Whether you are a freelance accountant or running an accounting firm, retaining your current customers is just as important as acquiring new ones.
Acquisition of a new customer can easily cost you 5 times more than working with a current customer and that’s one of the reasons why giants like S&P Global, Deloitte, and EY spend millions of dollars to improve their customer retention rate. These companies use various strategies to understand the behavior of their customers in order to offer relevant and lucrative incentives.
Like for every other business, customer retention plays a vital role for accounting firms and freelance accountants. It is a secure revenue stream that you can realize without having to invest heavily in marketing. In order to avoid losing customers, you must first understand why customers stop working with you in the first place.
Here are the top 5 reasons why customers leave their accounting firm in 2022:
1. When You Increase the Pricing
Price increase is one of the major reasons why customers start considering other accounting firms. That’s because most small businesses have a fixed budget for outsourcing their accounting and tax services, and any price increase above their budget can demotivate them.
Therefore, instead of an abrupt price increase, you should adopt a data-based and value proposition approach that your clients can relate to. Here’s how you can do that:
- Check whether your competitors have increased the prices
- Thoroughly analyze the financial situation of your clients to see how much price increase they can afford
- Come up with a story and communicate the increase with your clients. For example, you can cite the reason for the increase and add something like: “Our new prices will allow us to better serve you and our new customers”.
You can also implement the increase in steps to see how it goes. To do that, you can either implement 50% of your planned increase on all services or increase the prices of selective services only. Also, tell them in advance about price increase and give them the option to still purchase your services at the previous prices. When the customer is given a choice, it’s always better.
Additionally, you can communicate what value you can add to your services with the extra revenue. For example, if you plan to invest in digital tools that will make you more efficient: let them know.
2. When You no Longer Address Their Needs
While a business may initially hire you for bookkeeping services, things change as the business grows and the business would require other related services such as tax filing, advisory, and financing services. Even if you are doing a wonderful job — Managing the books, they would still look for alternative accounting firms or freelance accountants just to get everything done from a single place.
Therefore, if you want to retain those clients, make sure you understand their needs and offer relevant services.
One way to market your new services is to offer them a FREE trial of the services that they did not try yet or offer those services at discounted prices. This will help you improve your customer retention rate.
3. Lack of Good Service
We all love to hire efficient professionals and your clients are no different. As long as you provide quality services, they will keep using your services. However, the moment they feel a drop in the quality of your services, they will start looking for alternative service providers.
Specifically, it is pretty common for small accounting firms and freelance accountants to lose customers due to quality compromise. That’s because they don’t have the technical and human resource to deal with multiple clients as their business grow.
Moreover, they risk missing important deadlines and specific requests of clients due to the increase in workload. In order to effectively manage multiple clients, you can use Automa8e — An all-in-one cloud accounting solution that can help solve the problem of workload by creating a system that automates accounting tasks.
Our cloud solution is specifically helpful for accounting firms and freelance accountants to increase their productivity.
From automating routine tasks such as bookkeeping and inventory management to automating things like taxation, Automa8e can significantly reduce the time, manpower, and effort involved in both routine and one-off accounting tasks. This helps you adopt a proactive approach and focus on serving your clients better.
4. Lack of Responsiveness
If responsiveness doesn’t strike you as a solid reason for customer churn, you may be looking at it from a whole different spectrum. Specifically, lack of communication, the inability to respond to customers’ queries fast due to large volume of daily workload, and not keeping your clients on board in various events can deteriorate your relationship with the client in the long run.
A number of businesses complain about customer churn even though they have a regular mailing system in place.
The reason is that it’s not about how many emails you send each week. It’s about how well you understand your client’s needs and how well you address those needs. Therefore, instead of solely relying on robotic emails, you should provide a customized customer support experience to your clients.
Additionally, you should arrange 1-1 sessions with your clients to know more about their business activities and expansion plans. This will help you predict the services that they might need in the future.
5. When You Are Not Keeping Up with Technology
If you are still using old-school techniques and software to carry out tasks, it’s about time you adopt a modern and digital infrastructure.
Clients hate to wait for days when they ask for updates about their cash flow and other financial matters. Therefore, every accounting firm and freelance accountant would benefit from having cloud-based accounting software. Automa8e is an all-in-one cloud solution that can generate real-time reports in no time, that you can access and forward to your clients anywhere by having an internet connection.
Moreover, the data of your clients is securely stored in the cloud which eradicates the risk of losing essential data. Therefore, you should invest in technology and digital tools that can speed up your work, provide more value to your clients, and adhere to their digital needs.
The ability to retain customers is what makes an organization stand out from the competition. Being in the competitive accounting and finance niche, you should work closely with your existing customers and provide them with a customized experience which might take a lot of time.
If you are looking for ways to improve and speed up your accounting services in order to free more time to focus on your clients, you might want to check out Automa8e. Click here to start your FREE trial today!