Recently, the team at HLB Mann Judd was thrilled to learn that we had once again won the AFR Client Choice Award’s “Best Accounting firm (revenue between $50m – $500m)” category. This year’s win, along with similar wins in previous years, is testament to the dedication of our hard working team across Australia and confirmation that we are meeting client needs and consistently delivering exceptional client service.
Awards mean different things to different people: for some people it is validation that they are doing everything right, for others it could provide inspiration to continue to perform, and for others it’s about recognition. Regardless of the various meanings, one thing is clear: it feels great!
On the back of this award, a number of people have asked how we manage to be consistent winners in this category, what systems we have put in place and, essentially what is it that makes our client service “special” enough to win and be more highly regarded than competitors.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle remarked that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.
Excellence in client service is therefore, not about an act or singular interaction, but about everything you do, how you do it and why you do it.
Firstly, whilst it may seem obvious, you have to put yourself out there to be judged and be able to deal with the feedback. Actively listening to your clients (or customers) and learning from all feedback, including negative feedback, is the first step. Your organisation must be in the habit of continually seeking to improve and willing to have an open mind to meeting client expectations – your aim should be always to meet the client’s needs, not to sell them your services or products (which is primarily your need).
The habits of the individuals within an organisation are largely determined by the culture of that organisation, so it’s important to have strong values in place that are constantly embedded and reinforced. Our firm’s values – Valuable, Accessible, Supportive and Trustworthy – are all centred around the following service philosophies: “worth working with”, being both “easy” and “reliable” to work with, whilst also “working with you”. We aim to adhere to these in every possible interaction.
These values combined with our focus on personal service and relationships make our clients feel important and part of our family. Providing value or giving that little bit extra will often improve the client experience.
All our team members are fully engaged in the process of what we’re aiming for (a unified approach) and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the value we provide and the experience of our clients.
Great client service is a habit. It is achieved through consistency, value and the depth of the client/advisor relationship. Ultimately, how is it achieved? Great people!