Category: AVN Insights

Benchmarking Your Accountancy Clients


I recently had a conversation with an Accountancy Practice about our benchmarking software (no this is not a sales pitch!).

Whilst the software is intuitive, easy to use, gives great visual reports and highlights the areas you can really add value that your clients appreciate, this is just obvious value… the real value comes from what it enables.


It enables conversation, easy subjects to start with. But by using your skills of observation, listening and sometimes asking the damn stupid questions, you connect with your client. If you are really good you find the answers to questions you have not even asked.

Why does a client want to talk about their family, the fact they’ve just got an MBA or the location of their next holiday, when they have a super successful business? Is this information a waste of your time?

The most valuable use of your time

I would suggest this is the most valuable use of your time.

By relating to them as an individual and not just a company, you are creating long-term relationships that can last years, decades. Be a trusted individual to disclose hopes, dreams and fears.

time-2860031_1920You may find out what is driving your clients? Maybe money is not enough, but the gift of time to spend with a child or a loved one could be more valuable than you could ever perceive. By helping them systemise their business or delegate responsibility to their team or even by you taking on some of the business tasks.

I have used many accountancy firms over the years and the ones that stick in my memory are the ones that cared about me as an individual. Of course they did a great job with our audit and accounts but what I really valued was the personal touch.

The smallest things can make a difference

Sometimes this is easier with a small firm but the smallest things can help.

I worked with KPMG for a while and the fact that they knew how I took my coffee and the partner was willing to have a chat about what was going on made a big difference.

coffee-2714970_1920With smaller firms I like how they had this holistic view of my company. They can look at the audit, accounts, tax, my plans for the future of the company and personally as well, all in one stride. There is no inter department squabble for my hard earned cash.


So make time for your clients, forget the timesheets. Invest in them and allow yourself to show what you can offer. Rewards may not be instantaneous but the benefit to your practice could be huge. Often clients just see the compliance work you do as a quasi tax, something they have to do for HMRC or Companies House. Unfortunately its something that often they do not value and push you on price because somebody is always cheaper, undervaluing themselves and the profession.

Make time and understand your clients

By making time and understanding your clients on so many levels, you have the opportunity to add value that not only they perceive, but makes a real difference to them.

The added bonus is that when clients discover this about you they are more than happy to tell their friends and other business contacts how you are different. Allowing you to stand tall in your market place.

The stupid questions

If you do not understand what a client is saying, push them on it. If they cannot sell an idea to you as being the right thing to do, then I would argue it is the wrong thing to do.

mindmap-2123973_1920I argued with a non-exec for two years that we needed to keep a division open. I would explain but he did not get why, he continued to question, pry and query my logic. But he did not give up.

In the end I ran out of illogical reasons. I eventually started to question my own logic, analyse what we were doing and saying.

We closed a department where we were loosing £100k a year, but we had to keep maintaining sales in other areas. The result was that we didn’t lose sales in other areas. By shifting the departments operations to a couple of key suppliers, they were able to drop their price to us. The end result was that we netted an extra £350k onto our bottom line.

Now that non-exec was a really valuable trusted advisor.

If you are inspired by this blog and want to find out more then drop James Miller an email at

Article Source: James Miller

Awards – Why Bother?


I was asked recently why we win awards and the simple answer was because we enter them. So if you’re sitting on the sidelines here are 3 very good promotional reasons to make 2018 the year you enter awards and a there is a bonus 4th…

Reason 1: Media Proof

Industry awards allow you to be acknowledged by your industry. It’s important to raise your profile and awards allow you to do this in a few ways with the media from: Press Releases with the possibility to be published or broadcast and get a wider reach with their readership, listeners or viewers; with producers, journalists and researchers as you are now on their radar even if they don’t react the first, second or third time so keep at it.

Reason 2: Peer Proof 

Your peers recognise you as an industry expert and the judges independently endorse this proof. Obviously this is most applicable when you’re shortlisted, a finalists and a winner. This then allows you to raise your profile with the media as one of the experts in your field thus supporting reason 1.

