If you’re like the average accounting practice, you probably have somewhere between 700 and 1,000 clients; be they individuals or small businesses. You’re also probably trying to get more of the same – more clients, more business, more growth.
In the search for new business, you don’t have to look too far – your existing clients can tell you a lot about how to attract new ones. To look outward, you first need to look inward and ask yourself: what are my clients’ pain points? What are their drivers? Why did they choose me? Why do they stay with me?
The better you understand your existing clients, the better you’ll know how to find, and keep, your new clients.
Here are our practical tips for gaining customer insights that can help you secure new work.
1. Know what your client needs
Understanding your clients’ needs is the first step. Are more looking to sell their business and retire, or to buy another business? Are the majority just simply too busy to handle their accounts themselves? Look across your base of existing customers, on the hunt for trends in the drivers that are pushing them.
2. Know you can service that need
Most clients probably require several different services from you, but no doubt there will be some you prefer to provide than others. Find the sweet spot between your clients’ needs, and the services you want to provide. Then leverage customer insights to help you effectively pitch your preferred services at the right price to the right people.
3. Dedicate capacity to do this work
Now that you know what your customers want, it’s time to put your money, or rather your resources, where your mouth is. Focus your efforts with the 80/20 rule in mind – concentrate where you will get the most significant results and look for new customers which are similar to these that yield your best revenues.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients about their business
The best people to tell you about your clients is your clients! Don’t be afraid to ask them what they like or don’t like about your service, what their challenges are, what their goals are and how you can help them achieve them.
These fact-finding missions can be formal, such as an email survey, or simply an informal chat over a coffee.
Talking to your clients doesn’t have to take up time. At Permission we use Act-On responsive emails to help gather insights from customers.
The system is completely automated, so all we need to do is analyse the results and put the data to work
5. Build a network of experts
It’s possible that the issue your clients are dealing with is outside your realm of expertise. That doesn’t mean it’s not your problem. Becoming a true partner in your client’s success not only makes them more loyal to your business but also more likely to refer other, similar clients to you. Build a professional network in the fields of HR, marketing, IT and law that you can refer your customers to (and who can also refer their customers to you).
6. Follow up with your clients regularly
Never stop talking to your clients. Their needs will change over time, and having regular ‘check-ins’ either face-to-face or over email will help you keep a finger on the customer pulse.
As a final bonus, this communication will not only help you better understand how to attract new customers, it will increase loyalty in your existing customers.
According to a recent survey, 53% of businesses said ongoing, personalised communication with existing customers had a moderate to significant impact on revenue. That sounds pretty good to us!
For more information why not call us on 1800 737 266 for a chat about a strategy to suit you? Or email us at [email protected]. We’d love to help!