In celebration of our landmark 10th year in business, we asked our President, Elizabeth Manso, to reflect on her journey. In this second part of our interview, she describes what she’s learned along the way about how to cultivate and maintain positive client relationships.
Question: What have you learned about earning a reputation as trustworthy and maintaining long-term relationships with clients?
Elizabeth Manso: Obviously, being trustworthy, when having access to our clients’ complete financial picture, is essential. We pride ourselves in making our clients comfortable with us and how we work from the beginning. First of all, most of our new clients come recommended to us, so there is already a level of trust, which is transferred from the referral source. Secondly, while working with our clients, we are in constant communication with them, whether via email, text, phone or in person at our office, so they gain an additional level of trust there, because of our responsiveness and communication skills. Finally, once our clients start working with us, they stay our clients for years, unless their business grows to the point they need to hire an internal bookkeeper, who we can still oversee for them.
Q: What are some of the most gratifying stories you can share about helping clients?
EM: The most gratifying story I can think of happens for us every day…bringing on a new client who has a horrible bookkeeping mess, having the ability to straighten out their “mess” and helping them maintain the right path for many years to come. After we do our work, the clients get a true picture of how their business is doing and how they can continue on their path to growth! That is the reason why I started Brigade…for the love of helping small business owners understand their numbers and make intelligent decisions on their thriving business.
Q: What are the most important value-adds you include with your services and how did you arrive at the decision(s) to include them?
EM: The most important value-adds are the following:
- Assigning a team to each of our client accounts, so our clients have multiple professionals who can help them at any point in time.
- Our 24 hour response time to client inquiries.
- Integrating our work into the business backbone of each client.
We are constantly there for our clients and most solo bookkeepers don’t have that ability, because they are just one person and we are a BRIGADE of bookkeepers.
Next week in part three, we explore with Elizabeth how she has built a positive company culture, including the promotion of work/life balance, and get her candid thoughts on the ambition needed to be successful. Want to work with us? See real-life examples of how we help clients every day.