Client service. You do it every day. But how often do you reflect on how you serve your internal and external clients, and how you could serve them better?
If you are interested in refocusing on client-service, getting your teams or yourself into a higher level of service delivery, there are several books that can help you out.
Recommended reading to up your exceptional client service game:
The Trusted Advisor
If you only read one book on client service, make it this one. Covers everything from the benefits of building trust, to sincerity, the art of listening and having meaningful, value add conversations with clients. The author has worked extensively with professional service firms, so he hits the mark with relevance for the CPA profession in this book.
The Go Giver
Bob Burg and John Mann
A story-based book about using giving and generosity, two cornerstones of exceptional service, can help you progress in your practice. Switching the focus from yourself and your goals to your client and their goals. This book also highlights sales strategies that are well suited to the sales-reluctant-CPA.
Accountants can also learn from others by studying icons of exceptional customer service. While CPA and professional service practices are not hotels, retail stores or amusement parks; the attention to detail, the client experience and the most exceptional client service lavished upon guests of these organizations, provide lessons that we can learn from, and easily apply to our client relationships.
Be Our Guest | The Disney Institute
The Nordstrom Way | Robert Spector and Patrick D. McCarthy
The New Gold Standard | Joseph Michelli for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
If communicating well within your teams or with clients seems to be getting in the way of providing great client service, check out:
Marshall B. Rosenberg
The title may be a bit off-putting (“I’m not violent, why would I want a book on nonviolence?”), but the content frames out a way of speaking with others that invites collaboration rather than defensiveness. Not your traditional business read, but a superior guide to healthier, more effective communication.
If you’d like to have a laugh about everyday failures in serving clients, I’d be remiss in not recommending:
Accounting Dreams & Delusions
Client service programs and workshops can have a measurable impact on client and staff satisfaction and retention rates. If implementing a client-service workshop or program is of interest to you, schedule a meeting with Kristen to talk through options that would meet your needs.