Reason 3: Social Proof

Clients as you know when you help them they just love it and are more open to give you testimonials so make sure you ask for them. These can then be shared with other clients in many ways and everyone one in social media. Typically when you win or are a finalist your chance to share in social media is invaluable as well as getting lots of likes often with FaceBook they encourage you to share and increase your reach with their promotional offers and the opportunity for more to follow you and get to know, like, trust.

AND the Big Bonus?

Reason 4: Progressive Proof

We’re members of AVN Inspiring Accountants and the 2020 innovation Group so by being proactive in what they offer we naturally call ourselves innovative, inspirational and progressive accountants and business advisors. By being members of both we can punch above our weight by getting access to some excellent CPD for the team, use some innovative tools, techniques and systems to streamline our operation and future proof our firm as attending the conferences allows us to get the vibe of the moment, be more inspired and innovative from learning from others; pat ourselves on the back for a good job well done; and look to 2018 with a refreshed horizon on how we can improve ourselves to make the clients love us more by helping them be more successful.

So best advice? Become a member of both and enter the awards to get the opportunity to mix with other members and peers and learn more quickly what others are doing to keep ahead of the game and punch above your weight!

AND you’ll find it is so much more fun when you get out more ;-))


Gerry Murray 

Marketing Director

Murray Associates Accountants


Article Source: James Miller

HMRC to issue 400,000 auto-completed tax returns!


Why does such a statement fill me with dread? While I can see the appeal for HMRC to gather data from different sources to validate it and make the life of the taxpayer easier, there are three things I am sure of:

  1. There will be an unacceptable number that are incorrect, inaccurate or just completely wrong returns.
  2. Taxpayers will be confused and unsure- or worse, still convinced HMRC must be right.
  3. Accountants and business advisors will be left trying to pick up the pieces for their clients who will not want to pay for this work.

So where do you start? Education. Your clients need to be aware what could be dropping through the letter box and that you still need to see them and validate the information. Plus give you plenty of time to be able to assess the data correctly.

You need to enquire whether new clients have received them.

This is also an ideal time to reinforce the value of the work that you can do, and by having the information early it gives you the greatest opportunity to help.

HMRC say, “Millions will benefit”. In theory, they will read, comprehend and agree the figures…. oh and then pay the bill!

How many clients look at tax calculations, let alone comprehend the workings? This will lead to mistakes and misunderstandings that then have to be sorted out.

The initial group is limited to two relatively small groups, which is a good thing!

  1. New state pensioners whose income is about £11,500.
  2. PAYE Taxpayers who have underpaid by a relatively small amount.

But the net is widening and this type of data gathering is going to increase- meaning that it really starts to impact on some of your clients. In theory it will only be where HMRC has all the taxpayers income information. But, how can they truly know what a self-employed person will have earned? Plus, situations do change.

Let’s see how this develops and remember that clients only have 60 days to challenge the simple assessment.


Article Source: James Miller

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 2



There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to talk about my second suggested way of tackling this enormous task. In a previous article, I talked about using a graph to work out which of the tasks you do could you write a system for quickly, that could save you time each and every week, and then starting with those ‘quick wins’

The second method I want to look at is starting with those systems in your business (whether done by you or not) that are ‘customer facing’ systems.

Michael Gerber, Author of the E-Myth – a fantastic book that describes the importance of Systems in a business, talks about 3 functions of a business – making it, selling it and managing the money. I believe that systems can be broken down into seven categories
• Operational – making the thing you sell or delivering the service
• Finance – dealing with the money side of the business, both sales and purchasing
• Marketing – which includes both marketing your business and selling, or ‘closing the sale’
• People – if you want to have a great business, it will require people that are committed to helping it succeed and so you need systems to keep them motivated and on board
• Customer – to ensure that your customers get a great consistent experience, and that you are capturing feedback from them to ensure they remain loyal customers
• Leadership – it is important to continue to work ‘ON’ the business, ensuring that the vision and focus are being adhered to, and so you need systems in place to monitor this and the other business goals
• Administration – the catch all – all businesses have some systems that need to be followed but don’t fit into one of the other categories.

The systems that you could perhaps start with are all of those systems that touch the customer in some way – from the way you post on social media, how you close a sale, how you deliver your product, how you ask for money, or how you deal with a customer complaint.

