Accounting firms need to recognize the important differences between “client satisfaction” and “client loyalty,” according to a new whitepaper.

The former tends to be a more backward-looking, narrowly focused measure based on recent events, according to “Client Satisfaction & Client Loyalty: The Power in Understanding the Difference” from L. Harris Partners, while the latter is forward-looking, and a much more valuable measure of client engagement.

Based in part on interviews and research conducted with 600 partners at CPA firms and over 4,000 clients, the white paper suggests that satisfaction and loyalty should be assessed differently.

The research also found that:

  • Almost a third (32 percent) of clients use multiple CPA firms, while partners think that only 8 percent of their clients do.
  • Almost two thirds (62 percent) of clients claim to be loyal to their CPA firms, but partners think that roughly the same proportion (60 percent) are vulnerable to being approached by the competition.

You can download a copy of the white paper here.

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