Seven Ways Managers Can Keep Clients Front and Center

BY CRAIG COCHRAN

BUSINESS TIPS  

1 | Play “Follow the leader.” Managing partners set the tone for everything, good or bad, that takes place in the firm. It’s important for leaders to keep their focus on the client rather than internal politics and ego gratification.

2 | Remind employees of their mission in the organization. A quick daily meeting can set the tone of the workweek and be a source of inspiration in a firm of any size. A constant conversational reminder will ground employees in their primary cause in the firm.

3 | Shine a spotlight on staff. Give employees the attention they deserve. Honor individuals who go above and beyond their job descriptions and truly delight clients. This sets the pace for others to follow.

4 | Invest in your staff. Make sure they are consistently well-trained, motivated, mentored and equipped with the proper tools to serve clients.

5 | Realize that smart firms learn from their mistakes. Be honest and open about why a specific aspect of client service failed. Mistakes are important because they lead to discussion and innovation. Managing partners must outline clear actions that will remove the causes of the organization’s failures and then take steps to follow through.

6 | Form a focus group. Bring together a small, carefully selected group of people to explore perceptions about a product or service your firm is offering, so you’re more able to make well-thought-out decisions.

7 | Keep clients informed of improvements. When you make a change or innovation, communicate it to clients. If clients don’t realize there’s been an improvement, there is no improvement.

Source: Adapted from Becoming a Customer-Focused Organization by Craig Cochran, Paton Press, 2006.

You’re Invited
Do you have an amusing story to share? We’re looking for funny or enlightening anecdotes about the CPA workday to include in Top Line. Send entries to joaed@aicpa.org .

SPONSORED REPORT

Revenue recognition: A complex effort

Implementing the new standard requires careful judgment. Learn how to make significant accounting judgments and document them and collaborate with peers for consistent application.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

News quiz: Taking an economic snapshot and looking to the future

Recent news included IRS actions that affect individuals and partnerships and a possibly influential move by a Big Four accounting firm.Take this short quiz to see how much you know about the news.