A tax preparer’s goal should always be to provide excellent service to every client. But going the extra mile will help you create raving fans. A “raving fan”, as developed by Ken Blanchard, is a client who has that “knock your socks off” kind of reaction to the client service they’ve received and they want to tell everyone about it. While you may already provide great client service, a raving fan experience is really on another level. Raving Fans are clients who would never think of leaving you, and they want the best for you and your business. So how can you create Raving Fans?
Create a clear client service vision.
First, decide why your company exists, who you serve, and how you make a difference in your clients’ lives. Do they have a problem you can help solve? This information can be used to create a vision statement that talks about your aspirations on what you want to be known for and where you want to be in the future. When you have those ideas written down, they become more real to you. Then you can focus on them and start working toward making them a reality.
Find out what your clients are looking for.
Second, you need to find out what your clients really want. Do they just want a tax preparer to squeeze them in once a year to prepare an accurate tax return, and that’s it? Or are they looking for someone who’s available to answer questions year-round, advise them on tax-related issues, be a sounding board, and more? You need to understand who your market is and what they really want from you. Then, compare what your clients are looking for to your vision, and ensure that the two align with each other.
Deliver more than your clients expect.
Meeting clients’ expectations may keep them satisfied but it probably won’t create Raving Fans. So, once you’ve got the first two things figured out and aligned, you’ll need to step it up just a little on a consistent basis. But be sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew, as that can backfire on you.
Let me give you an example of a recent experience I had, that had me talking up a restaurant for days, and turned me into a Raving Fan.
A Raving Fan experience
In the fall, my family went out to eat at a local restaurant, Tazza Kitchen. Because of the pandemic, we had reservations to eat outdoors. Upon arrival, their main patio was full, so they put us in the overflow tent in the parking lot. It was fine. Actually, my husband will tell you it was great, because we were the only ones in the tent for a while, and well you know, Covid. We made no mention of any disappointment. A staff member arrived at our table instantly, apologizing for us being all alone in the tent, and dropped off a big tray of chips and guacamole — on the house. I was going to order them anyway, and now they were free! They remained super attentive throughout the entire evening. They even noticed my daughter didn’t really enjoy the meal she had chosen. I think it was too mature for her palate. The waiter made mention of it and removed it from our bill, without me saying anything! Of course, I thanked him. And then he offered us free dessert at the end!
Talk about unexpected, and above and beyond! And what did it cost them? Some chips, an avocado, a comped meal, and some ice cream sandwiches. And what did they get in return? A long term customer and a Raving Fan that went home and told everyone about it on Facebook.
I’m not saying you need to give away the store, so to speak, but even just one of those things would have been above and beyond most of the competing restaurants. All of them together definitely knocked my socks off!
So give your clients that little something extra that is unexpected. It won’t go unnoticed, and could truly be the differentiator between you and your competitors. And worth of mouth is definitely THE BEST form of advertising, and it’s FREE!