Empowering Your Team: 7 Ways to Support Client-Facing Employees

7 min readJun 3, 2024


As a service-business owner since 2012, I can confidently say that client-facing roles are more demanding than ever.

Clients expect a high level of support and a ton of value, and at a seemingly more demanding level every year. It got me thinking…how would I recommend a company support their team to be their best in their client-facing role?

Accountfully is centered around developing lasting client relationships and ensuring quality service delivery. Like many service businesses, even in the best of scenarios misunderstandings will arise now and then. Whether a mistake, a mismatch of expectations or a personality discrepancy, it must be addressed swiftly and proactively avoided. Even though I am at the ultimate end of responsibility as the business owner and leader, it is my team that faces the bulk of direct interactions with our clients. That is why it is my responsibility to equip them with the tools necessary to be at their best.

Why? Because it is your team that is the front line of your business, responsible for maintaining client relationships and ultimately driving revenue. As their leader, it’s crucial to support them effectively to ensure they can perform their best. So how do you help them to remain a confident, relationship-focused team? Be a good boss.

Here are seven ways you can be a good boss and support your team in client-facing roles:

1. Provide Comprehensive Training

Start with a robust onboarding process that includes detailed and thorough training. Equip your team with the knowledge they need about your services and your company in general. They should know each client’s service level agreement (SLA) and what is considered in and out of scope, and the services we offer. Not only are they responsible for providing the services within each client’s agreement, but they are also responsible for representing your brand.

They need to know the company they work for inside and out; its mission, vision, and values. Continuous training is equally important, focusing on industry trends, customer service skills, and communication techniques. Regular training in both accounting-related subjects and communication expectations as a representative of Accountfully will keep their skills sharp and up-to-date.

We hold in-house training sessions firm-wide and provide an extensive learning and development program that outlines courses and suggestions for enhancing their skills by role.

2. Foster Open Communication

Encourage an environment where open communication is valued. Regular check-ins and team meetings can provide a platform for your team to share their experiences, challenges, and suggestions.

As a manager, being approachable and listening actively allows you to identify issues early and offer timely solutions. A team should feel confident bringing their concerns to their manager as soon as something seems off with the client relationship (or the manager-direct report relationship for that matter).

Solving problems before they turn into giant hurdles is always the best strategy. That is done best when communication is actively happening from top to bottom, and bottom to top.

Accountfully ‘s culture is one that encourages open communication and greets suggestions and feedback with an open mind. We offer a wide range of communication avenues outside of the regular check in meetings across teams and between managers and their direct reports. Our team shares ideas and offers insight in our quarterly town hall meetings, through Slack and specific Slack channels, as well as our regular staff, senior and manager meetings.

3. Empower With the Right Tools

Invest in the right tools and technologies that can help your team manage their tasks more efficiently. Cloud-based apps and communication platforms, and project management tools can streamline their workflow and reduce any administrative burden, allowing them to focus more on client interaction.

We use tools like GDrive to easily share and offer access to records, notes and more. Google Chats and Slack huddles allow our teams to talk freely at the click of a button as though they were in the same office together.

Asana is what we use for project management, specifically. It keeps us all on the same page for client needs and ensures we are staying accountable to daily tasks and meeting deadlines. We have built out an extensive network of Asana templates that support client projects specifically as well as more administrative projects like new hire training and onboarding.

Having these tools makes for more efficient time management and ensures we don’t lose any important details across a large remote workforce.

Recognition and rewards can significantly boost morale and motivation. Implement a recognition program that celebrates individual and team achievements. Whether it’s a shout-out in a meeting, a thank-you note, or a more formal award, recognizing hard work and success makes for a positive and productive work environment.

Accountfully has a wide range of reward platforms. We use 15Five for our High Fives that recognize team members who make an impact on the spot. These get posted through Slack so the team sees the recognition right away and can comment on it. We also have a Monthly Shout Out award, celebrated in our newsletter, and vote for a Key Contributor on a quarterly basis.

We also lean on Thnks as an easy gift-giving platform. Our managers can offer anything from a coffee break, to a nice brunch, to a movie night. It arrives digitally and can provide an easy pick-me-up for our team during crunch times, or “just because”. Yearly, we share employee appreciation gifts that typically include some fun Accountfully branded gear. Last year we sent customized candles and the year before we did vests.

We are never shy about recognizing team members that go above and beyond!

5. Encourage Work-Life Balance

Accountfully’s business model was based on creating better work-life balance for accountants. Client-facing roles can be stressful and demanding, but we find our team can manage this responsibility better when offered some flexibility and can take time off.

Encourage your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance by promoting remote work and the importance of taking breaks. Ensure they understand the value of self-care and provide resources such as wellness programs or mental health support. Our team is required to meet specific deadlines and quality levels, but if they do that best from home, or want to work in the office, great!

Everyone at Accountfully tracks time, so it is easy to spot any anomalies indicating stress in our team. We don’t encourage 80-hour weeks and burnout culture. Our operations team works closely with our management team to ensure our staffing levels are aligned with the client load. PTO is encouraged. We also take part in wellness activities like yoga and our popular Step Challenge on a quarterly basis. This communicates we are invested in our team taking time to focus on their health.

6. Offer Career Development Opportunities

Show your team that you are invested in their growth by providing career development opportunities. This could include access to professional courses, mentorship programs, or the chance to take on new responsibilities. Career growth is a significant motivator and can lead to higher job satisfaction and retention rates.

Our Career Development Program/Plan aka the “CDP” is a well-known internal program that mentors and trains our accountants who are ready to take on the next level of responsibility in their role. It sets the tone for the expectations required of them to be successful with enhanced responsibilities. Once successfully completed, they are offered the opportunity, and step into the next step in their career.

We are very clear about the opportunities and growth paths available from the start. This helps our team understand what is expected to move ahead in their career.

7. Solicit and Act on Feedback

This goes hand-in-hand with number two: having open communication. Regularly solicit feedback from your team about their experiences and challenges in client-facing roles. Use this feedback to make informed decisions and improvements in your processes and support systems.

When your team sees that their input leads to tangible changes, it builds trust and engagement.

Feedback is huge at Accountfully. Whether it’s an employee engagement survey, our regular performance management “pulse checks” or the detailed annual review process, we take feedback seriously.

A good example is our annual review process. It is a detailed combination of various feedback channels. We find this to be a great way to encourage feedback as it relates to job performance and expectations. The review process is a culmination of the monthly and quarterly check-ins gathered throughout the year, including the goals and objectives that a team member has been assigned and tracking all year long. There are no major surprises as our team enters the process because we have been openly communicating year-round. The review meeting allows a forum to assemble the year’s progress and discuss feedback received from peers and managers. It will also dictate any bonus or compensation changes.

Final Thoughts:

Supporting your team in client-facing roles is not just about providing the right tools and training. It’s about creating a nurturing environment where they feel valued and empowered. By focusing on training, encouraging open communication, providing the right tools, recognizing achievements, encouraging work-life balance, offering career development opportunities, and acting on feedback, you can help your team thrive and, in turn, drive the success of your business. Empower your team using these tips, and watch as they excel in building strong, lasting client relationships.

Tell me your tricks for empowering those in client-facing roles in the comments! 👇

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.




Outsourced Accounting and Tax Services For Modern Brands.