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In today’s episode of ‘From the eLearning Trenches,’ we asked one of our learners, a partner in an accounting firm, to consider how they can improve their firm’s approach to regular client feedback with business clients.

Learner Reflection

As an integral part of our vCFO services, we recognise the importance of obtaining feedback from our clients to ensure we meet their evolving needs and continuously improve our service delivery. To this end, we propose a multi-faceted approach to client feedback:

Quarterly Informal Survey

After each quarterly catch-up meeting, we will administer a short and informal survey. This survey will consist of three key questions:

  • Are you satisfied with the milestones achieved during this quarter?
  • Were there any unexpected developments or challenges since you initially engaged our services?
  • What specific changes or improvements would you like to see in the next quarterly meeting?

We believe that a concise and informal survey format encourages active participation, as it respects our clients’ time constraints.

Year-End Formal Feedback Session

At the conclusion of the annual vCFO project, and just prior to the renewal process, we will schedule a more formal feedback session with the client. This may include an in-person onsite visit.

During this session, we will engage in a comprehensive discussion, addressing the positives and any areas of improvement in the client’s experience with our vCFO services.

A structured feedback survey will be prepared in a discussion format to facilitate a more in-depth conversation. This approach ensures we gain a thorough understanding of what aspects should be retained and what changes are needed before the renewal process.

Utilising Net Promoter Score (NPS)

In addition to the abovementioned approaches, we will leverage the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology to gather immediate feedback from our clients.

The NPS system will help us calculate an average score for the firm, enabling us to monitor overall client satisfaction. Should the average score dip below a predefined threshold, it will serve as an early warning signal for areas that require attention.

NPS will also enable us to identify individual clients who may have specific concerns with our services, allowing us to promptly address and resolve any issues and maintain a high level of client satisfaction.

This multi-tiered approach to client feedback blends both informal and formal mechanisms, ensuring that our clients have multiple opportunities to share their insights and concerns, ultimately allowing us to continually refine and enhance our vCFO services to meet their unique needs.

Feedback from our experts

It’s somewhat surprising to see that many accounting firms still believe that informal feedback from clients ‘on the job’ is sufficient to know how the level of service and support is being perceived. Whilst of some value, it’s clear that many clients simply don’t provide critical feedback unless specifically asked. The value of formal feedback is that it gives the client the opportunity to reflect on the level of services they want and receive from the firm. It also gives both the client and the firm the opportunity to review the scope of work and fee for service.

If your firm is serious about improving the quality of services you provide to your clients, it should ask clients questions about

  • The overall level of service
  • Satisfaction with particular services
  • Knowledge of available services
  • Your professionalism, proactivity and responsiveness
  • Transparency with costing and perception of value for fees charged
  • Your understanding of their business and personal financial affairs
  • Your ability to meet internal and external deadlines

The top 5 ways that an accounting or advisory firm can obtain formal feedback from clients:

  1. Client Satisfaction Surveys:
  • Distribute surveys after completion of a service or at regular intervals during ongoing services.
  • Ensure to include specific questions about different aspects of your service, such as timeliness, accuracy, communication, and professionalism.
  • Use a mixture of quantitative (e.g., rating scales) and qualitative (e.g., open-ended questions) formats to capture a broad range of feedback.
  1. Follow-Up Calls or Meetings:
  • Schedule follow-up calls or face-to-face meetings with clients after the completion of a project or during an ongoing service.
  • Discuss their experience working with your firm, any areas for improvement, and opportunities where you could provide additional value.
  1. Client Advisory Boards:
  • Establish a group of representative clients who can provide ongoing feedback and advice.
  • Meet regularly to discuss their experiences, gather their opinions on potential service improvements, and identify additional services they may find valuable.
  1. Feedback Forms on Website or Client Portal:
  • Create a dedicated section on your firm’s website or client portal for clients to submit feedback at their convenience.
  • Ensure anonymity if required to encourage honest and open feedback.
  1. Third-Party Review Platforms:
  • Encourage clients to leave reviews on third-party review platforms (e.g., Google Reviews, Trustpilot, NPS).
  • Monitor these platforms regularly, respond to feedback, and use the information gathered to make improvements in your services

This assessment task and response is taken from the Virtual CFO Essentials eLearning course. Click here to explore this course

Also, take a look at the Client Concierge eLearning course.

Discover the pulse of our eLearning community as we unveil daily feedback from enrolled learners. Exciting times ahead as we share this valuable information with the accounting, advisory, and administrative experts in public practice!