What makes it so great, beside the fact that they have good coffee, is that the service is unbelievable. In fact, I’d say they go beyond service and build TRUST…
For me, it all began a few years ago when we were flying back from the Gold Coast. Our flight was delayed and we ended having to change to another airline so we can get home that day. Things weren’t really going that well for us.
When we got in to Sydney, we were exhausted, not to mention desperately in need of a coffee and something to eat. After collecting our car from parking in Mascot, we opted to stop at this particular little café because it appeared to be South American and my daughter is South American.
On ordering our meals and coffee, we sat down and finally began to relax. Noticing the coffee was good and that they sold beans, we ordered several bags of their roast to take home. When we came to settle the bill, we were a little taken aback to find that they didn’t have EFTPOS.
As we prepared to locate an ATM to pay our $80 bill, the owner stopped us.
“Don’t worry about it,” she reassured us. “Just send us a cheque when you get home…”
I was bowled over by her gesture, and the immediate effect it had of building trust.
When I got home, I not only sent them a cheque, but a thank you card to express my gratitude for their outstanding service.
So here’s a question for you to ponder…
“How are you servicing your Clients and making sure that they will always come back?”
I know we have a link to people with Tax Returns – they literally have to come back to complete the next one. But what if tax returns weren’t around? How do you get clients to come back and/or spend more with you?
So let me finish my story… Since that day, I began to frequent that little café spending roughly $500 dollars a year buying my coffee for home, going in for meal before I catch a flight or before I fly out. Not only that, but I also referred all my friends who now frequent the café. All of this because the owner offered me something so simple: her TRUST.
If you’re heading down the road of value adding and expanding your service offering, you want to begin by building trust with your clients.
For accounting clients there is less choice about whether they return for business. Tax simply forces their return. I know for my firm, we initially took this for granted. It wasn’t until we experienced a paradigm shift where we began to really delve into our client’s situations and therefore gained true understanding of their needs.
The results of our shift were immediately visible – we began to build long term trusting relationships in which our clients began coming to us to ask for help in areas that we had previously be unable to interest them.
Case Study: One $24,000 a year client decided to get us to get more involved in his business and even set his own fee! He literally said, “I’ll pay you $1,000 a week, you work out what you can do for that and then go do it.”
You want to be looking for these opportunities within your clients:
- for them to say “yes” to a new service,
- for them to begin using a service they aren’t yet using, or
- for them to ask “how can you help me?”
Let me emphasise: this is a very different conversation to sitting across the table and explaining what you have been doing for them up to this point.
Let me explain.
Tax Planning is a job, something you do for your client once they say ‘yes’. However, you can have a more proactive conversation (such as the one outlined in my Tax Planning Webinar). A more proactive conversation can:
- lead to more services,
- it can lead to exploring opportunities for future services; and
- it can build stronger relationships, based on trust. Which means that when they are ready to buy they’ll come back and ask you to do more for them.
I believe trust can be measured in an accounting firm though client average fees.
- Is your trust being developed?
- Is your client average fee increasing?
My coffee stop today was a great reminder of how one little trigger can build trust to a level that I will always send them referrals and that I will always spend my money in their coffee shop at any opportunity I get.
So if you’re like my coffee shop owners, you will be looking for every opportunity to consistently building trust with your clients.
This will lead to your clients spending more with you in the long term and referring their friends and business colleagues to you.