Your firm’s fee structure should make sense to everyone at the firm. That’s the easy part. Much more difficult is having it make sense to your clients. If you have received feedback that your fees are too high the problem may not be the fees. More likely, your clients cannot see, feel, hear or touch the added value you bring to them. The problem is communication.
I read an article online, Art of Accounting: I Lost a Client to an Accounting Firm with Cheaper Fees, that addresses that very problem. In that case, the firm partner realized that client perceptions didn’t match up with the added value the firm offered all clients. Fees were, he thought, fairly structured. The reality was he and his team were not very good at effectively communicating the value to their clients.
If you have lost clients because they perceive your fees are too high, don’t immediately restructure fees, but do take action.
The ability to communicate your firm’s value in a manner that the client can understand, completely understand, is the key to retaining clients. If your associates are using too many accounting acronyms and jargon, along with empty words, then they are not communicating (read my blog post about Buzzwords).
Effective communication is about making a connection with another person and building long-term, sustainable relationships.