Sure, public accounting firm marketers know advertising, public relations, social media, networking and business development like the backs of their hands—but do they really recognize how their employers deliver on customer service? I’m not talking about proficiency of the accounting work or even customer service surveys; but rather, the nitty-gritty of customer service that fully encompasses what the firm’s clients experience, i.e., The Process. From what I’ve seen and heard over the years, accounting firm marketers are really more than busy enough with the duties mentioned above. The lion’s share of marketers operates under the assumption that the firm and its partners are “delivering as promised” and leave it at that.
Wouldn’t it be nice, Mr./Ms. Firm Marketer, to take a month off from what you’re doing to go on “special assignment,” allowing you the time and freedom to dive into the crevices of what clients experience? Most likely, you’ve never had the time–or inclination–to sell the partners on a focused effort such as this (done from the eyes of marketing, not from the partner point of view). Greater than anything you could ever do at the firm, short of creating an accounting version of Snakes on a Plane, rattling the chain from partner-to-customer would cause the feathers to fly. Like I said, for most marketers, there’s enough on the marketing plate already and the assumption is “if clients were unhappy, the firm would be bleeding clients.”
Perhaps you, Mr./Ms. Firm Marketer, really only hear about customer service when it’s an extreme, being a serious complaint or a supreme compliment (or as Nicholas Cage would say, “high praise”). Being the smart marketer you are, though, you know it’s quite often the little things that get clients thinking about looking elsewhere. For example, when I’m in the exam room with my physician I am always asked, “So why are you here today?” This drives me absolutely nuts. By the time the doctor tosses this question at me, I’ve already had to say it three times (setting the appointment on the phone, then to two other workers there in the office). Heaven forbid the doctor looks at the notes given to her. Also, when I called the lawn service shop on Saturday morning to ask about the status of my lawn mower and when it would be repaired, after I stated my name I was immediately asked, “What are we doing to it?” They have a computerized system that will tell them why it’s there! Mr./Ms. Firm Marketer, you see what I’m getting at, right? Apply these types of situations to the clients at your firm. There are probably matters similar to these that irritate your customers…and the marketers are never going to know without picking up that shovel.
As a reader of this blog, hopefully, you are also a member of iShade. If you’re not, please sign up right now (it’s free, cheapskate). iShade’s BulletIN…keep it open on your computer every day.