The Eleven- Star Client Experience – Accounting Edition
- By Liz Briggson
- July 29th, 2021
As accountants and auditors, we take certain things for granted. For calendar year-end audit clients, we generally plan interim fieldwork in the fall followed by year-end fieldwork in the winter. We roll-forward the prior year document request lists (lovingly referred to as PBC lists because, in fact, the documents are prepared by our client). We make selections, review documentation, and ask questions. LOTS of questions. It’s no wonder why our clients might welcome us with slight trepidation for yet another audit and look a bit worn out around the time we are finally ready to issue the audit report.
Dave Mundy, Founder of AuditDashboard, takes a refreshing look at how accountants and auditors can go beyond delivering standard client service. He encourages us to think big, to set our sights on delivering an Eleven-Star Client Experience, borrowing a concept from the hospitality industry’s well-known AirBnB. Dave recently shared his point of view with the Encoursa audience, you can listen in here: Beyond Client Service, Creating a Customer-First Client Experience. We’re sharing some highlights below.
The first step in delivering beyond expectations is to conscientiously evaluate your current offering, service levels, and touchpoints. Look in the mirror and really contemplate what it is you have to offer. Identify exactly why it is that someone should hire you.
You can engineer the process by analyzing your strengths and also areas of weakness. Another way to locate areas of improvement is to ask yourself, “If I were the client, why would I leave my firm and choose another firm.”
Pondering your current client service levels provides an excellent platform for upgrading your client’s experience. This brings us to what an Eleven-Star Client Experience might look like. Here are a few ideas from Dave:
- Volunteering with your clients to support a cause THEY care about!
- Co-deliver a presentation along with your client, perhaps to the Board of Directors or the Leadership team
- Take time to schedule a whiteboard session to work through questions together
- Set up a planning meeting well in advance of the audit to establish clear expectations up front
- Invest in becoming an advisor and knowing your clients' businesses intimately.
How powerful would it be if your clients said of you, “They know our business as well as we do.” Go beyond the standard requests and deliverables by reflecting on the principles and behavior required to deliver beyond expectations.
Even the smallest improvements can make a massive difference. If you’d like to hear Dave’s full version of the 11-Star Client Experience, take a listen at the 53-minute mark. Remember, you probably have more to offer than you realize.
AuditDashboard helps accounting firms of all sizes increase efficiency, unlock capacity, and deliver better team and client experiences. Their software solutions streamline, centralize, and standardize the workflow for exchanging information during complex tax, audit, review, and consolidation engagements. Their consultative approach empowers consistent experiences that drive efficiency and promotes project accountability in a completely secure way. Increase efficiency, security and enhance your client’s experience with AuditDashboard.
Join us for AuditDashboard’s upcoming webinars: https://encoursa.com/companies/auditdashboard.
Visit https://www.auditdashboard.com/ to learn more.
- Client experience