How to measure client satisfaction & loyalty in accounting firms

CLIENT SATISFACTIONWe all know that happy clients stay for longer…

And happy clients normally mean word-of-mouth referrals, which is the foundation from which many successful firms are built.

But do you truly know how happy your clients are? Not just a gut feel, but do you have a specific measurement of their satisfaction and loyalty on an ongoing basis?

Measuring this is a key metric for successful firms. It’s an indication of all of the things you’re doing right, and more importantly, an indication of all the things you can still improve on.

So how can you measure client satisfaction and loyalty in your accounting firm?

Introducing the Net Promoter Score (NPS)... 

In this short guide (3 minutes and 27 seconds to be exact), we’ll share with you everything you need to know for measuring, tracking and improving NPS scores in your accounting firm.

Table of contents:

What is NPS and how does it work?

The Net Promoter Score is a range from -100 to 100 that measures how willing your clients are to recommend your service to others. The score is used to gauge your clients overall satisfaction as well as their loyalty to you.

Calculating the score is straightforward. You simply ask your clients the following question…

“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or a colleague” 

Told you it was straightforward. Now, based on the rating they give, they’ll fall into one of three categories:

  1. Detractors - Scores lower or equal to 6. They’re not very happy, and probably won’t be referring you any time soon
  2. Passives - A score of 7 or 8. They’re satisfied, but not completely loyal. They wouldn’t say bad things about you, but they might not be your biggest advocates either.
  3. Promoters - Scores of 9 or 10. They love you, your service and they’ll happily recommend you to others

To calculate your overall NPS score, you simply subtract the % of customers that are detractors from the % that are promoters. You’ll be left with a score between -100 and 100. 

NPS score = % Promoters - % Detractors 

You’ll be left with a score between -100 and 100. 

What is a good NPS score for accounting & bookkeeping firms?

In Clearlyrated’s 2020 annual industry benchmark study, they found that the average NPS for firms in the USA was 23. For reference, global NPS standards class 50 as being excellent and 70 as being world-class.

Clearly a score of 23 is average at best, and suggests that there might be some improvements firms can make in how they deliver client experience to increase this score. 

When & how can you measure NPS in your accounting firm?

Timing is quite important, and you don’t want to be asking the question at the wrong time to clients. Here are a few key places where measuring NPS might make sense in your accounting firm:

  • Once a piece of work or a project has finished e.g. accounts submitted
  • At the end of a client meeting (either on your premises or online)
  • After the initial onboarding period (first 30-90 days)
  • At the end of tax season

Measuring an NPS score in your accounting firm doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be as simple as using a Google form or Typeform to collect and measure the results. 

If you use Pixie, you can go one step further and automate this collection by including the link in an automated email that is triggered once a job has been marked as complete so that you are consistently collecting NPS scores all year round. You can do some equally interesting things by connecting this sequence with Zapier to trigger actions in other apps.

There is also a question of anonymity to think about. Do you want submissions to be anonymous in the hope that people will be more honest? Or do you want to waive anonymity in favour of knowing which clients have left a lower score so that you can figure out a way to improve their individual score. It’s ultimately your decision.

What should you do with the results?

Measuring NPS scores for clients is only one half of the equation… It’s what you do with the scores that matters in the end. 

Here are some of our thoughts on how to approach each of the three categories of people:

Detractors

If submissions are anonymous and you don’t know which clients have left lower scores, and you are seeing higher levels of detractors, then it could be worth launching a more in-depth client survey to find out the specifics of what people aren’t happy with. If submissions aren’t anonymous, then either yourself or if you have other team members should reach out to the clients directly to discuss their score and figure out where you have gone wrong. Only seek feedback if you’re willing to take it onboard though. Once you know where the holes are, you can start to patch them up.

Passives

Less worrying than detractors, but still it would be nice to see a higher score. Consider asking them a simple follow up question…”to increase your score by 1 point, what would we need to do?” - this will help highlight a few areas for improvement for your firm.

Promoters 

These are your raving fans, so why not make the most of this opportunity and ask them if they know of any other businesses or individuals that would benefit from your service. If somebody just scored you a 9 or 10, now is definitely the right time to ask for referrals.

Getting started with NPS in your accounting or bookkeeping firm

Measuring client satisfaction and loyalty is a key metric for a successful accounting firm. And getting started with measuring NPS doesn’t have to be difficult.

Once you’ve decided how you will measure and track it, think carefully about where you can build it into your workflow and processes so that you are consistently collecting data from your clients. 

To learn how Pixie can help you to embed this in your day-to-day workflow and processes, start a free trial here or book a space on our next demo.

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