- CA ANZ congratulates the winners of the annual beaton Client Choice Awards.
- Top firms put their clients first, are consistent, and treat their staff with the same level of regard they give their clients.
- High-performing firms experience reduced cost when it comes to attracting and retaining talent.
What the best firms do well
By studying what clients say about top-performing firms, beaton observes Client Choice Award winners do three things well:
1. They put clients first. Client Choice Award winners understand the primary reason for a firm’s existence is to meet clients’ needs. As former Scandinavian Airlines chief executive, Jan Carlzon, says in his book Moments of Truth: “If you can’t work out where and how you fit in this chain of service, then you don’t belong in the company.”
2. Their staff are seen as important as their clients. How employees feel they’re treated by a company is how they, in turn, treat clients. This is a variation on the well-known service profit chain where happy staff equates to happy clients and in turn happy owners (i.e. the firm makes healthy profits).
3. They are consistent. In order to provide an excellent client service experience, beaton’s analysis shows consistency is key. In the same way a few fielding lapses can lose a cricket match, a few ‘minor’ slip-ups drag down a firm’s performance. Clients have high expectations and the slightest error, delay or brusqueness of tone will be noted – and potentially be damaging.
“In the same way a few fielding lapses can lose a cricket match, a few ‘minor’ slip-ups drag down a firm’s performance.”
beaton’s research shows high-performing firms experience reduced cost in retaining and attracting talent as well as clients, higher staff morale and increased discretionary effort from staff and an increase in productivity and profitability.
The chart above shows clients’ ratings of firms over nine years from 2012, using the Net Promoter Score (NPS). For any firm not actively improving its client service, this steady upward trend in the industry average NPS is a warning sign, says executive chairman Dr George Beaton. “If you stand still, you are actually sinking because you are not rising with the tide.”
|Best Accounting and Consulting Services Firm < $30m||R J Sanderson & Associates|
|Best Accounting and Consulting Services Firm $30-$50m||Accru|
|Best Accounting and Consulting Services Firm $50-$200m||HLB Mann Judd|
|Best Accounting and Consulting Services Firm > $200||RSM|
|Best Built Environment Firm < $30m||Planix Projects|
|Best Built Environment Firm $30-$50m||GTA Consultants|
|Best Built Environment Firm $50-$200m||Douglas Partners|
|Best Built Environment Firm $50-$200m||SMEC
|Best Specialist IP and Related Services Firm < $20m||Michael Buck IP|
|Best Specialist IP and Related Services Firm > $20m||FB Rice|
|Best Law and Related Services Firm < $30m||New South Lawyers|
|Best Law and Related Services Firm $30-$50m
|Best Law and Related Services Firm $50-$200m||Bell Gully|
|Best Law and Related Services Firm $50-$200m||Buddle Findlay|
|Best Law and Related Services Firm > $200m||Gilbert + Tobin|
|Best Conveyancing Firm < $30m||bytherules Conveyancing Lawyers|
|Best provider to Construction and Infrastructure||SMEC|
|Best Provider to Financial and Insurance Services||Hall & Wilcox|
|Best Provider to Government and Community||Buddle Findlay|
|Best Provider to Mining, Oil and Gas||Gilbert + Tobin|
|Best Provider to Power and Utilities||Beca|
|Best Provider to Property||Corrs Chambers Westgarth|
|Most Innovative Firm||Gilbert + Tobin|
|Most Improved Net Promoter Score®||SMEC|
|Best Value Firm||Accru|
|Best Accountant||HLB Mann Judd, Litsa Christodulou|
|Best Built Environment Consultant||Stantec|
|Best IP Specialist||Griffith Hack|
|Best Lawyer||Gilbert + Tobin, Gina Cass-Gottlieb|
|Best Professional Services Firm < $30m||Planix Projects|
|Best Professional Services Firm $30-$50m||Accru|
|Best Professional Services Firm $50-$200m||Bell Gully|
|Best Professional Services Firm $50-$200m||Buddle Findlay|
|Best Professional Services Firm > $200m||SMEC|
|Best Professional||HLB Mann Judd, Litsa Christodulou|