Using client experience insight by those engaged in marketing and business development in accountancy firms is a great way to maximise the value of activity, and amp up personal and professional impact across the firm.
Some of this insight is qualitative, and some of it can be based on getting decent data.
But where can can we look to get decent metrics that stand up?
3 client metrics sources that can make the biggest difference
Net promoter score (NPS)
The standout universal metric for client satisfaction, adopted by many organisations. NPS helps you to create a sustainable benchmark for how your clients feel about the service you are providing them by asking them one simple question “How likely would you be to recommend us [the firm] to family, friends, or a non competing business?”
A simple 1-10 answer can then be used to calculate what percentage of your client base are Promoters of your service. This is a really good short video overview of NPS
It also allows you to identify those clients who are most likely to be able to highlight problems or issues that exist with the way you are providing services. These “Detractors” are important as this is the area that churn is most likely to occur and usually where some of the best insights into how key incremental improvements can be made.
Small batch research
An incredibly powerful and easy way to generate evidence based insight through having a small and specific segment of your client base, and a very specific topic. A good example could be around the provision of cloud based accountancy services, an area of seemingly exponential interest from firms, but how are clients actually doing?
Ask your selected group “As a client that has been using cloud based accounting software, how would you rate the insight and support you receive from us?”
Not only will this lead to important data, the supplementary questions and their answers will give you key insights into the take up of services, how you can evolve and improve your services, how certain client types need to be supported, and generate clear customer examples to use in marketing material.
The power of small batch research is that it can be sliced and diced in any way – client size, type, industry, service offered, length of time a client, market value – whatever. And because it is so specific, will be perceived as niche and relevant by respondents.
Gaining insight into client and prospect’s experiences, not just of your services but on things which can be impacting on business activities, is invaluable in helping to formulate your market approach. While the qualitative side of this is often done by listening and engaging meaningfully in the areas and communities where they hangout (LinkedIn groups is a good example), the quantitative side is best done initially by ensuring that you are covering some of the basics first.
How many of our clients do we follow on twitter and vice versa? How many of our key client contacts do we have as LinkedIn connections, are members of our firm’s group, and we members of their company pages? What are they interested in?
Twitter’s much improved free analytics can really hone in on what your audience is most interested in, what they are most interested in what you are saying, and the impact your activity is having over time by a number of different and exportable metrics.
Same goes for the LinkedIn company page analytics which provide really interesting demographic data and helps to understand the kind of appeal you are generating, and what for.
What can these give me?
Amplify personal and professional performance through using some of these metrics
Discover best practice
Form an understanding of what constitutes best practice in order to shape and enhance business critical areas such as productivity, profitability, and client retention. NPS in particular is great for uncovering this.
Influence decision making based upon grounded insight
KPI and insight ownership is important for an authoritative voice, not least when used for generating evidence based reports for partners.
Add substance to marketing claims
Playback metrics via your marketing collateral, web and digital communications as social proof of your firm’s capabilities.
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