Business Strategy | Organizational Development

Are clients your core? They’d better be.

Do you want to be one of those companies? The kind that customers spew unsolicited praise about on social sites?

You know … this kind of company?

It's not rocket science, says Jeanne Bliss.

"When there's a fork in the road," she told the crowd at the 2012 CCH User Conference in San Diego, "beloved companies always take the path that moves them closer to their customers."

Yeah, it's that easy … and that hard.

We all like to think we're focused on our customers, don't we? But are we really? At the end of the day, what are we really focused on? Pleasing our customers? Or pleasing our shareholders / investors / boards of directors / volunteers?

The answer to that question will tell you all you need to know about your organization.

Being beloved means being unconditionally devoted to your customers. According to Bliss, that means doing the following:

  • Defining your "clarity of purpose." Is it to do great tax returns? Or is it to help your clients grow?
  • Getting rid of "legacy industry standards" and creating new ones. Forget about "business as usual." Try "business as needed."
  • Walking in your customers' shoes, experiencing the world as they see it.
  • Being reliable, delivering a consistent experience, and earning the right to serve them.
  • Saying "I'm sorry," accepting responsibility and repairing the connection with humility and remorse.
  • Revamping your hiring process. Your first priority is to hire memory makers who live your core values.

And that's just for starters. Bliss sat down with me before her keynote and had much more to say about how CPAs can create truly memorable customer experiences. Watch our interview here:

So here's the key question: Do your clients love you? Or do they merely pay you?

Your business's future might just depend on the answer.


Bill Sheridan