3 Questions You Aren’t Asking Your Clients…But Should Be

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Stand aside, #TSheetsTuesday. There’s a new hashtag in town: #BuildTrust.

Here are some tips that can help you begin to #BuildTrust with your clients, TODAY. And it all starts with three simple questions. These are the important questions you should be asking your clients, but probably aren’t. Not only will they help you become a better advisor, but they’ll help your clients better their businesses as well. It’s a win/win for everyone involved!

And it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.


1. How are you leveraging social media?

More often than not, business owners assume that simply having a Facebook page or having a Twitter account is enough. But they’re wrong. It’s called social media, not silent media. It’s intended to increase socialisation, and if your clients aren’t using those social platforms to engage with their customers, they’re not leveraging them at all.

In fact, they could be hurting their business.

Studies show that social media is often the first place customers go to seek support or interact with a company (so make sure those Twitter handles and Facebook pages are easy to find!). Failing to respond to those social communication efforts could increase the company’s churn rate by as much as 15%. That’s right, ignoring a tweet could cost them a customer (a good argument to make when they say ‘Twitter isn’t important’). In fact, according to helpdesk software developers, Groove, “It’s better to not be on Twitter at all than to look like you’re ignoring your customers.”

With that in mind, ask your clients how they’re using their social media accounts. Encourage them to respond to each and every mention, comment or message across all social platforms, and make sure their social pages are easy-as-pie to find.


2. What’s your BHAG?

First of all, what’s a BHAG?

A big, hairy, audacious goal. And every company should have one.

It’s the goal that unites a company, steers them in the right direction and helps them grow. And if you want to be an effective advisor, it’s important to help your clients think beyond where they are today—and where they want to be. It’s important you understand their BHAG. After all, if you don’t have a clear vision of the finish line, how can you effectively guide them there?

But there’s an additional benefit to understanding their big-picture plan. We see it all the time: Advisors are pushed aside or suddenly replaced as their clients grow big enough to hire an in-house accountant. Suddenly, the advisor’s services are no longer needed.

Has this ever happened to you?

When you ask your clients, ‘What’s your BHAG?’ you’re also asking them, ‘What does the future look like? And what’s my role in it?’ If it’s their goal to eventually bring an in-house accountant or bookkeeper on board, you’ll be better able to plan for the day that you and your client part ways. Or, if you’re in it for the long run, you can devise a plan to grow with them. In any case, developing and understanding a clear BHAG ensures that everyone grows in the same direction—and you avoid an unhappy surprise in the future.


3. What can I do better?

Here’s an important statistic to keep in mind: For every angry customer who leaves a bad review or reaches out to you to express their displeasure, there are 26 more angry customers who won’t take the time to tell you how they feel … but you can be sure they’ll tell their friends.

Consider this: If those 26 angry customers tell just one friend each about their bad experience, that’s 26 potential clients you won’t see any business from in the future—and 26 current clients who will probably call it quits. Even worse, if those angry clients had a good experience, and shared that good experience with one friend each, that’s 26 referrals you could have had but just lost.

But the very worst part is…you wouldn’t even know it! Because those 26 angry clients wouldn’t come forward, so you would never have had the opportunity to right the wrong.


A Question Asked Is a Problem Solved

Groove says it best again: “Your job isn’t just to solve the problems that come your way. It’s also to solve the ones that don’t.” Which is why it’s so important to ask the right questions.

It might feel unnatural at first, but asking a seemingly happy customer to air any grievances is the No. 1 way to ensure you become a better advisor TODAY. They’ll be impressed by your level of care and your desire to improve. And with the feedback you receive, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the best advisor you can be.

A final tip: If you’re not comfortable asking your clients directly, consider sending an NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey. Your clients can anonymously tell you exactly what they think (good or bad) without running the risk of personally hurting your feelings or damaging your relationship. TSheets has seen huge success with NPS surveys, and we recommend them to anyone looking to improve the way they do business.