To do this, brainstorm with your team all of the times that you interact with your customers, from before a sale, right through the buying process, and after they have purchased. Work out where in each interaction you can potentially wow that customer, then work out what systems need to be put in place for this wow to happen every single time you have that interaction with any of your customers.

You then need to prioritise the points of contact and create an action plan, and then you and your team can write these systems, ensuring that every point of contact that your customers have with you creates an amazing experience for them.

The third method of prioritising which systems to write will be shared very soon. If you think this will be of use, then please subscribe to my blog.


Article Source: Jenny Lukas

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 1


There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to touch on one of these. In a previous article, I have already mentioned listing all of the tasks that you, as the business owner do, that could be passed onto another team member, with just a little bit of thought, putting in place a system, and then training another person to do that particular task.

But how do you decide where to start, and which task to start with? You can use the chart below, as guidance to help you work out where to start.

Take your list of tasks and plot them on the chart in the appropriate place, estimating how long each task will take you to write a system for and to train another person, and how long in turn that will save you each week.

Some example tasks are…
a) Cleaning the office (because this is a task that you haven’t ever gotten around to passing on to a team member, but now is the time to realise that you should only do what you can do and you should get others to do those other tasks). So currently this might take 2 hours a week, and if you were to outsource it, the task of outsourcing to a cleaning company might take a couple of hours to find someone, and interview them, and so this task would probably sit in box 1, quite near the centre line.


b) Answering the telephone. The system for actually picking up the telephone is a fairly simple one, although there are some simple rules and a script that should be followed. The complex thing here is what to do with the call once you’ve established who is on the other end of the phone and what they want. You can write a checklist based on the most common phone calls you get, and then deal with the unusual ones as and when they come in and add to the system. To brainstorm the sort of calls you get and to write a system on how to deal with them could take maybe 2 or 3 days over a period of time (while making notes of all of the different types of call), but could also save a good chunk of time, maybe half a day a week? And so you might put this task in box 2.


c) Opening, date stamping, and scanning the post. While you might think, “well it only takes me 10 – 15 minutes a day to do this as we don’t have much post”, that’s potentially an hour a week you could save, on a system that might take half an hour to write. So maybe put that in box 3.


By doing this with all of your tasks you will be able to see those tasks that are in box 1, and it is these that you should work on first, as these take just a little time to put in place and will save lots of time over the coming weeks and months.

This will free up your time to work ‘ON’ the business, on the strategy and vision

There are 2 further methods of prioritising which systems to write that I want to share with you in the future. If you think this will be of use, then please subscribe to my blog.


Article Source: Jenny Lukas

Fantastic Teams #8 – Terrorists


Values are incredibly important in every day life.  You will know that there are some people you can instantly connect with, strike up a great dialogue and become friends very quickly.  Other’s no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t connect, you almost take an instant dislike to them and you don’t always understand why that is.

We’re all unique individuals and one of the attributes of uniqueness lies in our individual values and beliefs.  These are our filters.  We take in sights, sounds, feelings and interpretations of the world through these filters.

Our values are usually fixed by the age of 8, our beliefs are subject to change (eg: People used to believe the earth was flat until evidence disproved that belief)

The people whose values and beliefs are a very close match to our own tend to become our loved ones, our life partners or our closest and best friends.

The people whose values and beliefs are a little similar tend to be people we get on with well but don’t make it to the best friends list such as people we might have nice conversations with at the Gym, Pub or school playground when dropping off the kids.

Conversely, the people whose values and beliefs are mostly opposed to our own are the ones we simply can’t connect with.  They may not be bad people, but they see the world in such a different way that there’s conflictive views.

Why is this important?

Well, the same principle applies to the people you recruit as team members.

The team members whose values and beliefs are the closest match to your own will get you.  They’ll understand what you’re about, why you want stuff doing they way that you do and will embrace your passion and vision.  These people will shed blood, sweat and tears for you.  They’ll go over and above for you.  They can easily be recognised by that trait alone.  They will regularly put in ideas for the good of the business even if those ideas come at the expense of their own working conditions.  These are the people you really want to keep.

