time?”

This is an example of what your clients expect as a minimum from a CPA.

“Choose us because we can help you to grow your business? We have a process that will help you to maximize your business potential”.

This is an example of what your clients would truly value from their CPA.

Imagine you were buying a new “drill”. Do you really value the “drill” and how “fast it spins” - or do you actually really value the “hole in the wall” that the drill produces? 

Your Value Promise to clients should be a natural extension of your Purpose. That just leaves the third and most important step – the HOW?

Step 3. Deliver the Promise – How?

CPAs need to be confident they can answer this question.

How do we make sure that we always deliver what we promised to our clients?

Do you have a consistent process to make added-value delivery easy (just like “painting by numbers”) when working with clients – or do you prefer to leave that consistent service to “chance” and “reinvent the wheel” each and every time?

Do you have a consistent “client service framework” that drives the type of consistent added-value service delivery that you want – across the whole team – or does service level vary depending on which team member the client works with?

Does your added-value service delivery framework include consistent and measured processes to ensure that you have lived up to our value promise?

Are your clients delighted - and how do you know for sure?

So - a key rule of CPA strategy - for delighted clients is to think about and make sure you can clearly answer:

  1. Business Purpose – Why?
  2. Value Promise – What?
  3. Deliver the Promise – How?

Because for 21st Century Advisors 3 is a Magic Number!

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