5 Tips For Fostering A Positive Relationship With Clients

No client wants to be just a number to their accountant, and as a professional within the industry, you also want to make your clients feel valued and listened to, no matter how many of them you may have on your books. But how do you establish and maintain a positive relationship with all of your clients?

Communication is key.

Here are 5 helpful tips for improving the way you communicate with your clients, no matter how busy you may be:

1. Keep up a regular line of communication

It may be tempting to limit one-to-one check-ins with clients when you have a full schedule and an even fuller list of clients, but the value of doing so is hard to ignore and could end up causing you more work further down the line.

So, no matter how pushed you may be for time, try your best to schedule regular client check-ins, so that you can keep on top of their demands and take note of any changes to their circumstances or requirements, and they don’t feel as if they have been forgotten about.

2. Be creative with your communication strategies

While scheduling in-person meetings with clients is great, it isn’t always convenient or the best use of yours (or their) time. Fortunately, nowadays there are a whole host of ways to connect and communicate with people that don’t involve both parties being in the same room, such as:

  • Virtual meetings
  • Webinars
  • Video calls/messages
  • Email newsletters 

If you need to chat one-to-one with a client, why not try a video call? Or if you have multiple questions asked by clients that can be answered with the help of a webinar or similar group meeting, why not give it a go?

3. Communicate clearly and concisely

Always avoid the use of jargon when communicating with clients, and never give them more detail than you need to. Remember that you’re the accountant, and when it comes to finances and taxes, your client may be clueless and relying on you to guide them; anything that may confuse them could lead to them taking actions you haven’t recommended and which aren’t in their best interests, or missing an important deadline. You could also try using visual aids such as charts and graphs to illustrate your point if needed, and avoid any ambiguity.

4. Practice empathy

 Your client may be just one of many, but to them, you are their trusted advisor; someone who will guide them through the rabbit warren of accounting effortlessly, and with their best interests in mind. However, sometimes the advice you give your clients might not be the advice they want to hear.

With this in mind, try to understand the situation from their perspective, and be more empathetic with them. It might not alter the advice you give, but it might help you deliver it in a way that’s more sensitive to their circumstances.

5. Try to be an active listener

 Listening actively to your clients – hearing them properly and paying full attention to what they’re communicating – is critical if you want your client to trust you completely. If you’re trying to do other things while they’re speaking, and not giving them your undivided attention, you can expect them to feel somewhat disgruntled; do it regularly, they may even consider taking their business elsewhere.

Every meaningful relationship starts with good communication, and if you want your clients to put their full trust and faith in you as their accountant (and continue paying you for your services!), you should work hard to maintain a positive line of communication with them at all times.