The team members whose values and beliefs are a similar match are your 9-5’ers.  They’re good workers, they’ll drop everything at 5pm and be out the door though.  They won’t go the extra mile for you.  Ideas that they put forward will more likely be for the improvement of their own working conditions rather than the good of the business itself.

The team members whose values and beliefs are oppose to yours are what I call terrorists.  They don’t get you.  They don’t understand your preferences in the way you want things doing.  They complain.  When they’re not complaining to you they’re complaining to others in your team.  Constantly chuntering about things.  This bring the morale down of others in your team, especially the people in the 9-5 range.  They also do the bare minimum required in their job description.

Importantly though is that you, the employer, spend a lot of your time trying to appease these terrorists, trying to get them onboard, trying to get them to come around to your way of thinking.

You inadvertently do this at the expense of not giving quality time to the people who shed blood sweat and tears for you.  This leaves them feeling unappreciated.  Making them begin to wonder why they work for you.

The result is that your best employees begin to move on, because they don’t feel appreciated.  You’re left with the 9-5’ers and the terrorists.  You don’t enjoy managing a team of people and the culture isn’t pleasant.

Discover you values, beliefs and passion.  Fold that language in to your communication when looking for new team members.  Don’t be embarrassed to do that.  It will attract the people who share those and will (rightly) deter the ones that don’t share them.

Pluck up the courage to exit the terrorists.  Seek legal advice by all means but understand legal advice errs on the side of caution, usually that means going through performance measurement processes that last for months.  It’s not always down to performance.  These people perform to the minimum level in order to get by.  Be prepared to have a conversation with one of those terrorists (and you know who they are) and make them an offer to exit the business under a compromise agreement.  Talk to your legal advisers about a compromise agreement. If they haven’t been with you for 2 years yet then the law is much more in your favour.

In my 25 years in people management and leadership I’ve sadly come to terms with the fact that if values and beliefs differs, you’re never going to bring someone around to your way of thinking and trying to is far too costly in terms of team morale, your time, energy and sanity.

It sounds harsh to effectively say get rid but I know from experience that in fact you’re doing that team member a favour too.  They may not realise it to begin with because they see their association with you as a means of getting an income.  A settlement/compromise agreement will give them the financial means to take their time to look for an employer that fits their values and beliefs and when they do, they’ll find that they’re enjoying their job much better and begin to get real fulfilment from what they’re doing.

If you’d like some clarity, help or guidance with this let me know via the comments box.

If you’ve enjoyed this article please let me know by clicking like and as always, if you feel others would benefit from reading this then please do click share.

Shane Lukas – Author of Amazon #1 best seller What’s Next for Accountants; How to make the biggest threat facing the profession your biggest opportunity.

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Fear Setting – We suffer more in imagination than in reality


Everyone talks about Goal Setting – but some of us just aren’t that motivated by goals.  Some of us are instead crippled by fear.  In this amazing TED talk Tim Ferris explains a simple exercise that can help us avoid self destruction and give us the confidence to do things that we currently feel we cannot do.


“>Tim Ferris – Fear Setting

Article Source: Emma Slack

Fantastic Teams #7 – Be Grateful!


It’s so easy to fall in to the trap of accepting great work and effort from members of your team and forget to express your gratitude.  Often, I hear people say – ‘I thank them through their salary’.  A salary is simply an enabler for someone to be able to work for you.  It enables their bills to be paid and for them to have the lifestyle they want to outside of working with you.  They can get a salary from many places very easily if they wanted to.  Just because you’re paying a wage and even a bonus does not negate the need to express genuine, sincere and specific gratitude.

When I say genuine and sincere, I mean don’t simply say to someone on a regular basis that they’re doing a good job and thank them as this is clearly paying lip service to the need to show gratitude.  Make a conscious effort to look out for the great things that people do and then highlight these things to them.  This is what I mean by specific gratitude.

For example:  Laura, I’ve just heard that call you had with Mr Bloggs and I was reminded of how well you deal with those types of calls.  The way that you listened intently and then considered your responses very carefully which meant that Mr Bloggs was incredibly happy as the call finished.  Well done Laura and Thank you.

Obviously that was just an off-the-cuff example.  What’s important is to show gratitude immediately, don’t save things up until the next time you meet them and reel off a load of thanks.  Speed stuns.  Go pat someone on the back as quickly as you can. This is important.

