As accounting firms offer SMSF advice in the new regulated environment, it’s time to rethink your service offering. The good news? Clients want more advice from a trusted source – and they are willing to pay for it. The trick is finding out what clients value.
Regulatory changes or opportunities?
The convergence of financial advice and accounting will enable you to provide a wider range of services to your clients. While operating in a world of AFSL compliance may be challenging, it allows you to offer clients a new breadth of services and expertise.
But do you know what your clients want?
2014 Research from Investment Trends indicates that, where clients left their accountant, the number one reason was because their existing accountant did not meet all their needs. Of those who left, 26% said they wanted someone who could provide a wider range of services. But do you know what services your particular clients would value? It’s worth finding out now what advice they want from you, before locking yourself into a particular licensing option for either limited or full financial advice. The good news is, asking your clients is both easy and rewarding.
Assess your clients’ needs
If you want to know what your clients want, keep it simple and just ask what additional services they would value from your firm. Using a survey is an inexpensive and efficient way to find out.
Here’s a surprising finding: the Dimensional Advisor Benchmarks Survey indicates that businesses who do survey their clients lose 50% fewer clients and get 25% more client referrals than those who don’t. However, The Accountants’ Report indicated that fewer than 10% of accountants regularly survey their clients to enhance their service offering and build personal relationships and trust.
Measure client response to a menu of advice options
Consider surveying clients about a potential “menu” of options rather than just asking them generally about the wider issue of financial advice. This will let them see that rather than taking a one size fits all approach, you are offering services based on specific needs. The responses from the survey approach will give you clear direction on the services your clients want from you, creating a new world of opportunity.
Market intelligence and relationship building
The survey results will give you the market intelligence you need from your clients, but just offering the survey can also build deeper relationships. Enriching your clients’ service experience will always be key to building your success. It’s important that you act on what you find – thank clients for their responses and let them know what services you will be offering.
For more about how you can build your simple but effective activities into your practice to enhance your client experience, stay tuned for our next article.