Welcome to the “Top 10 Tax Season Success Tips”, a series of ten blog posts and videos I have created to give you key information and support throughout the ten weeks of tax season. I am kicking off this series with important tips about your client’s experience.
Right now is a good time to evaluate how a tax client experiences your firm, whether they’re reaching out for the first time or reconnecting after a year. The most successful CPA practices provide top-notch customer service, and that means ensuring that the client’s experience is fully orchestrated. Much like an award winning and popular Broadway play, it should be planned and even rehearsed, so that each client receives the same seamless, white-glove treatment from start to finish.
If your clients visit your physical premises, the client experience begins the moment they approach your office door, and continues through to when they come to pick up their tax returns. Each team member involved in a client’s experience should be absolutely clear on his or her role, and be provided with tools with which to carry out their duties.
Here are a few specific points to which you should pay attention:
- How is the client greeted when he or she walks through the door? Are they greeted warmly and promptly?
- Do you greet the client by name? You know what they say – there’s no sweeter sound than the sound of our name.
- Ever hear of the “ten-foot rule”? This is a good time to implement it. Any staff member who comes within ten feet of the client must acknowledge him or her with a smile and a friendly “hello”.
- Do you have a method of collecting the client’s tax information, such as a questionnaire? For existing clients, is your admin person updating your CRM for any changes to their contact information? While they’re waiting is the perfect time.
- Have you made beverages available to your client, such as coffee, tea and water? Do you or a member of your staff offer a beverage promptly and several times during their visit like you would with a guest who visits you at your home?
If you have a practice where most of your work is conducted remotely, such as via e-mail or snail mail, there’s still no reason why the entire client experience can’t be orchestrated. Do you have a system in place for ensuring that each e-mail inquiry is promptly responded to and followed up by the appropriate person? If not, create one now.
Let’s not ignore telephone etiquette, either. Start listening to how your team members answer the telephone. Call your own office, if you haven’t done so in a while. If you feel the client experience here needs tweaking, be sure to retrain your entire staff so that everyone knows the “new drill”.
Additionally, does your voicemail recording need an update? If you provide information on an after-hours recording, such as office hours, is the information still current?
Next up in the Top 10 Tax Season Success Tips, a quick video with several tips on interviewing tax clients efficiently while engaging with them so they walk out as your best friend.
Don’t miss it!
Until next time,