Leadership / Management

What customers of CPAs really want

I recently came across this list of suggestions from the book, The Trusted Advisor, by David Maister, Robert Galford and Charles Green. I found them in Ron Baker's book, Measure What Matters to Customers. These suggestions are the most common suggestions that customers say they want from their professional relationships:

  1. Make an impact on our business; don't just be visible.
  2. Do more things "on spec" (i.e., invest your time on preliminary work in new areas).
  3. Spend more time helping us think and develop strategies.
  4. Lead our thinking. Tell us what our business is going to look like five or 10 year from now.
  5. Jump on any new pieces of information we have so you can stay up to date on what's going on in our business. Use our data to give us an extra level of analysis. Ask for it; don't wait for us to give it to you.
  6. Schedule some off-site meetings together. Join us for brainstorming about our business.
  7. Make an extra effort to understand how our business works; sit in on our meetings.
  8. Help us see how we compare to others, both within and outside our industry.
  9. Tell me why our competitors are doing what they're doing.
  10. Discuss with us other things we should be doing; we welcome all ideas.

Looks like a pretty thorough list. How well are you doing with this list? For our CPAs in business and industry, does your CPA (and lawyer) follow these suggestions?

How can you build this into your practice and train your team to constantly think about the customer/client? After all, isn't that why we all exist -- to serve our customers / clients / members?