Communicating effectively with clients and staff is important for any tax office – or any business for that matter! Communication ensures that everyone is on the same page. It ensures that your staff and your customers know what’s going on or what they should be doing. Are you communicating enough? Here’s a rundown of some important items you should be talking about with staff and clients.
Internally, there’s a lot that needs to be communicated throughout the year (tax season or not). Are you staying on top?
Updates to the Tax Law/Tax Industry News
It’s important to stay on-top of industry news and IRS updates throughout the year so that you know what’s coming, what to prepare for, and what to keep your clients in the loop about. Your staff should always be abreast of changes so that you can be proactive and prepare for major changes.
Your staff should always know about new products and services you are offering. Detailed descriptions should be given to them in writing, and once they’ve had time to review, it should be discussed in a staff meeting to make sure everyone understands and is on the same page. This will ensure that your staff is relaying the correct information to clients. You should do the same for any marketing campaigns or promotions you run.
Networking and getting out into the community is important for tax preparers to do. You should be communicating networking opportunities with your staff as well as sharing your firm’s events calendar so they know association meetings that are coming up and/or speaking engagements you are planning. This helps get staff involved and also helps spread the word about what you’re doing out in the community.
Office Policies and Procedures
Policies, procedures and customer service standards should always be reiterated to reinforce expectations and set the tone for the culture of your company. Having a policies and procedures manual is crucial, but important things that may be forgotten from time to time should be brought up every once in a while in all employee emails or meetings. You should also always enforce your company’s mission, vision, and/or guiding principles.
How is foot traffic through the door? Are you bringing in more clients or less than the previous year? These things should be shared with your staff so that you can all work towards positive growth. You should also share client issues or difficult tax returns so that you can discuss as a team and learn from each other.
Communicating with clients is just as important as communicating with your staff. Communication adds a personal touch and serves to strengthen your relationship with each client. You should be communicating regularly using multiple methods to send the message that you care and are working to keep clients informed and on top of their own tax situation and finances. Here are some ways you could be communicating with clients.
Monthly newsletters are a great way to disseminate important or interesting information to your clients. Newsletters can also serve to remind clients of certain deadlines, of things happening at the office, or of new tax fraud schemes they should know about. Are you speaking at an event that month or hosting one at your offices? Did you write a new blog post? These are both important things to include in your newsletters.
You should encourage clients to follow and stay engaged with you on social media. It’s a great way to share information they are likely to find valuable and it keeps your firm top of mind. It also helps grow your reach if clients happen to like or share any of your content.
Personal Emails/Phone Calls
Tax preparers should be communicating important deadlines and/or updates to their clients via email or phone. Are clients due to come in for tax preparation? This is the perfect reason to reach out with a reminder.
Mailing clients appointment reminders and information about the upcoming season is a great way to make sure they come back to you each season. Another personal touch is mailing tax season organizers to help them get paperwork gathered before coming to see you.
Communication is important! Hopefully you’ve already been dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s! If you need more insight into running an efficient and growing tax business, check out our Tax Practice Management Manuals.
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