Most of us strive for gratitude and appreciation in some way.  A small business owner will seek it from their customers, a team member will seek it from their employer.

When a team member isn’t receiving the level of gratitude and appreciation they want then they don’t go above and beyond.  They begin to do the bare minimum, they begin to look online for alternative jobs that will bring them the salary they need to live and the gratitude they need to thrive.

If you’d like some clarity, help or guidance with this let me know via the comments box.

If you’ve enjoyed this article please let me know by clicking like and as always, if you feel others would benefit from reading this then please do click share.

Shane Lukas – Author of Amazon #1 best seller What’s Next for Accountants; How to make the biggest threat facing the profession your biggest opportunity.

Article Source: Shane Lukas

Fantastic Teams #6 – Do YOU really understand?


How well do you really understand your team?

How much time do you invest in getting to know them?

What motivates every individual in your team?

Most often it’s assumed to be financial incentives but in fact, that’s not always the best motivator.

Do you understand what might be holding them back from giving their best?  What their aspirations truly are? What ideas they have that might help your business grow?

Research shows that a 20% improvement in team morale can have a 42% increase in financial performance in your business and yet so many employers take their team members for granted.

They believe their employees should be grateful to be employed and put heart and soul in to their jobs.  They issue their demands and expect mountains to be moved for them.  It just doesn’t happen does it.

There’s so much choice and opportunity these days that if someone chooses to work for you then you must be grateful for that.  You must show that appreciation and accept that their stay with you may be in the form of a stepping stone in their greater plan.  Make that stay valuable to both of you.

I’ve always found that the best way to engage your team is to spend quality 1 to 1 time with each of them.  This can take time but the rewards by far outweigh that.  When I spend quality time with each individual I discover…

  • How I can become a much better leader.
  • How well I’ve communicated the vision/mission and strategy to the team.
    • If the team didn’t get it, how can the customers and prospects be expected to?
  • What they value about the organisation.
  • What they believe its strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Fresh ideas to make the business better.
  • The inner aspirations they have about their long term career.
  • What’s really important to them.

This information is priceless.  For example…

As I eluded to above, it’s most often a misconception that the best way to motivate someone is via financial incentive.  What if, what someone really values, is spending quality time with their children whilst they’re growing up?  No additional amount of money is going to give them additional time in a 9am – 5pm working environment.  What if, by understanding this you agreed with that person that if they were to achieve a mutually agreed target of output for the day, they could leave early as long as quality and standards weren’t sacrificed.

That kind of incentive works for that individual, they know that if they put in the additional effort and produce more in less time they can leave earlier and spend more time with their children.  This compromise comes with a change of mindset. Employ for specific results and outcomes rather than hours worked.

I formalise this process with my team.  I allocate 90 minutes to each of them and aim to do this with each member of the team every six months.  I’ll confess that occasionally that frequency slips but it’s important to do this regularly.

In addition to the 90 minutes, I ask each of my team to complete a form full of thought provoking questions a week in advance.

This allows for each team member to cogitate when formulating their responses.  Then, when we get together, they’re not put on the spot.  For many, they need time to think and reflect, putting someone on the spot isn’t fair and also, you’re unlikely to get the best answer.  We simply go through the form together and in some cases I’ll dig deeper still to an answer they’ve given to really understand what’s behind it.

My form seeks to understand:

  • What they believe accountable for. Does this match what I believe?
  • How well they feel they’re treated and valued as a team member.
  • What learning they feel they should undertake to improve within their role.
  • How the business is doing and what could be done to improve it.
  • How their leader is leading them and what could be done to improve.
  • Their short and long term goals that they may not give sufficient thought without the prompt.

I see this process as a way to help develop the people I work with. Encouraging them to think about their aspirations helps to inspire them, gives them something to strive toward whether those aspirations can be achieved within my business or agreeing that my business is a stepping stone for them gives clarity on both sides.

