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Bookkeepers: What to do when Clients Don’t Value Services Part 1

I hear pretty frequently: conversations I have when I’m doing an Intuit training to posts in my Facebook group: clients don’t value services.

Here’s what you can do if you suspect clients don’t value services

 

That lack of value shows up in various ways. When clients don’t get you the information you need, when they look for cheaper services, when they question your knowledge, etc.

For a long time, we were plagued by this problem. It seemed like our clients were always demanding—no expecting—us to drop everything to attend to their current issue right that minute. It left us frustrated and was one of the catalysts for revamping the way we run my Kildal Services.

The answer I found to becoming an essential partner and advisor to your clients is two-pronged:

  1. Continually show value.
  2. Find better clients.

Let me explain.

Avoid a situation where clients don’t value service by continuing to show that value in various ways

 

Continually Show Value

I’ll admit this topic was a bit frustrating to me at first. I want the people we work with to trust us, know that we know what we’re doing, and have their best interest in mind, without having to do anything. Luckily, I’ve learned a few tricks through the years, like:

    1. Set goals together. When you engage with a client, ensure you know their goals for hiring a bookkeeper. Set your processes based on those goals. For example, if they want a handle on their expenses, figure out a process for communicating what’s going on with their expenses so you can help them.
    2. Deliver on your promises. Consistently do what you say you are going to do when you said you were going to do it. If you screw up, take action. Here’s a blog I wrote about handling screw ups.
    3. Manage expectations. For example, I make it clear to clients that I prefer email and text to communicate. I also let them know there are no bookkeeping emergencies. While saying this, I also reassure them that I am responsive, that I truly care about their success and that I value working with them. Letting them know this upfront solves a lot of problems down the line.
    4. Provide expertise. This is easier at the beginning of an engagement when you have the opportunity to impact their processes and recommend apps that will make their life easier. Make a point to check in with clients regularly to see how things are working so you can offer additional workflow suggestions.
    5. Be proactive. I have a landscaping client that’s business fluctuates seasonally. I noticed this cash flow reflected in their books, so I recommended we decrease our services during their slow time. This helps them manage cash flow and built loyalty because they know I have their best interest at heart.
    6. Be a resource. Let them know you are available to answer their bookkeeping and accounting questions. If you don’t have an answer, I know you can find it!
    7. Celebrate their success. When you see a client adding more revenue, getting more clients or just doing something great, congratulate them.

It helps when I remember what clients care the most about. Their own success. When I remember that, it always puts things in perspective.

In my next blog, I’ll expand upon how having the right clients makes a difference.

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