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The Importance of Responsiveness When Managing An Accounting Firm

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Poor management causes damage to everyone including clients, staff, creditors, and shareholders and reduces the pie which leads to everyone fighting for a bigger slice of the pie.

 

Good management of staff and clients increases the pie for everyone. However, everyone thinks they can manage. This is not true when one looks at the statistics of businesses that fail. 

 

Everyone has an opinion about what good management is. Your statistics will tell you whether you are managing well or poorly. Are your statistics trending up or are they trending down?

 

Are you retaining staff or are you losing them? People leave their managers; they don't leave companies. Are you getting clients referring you to their friends?

 

One important area of management is how responsive you are to your clients and staff.

 

As the leader of your team, you determine the level of responsiveness by your own behaviour. 

 

If you are slow, your team will emulate you. This is the one area that defines your effectiveness and whether you are managing well or poorly.

 

At Chan & Naylor, we have the policy to handle emails and phone messages which is as follows:

 

  1. Respond on the same day you receive the email/phone message but at the latest the next morning but no later than that.

 

  1. If you are unable to respond in that time period ask an assistant to call the client to find out if they can help otherwise let them know when you can respond.

 

Why?

 

Because it shows we care.

 

However, let's see how some of the greatest leaders of the world who run massive businesses respond to their emails:

 

Most impressive is Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who responds straight away to email.

 

Most of the best and busiest people we know act quickly on their emails, not just to us or to a select few senders, but to everyone,” he said in his book How Google Works.

 

Schmidt adds that being responsive establishes a positive communication loop “Response is important even if the answer is a simple ‘got it’,”

 

There are people who can be relied upon to respond promptly to emails, and those who can’t, strive to be one of the former,” he said.

 

Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh, has some pretty strict rules for handling email.

 

"Your responsiveness shows you care. Your lack of responsiveness shows you don't care about the person who took the time to send you an email"

 

The message you give a client by your slow responsiveness is that:

 

  • You don't care about them.
  • You have more important things to do.
  • They are very low on your priority list.
  • They are not important.

 

Now just stop and think for a minute. In the spirit of "treating people the way you would like to be treated", What would you feel like if someone gave you the above message?

 

Would you do business with them?

 

If you emailed your bank manager or your solicitor or you are trying to buy something and no one bothered to respond to you. Would you do business with them?

 

If you had the choice to deal with two businesses and one responded quickly to you and the other responded slowly to you, which one would you deal with?

 

We create the world/circumstances that we live in by our own actions.

 

If you find that your client base is not growing or you have many complaining clients or staff is leaving, it's most certainly because you are not depositing into that Emotional Bank Account that you have with them by your slow responsiveness to their needs. The message you are giving them is that you don't care about them.

 

The Emotional Bank Account is now very low or overdrawn and when you make a mistake (albeit, it could only be a small error) it then becomes a huge problem due to the emotional bank account being "in the red".

 

Make sure you deposit into their Emotional Bank Account by responding quickly to their emails and phone messages to ensure that when you make an error (it's when and not If you make an error as you are only human) that the Emotional Bank Account is still in credit.

 

If you want a relationship to flourish, you pay lots of attention to it.

 

If you want to destroy a relationship, simply pay no attention to it.

 

If your clients are not referring new clients to you, improve and go overboard in your responsiveness and you will see this change.

 

It's important that we increase the pie as it will benefit you and everyone around you in the long run. It's really not that hard to do this.

 

Respond quickly to every email and phone message. It's such a small thing but produces such huge results.

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