You may fear encouraging your team to consider life away from your business but be realistic; if someone has a desire to do something beyond the remit of your business then surely it’s better to be aware and play a part in helping them achieve their longer term aspirations whilst they’re with you.  In addition, you can plan.  It’s better than having an environment where your team members are afraid to share these aspirations with you and then suddenly, out of the blue tell you they’ve found their dream job or they’ve made the decision to go it alone and now you’re left trying to fill a role with insufficient notice.

This process has allowed for new roles to be established within the business that play to peoples strengths and skills I didn’t realise they had.  As a result our employee turnover has been very low because people are able to expand and develop themselves within AVN.

From time to time we’ve helped our team members embark on the next chapter in their lives and because of this, our relationship has continued to be strong and even complimentary in our business connections.

Another fear of having these conversations is feeling exposed when asking for feedback about yourself as a leader.  Few people are natural born leaders and it’s good to keep an open mind.  You may not agree or want to adapt to everything that’s fed back.  But it’s useful to have the conversation.  Most often, it can be about communication either about the bigger picture or that you’re not providing enough detail on stuff you need doing OR it could be that you’re often moody or unapproachable too.  So having the conversations enables you to look for ways that you can improve as a leader – even if that simply means setting certain expectations.

There are lots of great reasons to have much more in-depth and candid conversations with your team. The benefits I find when running these Personal Development Reviews are plentiful.  We establish greater mutual respect, a better connection and in addition, increased loyalty and engagement in the business.

Remember this all important rule though.  Seek first to understand, then to be understood.  It’s easy to get on the defensive, to rationalise the way you work and operate. Dig deeper to find out why your team member feels they way they do.

Action to take.

Next time you’re in the office, go for a walk with a member of your team, invite them to give you open and honest feedback.  Ask them questions about how valuable they perceive their role to be in the business, how valued they feel they are, what’s important to them and dig a little deeper in to every response.

I’m happy to give you a copy of the form I use with accompanying guidance document.  Simply ping me an email at

If you’d like some clarity, help or guidance with this let me know via the comments box.

If you’ve enjoyed this article please let me know by clicking like and as always, if you feel others would benefit from reading this then please do click share.

Shane Lukas – Author of Amazon #1 best seller What’s Next for Accountants; How to make the biggest threat facing the profession your biggest opportunity.

Image courtesy of Matt Townsley –


Article Source: Shane Lukas

When it comes to customer service only remarkable service will do…


Why you need to deliver ‘Remarkable’ customer service and why does it matter?

  • It will help you in an ever increasingly competitive market, if you aren’t delivering a ‘Remarkable’ service then somebody else will
  • Give people something to talk about…Spread the word…’YOU ARE REMARKABLE’
  • Help you stand out among competitors and get it right, every time, with every customer
  • Likeminded customers will be drawn towards you and get people talking about the great things you do
  • Builds strong customer and team loyalty; a great place to work and great people to work alongside

You need to start going the extra mile: you can’t just decide you want to be ‘REMARKABLE’ you have to act like it too. Start doing and create an experience for your clients … every time

It’s a talking point: to be remarkable, you need to be remarked on, so think about how you’ll do this:

  • What are they going to talk about?
  • What are your USPs?
  • Do you go above what other business in your sector in your area?
  • Are you the go to person in your area/sector?

Be different, be BOLD, you may not have an endless marketing budget or time but you can play a different game

  • Be unconventional, be real, and be different – Why not?
  • Stay true to your promise and your passion, but don’t be afraid to push the boundaries and experiment with new ideas.
  • Above all, think of your customers, service with a smile is great, but you want to be remarkable, It has to be in in everything you and your team – do, say, think, and offer

 You first need to define what is your ‘Remarkable’ ?

Using this 5 step approach will give you a robust and structured process to start and continue to enhance your customer service each and every time:

  1. Team – Enthused, pulling the same direction, focused on the customers experience

An engaged Team pulling in the same direction is key, creating a great team ethos and culture can have an equal impact for you and your clients’ experience.

Benefits –

  • When a team member is motivated they do a better job, their workload will become easier, fun and become more enthusiastic
  • Build your businesses culture and live by your values, keep your team engaged and working together
  • Give your team a platform to gather ideas, nominate each other on a job well done
  • In order to motivate your team to succeed, you have to be a great leader and give everybody a sense of purpose
  • Understanding that you need to deliver a remarkable customer service experience every time!


