Do you believe that your clients value the services and products that you provide to them?
Covid-19 has certainly required accountants to be needed by their clients on unprecedented levels. We are working long days and nights to assist our clients. Helping them and their businesses to “stay alive”. But does that now mean we are valued?
The topic was raised on the recent BGL hosted “From the Trenches – Real Life in the Accounting Industry” and it got me thinking again on this. And on a side if you haven’t listed to one of these Live From the Trenches Podcasts do yourself a favour and jump on the next one!
In my mind I have always thought that the experience I have gained working across both commercial, ASX listed and private, as well as public practice demanded that I am seen to be able to provide value. But does this resonate to the rest of my team and business as well. And even more importantly is this what my clients also believe to be true?
But firstly, to really understand how and if we are perceived to of value we need to understand exactly what is value? The definition my google search fired back at me was:
“the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something”
So, do you feel your clients believe your services are of importance or useful to them? Do your products and services meet their expectations? If they don’t what can we do to change this?
I read an article1 recently by Liz Farr2, CPA, that really resonated with me on how I believe we can achieve this. Liz discussed research conducted by Bain & Company which went into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Basically companies that score high on four or more elements demonstrated four times the revenue growth of those that only had one score. The pyramid below illustrates the 30 separate elements of value.
What Liz discussed though was basic accounting, tax and bookkeeping fit in that bottom rung of being functional services. My takeaway is that clients may have to have these services but don’t really perceive value from them. She went onto to discuss services that might fit into the life-changing elements:
- Motivation – business coaching to help your clients achieve their goals.
- Heirloom – estate planning and succession planning to enable your clients to create a legacy for future generations.
- Self-actualisation – guiding your clients to achieve financial, business or lifestyle goals will make their dreams come true.
Liz went onto to discuss other areas and I suggest jump online and have a look. But I ask again are the services and products you provide now of perceived value to your clients.
My focus has been on delivering what I term to many when chatting with them as value-add services to my client. For me this is virtual and non-virtual CFO and business coaching services utilising my vast experience, and estate plus succession planning and asset and risk protection utilising the LightYear Docs products and strategy advice. I then outsource my lower value services to I Love Accounting. This allows me to be able to focus on the value-add. The result for me is nothing short of satisfying. Not only my clients feel valued, they believe my services are of value and I get complete satisfaction of partnering with them in delivering it to them. I know can do more and this is only the beginning.