From a young age, I was taught about the significance of going that extra mile. This had many applications through my life like sports, school, relationships, and in business. In various sports growing up, we would aim for that extra inch to set us apart which led to multiple city championships and a provincial championship. As I say this, I can’t help but remember Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday. For several years, I worked at a member exclusive golf course, where it was instilled in everyone on staff that member experience was a core value and a huge part of their success. It didn’t take long for me to realize that members held certain expectations and the staff went above and beyond to ensure they were met. Ultimately, they wanted their members to feel valued in a way that takes their differences into account and deliver an experience that’s unique to them. Client Obsession is such that – it is a tool to provide intrinsic value for the client in a way that is unique to them.
Client obsession is a value that I’ve continued to build upon and it has resulted in great strides both relationally and systematically in business. I was surprised, however, to see this have such a powerful impact in accounting, specifically. What I initially viewed as a division of business that is in the background, with limited exposure to the external relationships, has evolved into a department I see as having the ability to really elevate the client experience by being efficient, adaptable, and innovative.
This framework of being adaptable and innovative towards each client and their individual needs has helped secure further business relationships with some of the largest organizations in Canada. When I was looking to adapt our process for a specific client, I had three things in mind: our current process, the client specific needs, and maintaining efficiency. Efficiency is critical in this because if the current process isn’t efficient, it becomes much more difficult to adapt. If it is efficient, adapting to the specific client is much more possible. These adaptations also effect the client in the sense that the information provided, they also need to be able to process in a timely and efficient manner which is where client understanding is critical. Using tools like creating excel templates I have found to be extremely useful in to adapt our current process with different clients or special situations where the current process wouldn’t align. In doing so, the client was satisfied with the new process, they were able to process information quickly, and has led to process improvements for the client and increased that intrinsic value for them.
Client obsession can take many forms and how that looks depends on the nature of the business. The framework I explained earlier can be utilized in all areas of business and looking for ways to become adaptable and innovative. Whether it’s a current client or a future client, I’ve learned there is always an opportunity to expand on the standard process. Every aspect matters when engaging with a client and it’s critical to understand each client specifically, just like each member at the golf course.
Jerry Maguire said it best, “help me help you,” and it is through this idea that we refine our accounting processes to best support our clients across our entire organization and make sure they feel valued, leading to new business relationships as well as stronger ties with current ones.