Industry: CPA/Accounting

Client Experience (CX) for Accounting firms is vastly different than in other professional services industries. The profession is undergoing significant change (e.g.: AI) which is, in turn, creating increased competitiveness in both the tax/audit as well as the managed services sides of the business—leaving firms unsure how to best compete in such a rapidly changing environment. In all of this change, firm clients are beginning to look at their Accounting partnerships through a new lens as firms compete on the basis of client experience.

 

There is no other CX (client experience) consultancy in the world with our depth of CX expertise in the CPA/Accounting firm space. We’ve worked with many of the top firms (i.e.: KPMG, RSM, Deloitte Consulting, Ernst & Young) in defining client experience approaches to increase competitiveness in an industry that is becoming increasingly commoditized. We coined the phrase “X-Firm” to help Accounting firms understand what it takes to become an Experience-led firm—and have been applying the X-Firm principles for years to help CPA/Accounting firms compete on the basis of the experiences they provide to their clients and employees. In addition to leading-edge client experience consulting, we specialize in Accounting firm employee engagement and leadership development programs for CX leaders and champions, the industry’s leading client journey mapping and firm CX transformation planning and support.    

WHAT WE DO FOR FIRMS IN ACCOUNTING

 

  • Leadership Summits, Strategy Retreats, Executive Briefing
  • CX Foundations workshops for Accounting leadership and staff
  • CX Strategy and Roadmap Development for Accounting/Advisory Firms
  • CX Readiness Assessment
  • Client Feedback Strategy
  • Client Journey/Interaction Mapping
  • Client Persona and Segmentation
  • Client Lifetime Value
  • Employee Engagement
  • Firm Culture Engagement Programs
  • Competitive Service Design Innovation
  • Internal/External CX Brand/Communications
  • Measurement/Metrics Strategy
  • Content/Thought Leadership Strategy around CX
  • Business Development & Brand Marketing CX Alignment

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH CX

 

  • Outside-In and Inside-Out Foundations Workshop for Accounting firm Leaders
  • CX Readiness Assessment
  • Client Journey Mapping
  • Employee/Culture Engagement
  • CX Charter (introduction to CX for staff)
Workshop

RELEVANT CASE WORK

Accounting Firm Case Study

CHALLENGES:

 

  • Help mid-sized Accounting firm with proof of value (cost justify) and proof of concept (model the potential change) of CX for Managing Partner and leadership team sign-off
  • Design and develop CX management program strategy and roadmap
  • Define firm’s unique approach to Client Success Management, tie it to corporate strategy
  • Increase differentiated brand by integrating CX into firm marketing and sales
  • Measurably increase firm competitiveness through new business wins
  • Measurably improve the client onboarding process
  • Embed tenets of client-centricity into firm culture
  • Develop CX governance program staff can use to sustain the effort

SOLUTION:

 

  • Worked with firm in one-year CX management and training program
  • Developed comprehensive firm cost of NOT DOING CX and lost opportunity cost exercise
  • Designed firm’s CX proof of value and Managed CX proof of concept
  • Taught firm leadership leading practices in Client Experience (CX) for Accounting firms
  • Developed the firm’s unique point of view on CX and Client Success along with CX Vision, and Purpose
  • Developed firm’s CX strategy and roadmap, aligned it to ongoing Digital Transformation initiative
  • Performed comprehensive CX Readiness Assessment to establish CX maturity baseline and growth objectives
  • Facilitated firm-wide collaboration on formulation of Ideal Client Profile (ICP) and innovative pursuit/proposal/interview/bid approach to win more ICP business
  • Facilitated firm-wide Client Empathy Training using CX Pilots’ Client Interaction Checklist methodology
  • Re-oriented firm’s client segmentation around Client Lifetime Value
  • Re-oriented firm’s sales and brand marketing around the employee and client experience to affect recruitment and business development (bid/win ratio)
  • Developed CX Governance to sustain momentum around the client experience that staff could believe in and support
  • Facilitated deep client journey mapping and interaction mapping to isolate points of friction and service innovation
  • Using IBM Watson business intelligence tools, helped firm with Win/Develop/Keep/Shed model to improve client pursuits
  • Redefined firm leadership and employee roles, responsibilities and accountability around CX
  • Applied CX Pilots’ S.W.I.M. (Staff Workflow Innovation Management) methodology to help firm reallocate human resources around priority areas to improve client experience and employee engagement and performance
  • Reinvigorated firm’s client feedback approach beyond NPS to more comprehensive systematic ‘closed loop’ approach

OUTCOME:

 

  • Successfully developed Proof of Value and Proof of Concept to reallocate 22% of annual marketing budget to CX
  • Created Client Success Management Position with Firm marketing with annual operations plan
  • Developed firm Vision, Mission, Unique P.O.V. on CX and Client Success Strategy in alignment with corporate goals
  • Increased employee engagement by 36%
  • Increased bid/win ratio by 18%
  • Repositioned firm’s brand enabling them to compete as an Experience-led business
  • Decreased annual recruiting costs by 42%
  • Decreased cost of client acquisition by 27%
  • Increased overall client empathy capabilities/skillsets for all leadership and client-facing employees