06/17/2023 in Accountant

Yes or No: Long Wait Times Signify Quality

CPA long wait times

I am not a big contributor on Twitter. My legion of three loyal followers doesn’t exactly put me in influencer territory. (Follow me @TWhittCPA – get in on the ground floor!) But I have started following other professionals – real influencers – to get some tips about running my own business.

I took a bold leap (for me) and commented on a question to the Twitterverse posed by an attorney. The question was:

“I have a 3-4 week wait time for new clients/prospects. Is this a good or bad thing?”

I reviewed most of the responses – there were many – and I’d say 90% said the wait time was a good thing. The general consensus was long wait times signify quality and short wait times signify the opposite.

I (respectfully) disagreed. Typically, buyers assume that CPAs and attorneys possess competence in their respective fields. Despite the existence of subpar performers within both industries, consumers generally believe that obtaining a professional degree and passing a rigorous exam is sufficient proof of credibility. Historical surveys have consistently supported this notion, leading me to conclude that extended wait times do not necessarily correlate with superior quality in the minds of consumers.

If we assume that quality is already  bestowed upon professionals, then professionals must differentiate themselves through attributes such as easy accessibility and exceptional communication skills. As technology continues to shrink the world and facilitate easier access to professional services, competition is no longer confined to local boundaries. This raises the standards for serving clients in order to remain relevant and foster growth.

Put differently, being intelligent alone is no longer sufficient if your competitors are equally intelligent but excel in serving clients with better, quicker, more proactive, and industry-specific expertise.

In conclusion, when a potential client contacts your office, it is often due to an immediate need. While they might be willing to wait 3-4 weeks to speak with you, this wait time does not inherently validate your business model.

According to Twitter, I am in the minority. I’d be interested to hear what you think.