There is no doubt that professional service firms must be good at what they do. However, even the best can be challenged in striking the right balance between providing services for their clients and developing their own company.
However, with subscription products and recurring revenue models on the rise, professional service businesses have the opportunity to change how things are done by embracing new technology, reinventing their definition of success, and keeping the customer at the center of everything they do.
Many professional service organizations are turning to subscription services as a new, appealing model. There’s a good reason for that — subscription-based businesses are known for having high levels of customer loyalty and predictable recurring revenue. Revenue from recurring sources is considered to be of higher value to a company’s overall evaluation.
Finishing a project on time or under budget isn’t enough for a viable long-term success strategy. Companies relying on recurring revenue started to understand that strongl long-term customer relationships are now more vital than ever. Delivering outstanding experiences and value-added business outcomes has become a necessity. Consequently, professional service organizations must rethink their approach and redefine success to keep up with this change.
Successful professional services firms start by redefining what success means to their clients. It’s a mistake to think that the only goal of your professional services provider role is to complete a project on time and within budget — you must shift your focus on how to meet the client’s business goals. Your firm will achieve success when your goals align with your client’s.
It is imperative to provide exceptional client experiences and outcomes in recurring revenue businesses because customers offer three opportunities for revenue growth — they can extend their contract, start using more of your services and make referrals to new clients.
If your company is implementing subscription options and adapting to subscription-service clients, it is normal to face some speed bumps in the process. They can come up in almost every phase, and recognizing them is essential.
If you’ve realize there is room for improvement in your customers’ experience, consider the steps below:
You can divide your client portfolio into segments in various ways. The criteria you rely on may include the type or cost of services they buy from you, how often they use the in-house support, and the length of their contract. Once you realize what each category needs, you can deliver a superb customer experience.
Clients often communicate with different teams and departments in a company. The last thing they want to do is tell the same thing over and over to every team member. This is why you must secure a smooth customer experience with process and documentation across the entire cross-functional team.
Now it’s time to set up processes that will be useful going forward. They include smoother handoffs, scalable onboarding processes, improved project experiences, carefully planned outcomes, and an awareness of the customer lifecycle. We will discuss each of them individually.
If you achieve a successful handoff, your customers will be satisfied, achieve their goals, and see the work you have delivered. To accomplish this, ensure that your sales team captures the customer’s goals at the beginning of every customer engagement and stores them in a central database where other teams can access them when interacting with the same client. Furthermore, provide each customer with proof of value at the end of every project.
Onboarding is the essential step of every customer lifecycle. You can start by creating a semi-automated onboarding approach for low-touch customers. It is advisable to monitor customer health and respond to red flags preemptively. You can also leverage technology to automate outreach and increase engagement.
To secure customer satisfaction, you must focus on project execution, and risk management. Furthermore, assessing customer satisfaction throughout the process is crucial. If you notice a decline, you can react proactively and still secure a great project experience.
Once more, it is crucial to align your goals with those of your customers and show them what your company is doing for them. A few simple steps can help you achieve this. You must identify client-specific success criteria for projects and then keep track of project progress based on that criteria. You should also improve customer adoption and health by automating the process and ensuring project objectives are tied to engagement metrics after project completion.
Understanding your customer lifecycle is vital so your revenue-recurring business can grow even within the existing customer base. First, you must develop frameworks enabling your team to offer more services to healthy customers. You must also constantly monitor customer health and take proactive steps to approach customers who may need your services.
In the end, businesses that deliver exemplary customer service do so because they care about helping customers, tracking their entire journey (from onboarding to becoming a regular client), monitoring their post-project satisfaction, and aligning theirs with their customers’ goals. Business success depends on many factors, but nailing the above points is a great start.
Schedule a call today with one of our team members to discuss your accounting or tax needs – For More Details, Click Here.
This blog is not meant to provide specific advice or opinions regarding the topic(s) discussed above. Should you have a question about your specific situation, please discuss it with your GBA advisor.
GBA LLP is a full-service accounting firm in the Greater Toronto Area, but we primarily service all of Ontario as well as the rest of Canada virtually, except Quebec. Our team of over 30, provides Audits and Reviews of financial statements, and Compilations of financial information, as well as corporate tax returns. We provide specialized corporate tax and succession planning for small and medium businesses, in addition to general advisory services.
If you would like to schedule a call to discuss your accounting or tax needs with one of our team members, please complete the free no obligation meeting request on this page.