  1. Systems – Don’t leave anything to chance, a step by step for every task

How can you ensure your remarkable service happens every time and not left to chance?

 This is where a systemised approach is key, Michael Gerber the author of The E-Myth books wrote that up to 80% of a business can be systemised. With the right systems in place alongside an engaged team every task can be carried out with the same level of expertise and the outcome be the same, no matter who is carrying out the task.

 Benefits –

  • Increasing standards, saves time and allows you all to work smarter – will give great customer service every time
  • Empowers your team, rather than having to ask you
  • Builds a culture – culture blame a system not a person
  • Each customer will get the same remarkable service every time!


  1. Wows – Exceeding your clients expectations every time

Wows in customer service and their experiences are about meaningful details, they are unique, and an expression of your company’s culture and shared values.

When a customer experiences a ‘wow’:-

  • You are exceeding their expectations in an unexpected way
  • It shows you are interest in building rapport and not just purchase a service or product
  • It is about making personal emotional connections with empathy

 Let’s look at ‘wows’ that our clients experience when attending a training event and why:-

  • All our car park space free and clearing marked with our company logo

Why: To help the clients clearly see the designated parking

  • Football table

Why: to interactive with the clients in a fun way

  • Charity donation to B1G1

Why: to help our clients see we care about others

  • Toiletries and toilet twinning

Why: To refreshes themselves and see the poster that (2.4 billion people don’t have somewhere safe, clean and hygienic to go to the loo. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet) shows we care about others around the world

  • Retro sweets

Why: Take the clients back to 1980’s and either eat themselves or take home for their children

With any wow its import to remember –

  • Your client relationship is paramount, clients will remember and perhaps more importantly talk about, the ‘little things’ that you do more than the products you deliver.
  • What was once remarkable becomes the standard very quickly, so it’s important to keep evolving and enhancing!
  • If you forget a wow you have done with a client in the past, your client may notice!


  1. Learning from others – Do not reinvent the wheel, what have been your experiences and read about what are other credible experts doing

We also experience good and bad customer service in our everyday life and taking the good and adapting it for your business is a great way of passing on what and how it made you feel.

Learning from others gives you a different perspective and it will gives you an insight to sectors and ideas for your business.

A great exercise is to brain storm with your team and all think of great customer service each of you have experienced and in true brain storming session pick the best idea which you and the team can implement.

There are many ‘customer service’ books which are recommend a couple:

  • Feargal Quinn – Crowning the customeris a hands-on guide written in a simple jargon-free style
  • Ken Blanchard – Raving fans that will help everyone, in every kind of organisation or business, deliver stunning customer service and achieve miraculous bottom-line results.


  1. Gathering feedback – Ask and reflect to know you are remarkable and ensure you get candid feedback

How do you know that your clients think you are remarkable? What are other saying about you?

  • The easiest way is to ask, many people don’t like to ask and if they do would you get an honest answer or would they just say the nice things!
  • Think about using an App or software – these can be automated throughout the year or after each job.
  • Don’t be put off sending a manual feedback questionnaire. You could sent in a bright coloured envelope, so it stands out and also printed on different colour paper e.g. yellow or green and you could also add a gift like a biscuit, tea bag. If sending through the post you must always enclose a SAE or a free post envelope.
  • Social proof and what others say about you and your services, so gathering Testimonials is a must these can be used whole to display in your office or on your website and social media.


With any feedback good or bad ensure you share with your team, if good to celebrate, since we all like recognition or if negative think about and implement, what system needs changing? Do the team need training?

Your Client happiness should be measured either after each meeting, project or periodically throughout the year. Research shows that only 4% of dissatisfied customers will ever complain. The other 96% will quietly go away and 91% of those will never come back. Furthermore, a dissatisfied customer will tell 8-10 people about it. Asking your clients for feedback gives you an opportunity to address any issues before they become a problem.

A few thoughts…

Deliver a remarkable customer service and your clients will become your advocates and tell others!

Be the business that people know because of what you do – not because of what you don’t!

Please let me know is this approach has enhanced your customer service

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

Laura Newby



Article Source: Laura Newby



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