3 Legs of a Balanced Marketing Function

When you think about marketing, you might immediately think of prospecting for new clients. And that’s the marketing that most accountants need. But once you get clients, your marketing is not quite done. There are two more very important marketing functions to consider. When you add them, you may not have to do all that much lead generation.

Customer Feedback

The first is capturing client feedback, and it’s the key to not only client satisfaction but also service innovation. There are many ways to capture client feedback, from formal surveys to lunch with a client with absolutely no agenda. And there are numerous items to ask for feedback on.

You might want to measure customer service response time, friendliness of staff, and how likely it is the client would refer you to a friend. You might also want to ask them innovation questions, such as what they would improve in your service, where they find it difficult to work with you, and what ideas they might have to make their experience better.

Once you’ve captured you clients’ ideas, it’s time to act. You’ll get great ideas from your clients on how to improve your business and make them even happier. Your entire client base will benefit and so will you when you’ve implemented the feedback from your clients.

Your clients will be thrilled that they are making a difference in your business. Everyone wants to feel needed and important, and simply asking your clients what they think will go a long way toward client retention. Implementing your client’s ideas and giving them credit for it will cement the relationship for many years.


The second leg of marketing that’s often overlooked is customer service. Every client-facing move your company has should be subject to scrutiny. From the time the client signs on with your firm, they should feel welcome and the onboarding, service delivery, and account management should be smooth as silk. If it’s not, your client retention will suffer.

Communication is key, and yet our profession continues to fail in this area. Every year, our number one complaint from customers is poor communication. The firm that can shore up this weakness will succeed and will distinguish their firm from others who don’t pay attention to this area.

The chronic problem lies in the fact that we think our communication is just fine, not realizing that others expect a different level of communication than what we feel is fine. Accountants who can put themselves in their clients’ shoes and see the difference will rise to the top of their profession.

For 2015, keep in mind these two additional legs of marketing beyond lead generation, and you will set your firm apart from the competition.