Generating word-of-mouth business is important, but it’s certainly not easy. Your tax firm may have the best tax professionals, the best customer service and the best deals in town, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you will generate word-of-mouth about it. As a tax firm, it’s obvious that the best source of referrals is satisfied clients, especially “raving fans.” There are a few things that need to be in place, however, before you can get the referrals rolling.
The Raving Experience
A tax preparer’s goal should always be to provide excellent service to every client and make the experience very positive inorder to develop raving fans. While you may already expect your staff to give every client a raving experience have you trained them to know what that involves?
Giving a client a raving experience starts at the front door. How are they greeted when they come in? Are they immediately acknowledged, given a wait time and offered a beverage? Is the reception area remarkable? Remarkable could mean toys to keep children entertained, a television, coffee station or any number of things.
Was the client prepped before they came in the door? Do they know what they need to have when they come in for their appointment?
How about the process with the preparer? Do your tax preparers have strong interpersonal skills? Do they work to build relationships with their clients? Finally, are your preparers trained to ask if the client needs anything before they leave? Not only should your preparers ensure the client’s needs have been met, they should also review what has been done to minimize the client’s taxes and remind the client to refer them to others. If you have a referral program, this is an excellent time to tell the client about it.
Give them something to rave about
If the raving experience doesn’t get them, maybe they need something else to rave about. Ask yourself, what do you offer that no one else does? These are the things you should be talking about on social media and other channels of communication.
Our sister company, Peoples Tax has a few great things we stress in our communications:
- Our “Refer a Friend” program is probably one of our best referral programs. Clients love participating because it saves both parties (the client and the person they referred) money on tax preparation.
- Our year-round service. We offer assistance to our clients year-round. Whether they are being audited by the IRS, have been contacted by the IRS, or just have questions after tax time, we are always available to help.
- Our Q&A Group for taxpayers. We have a LinkedIn Group open for anyone to join and ask tax questions that are answered by our tax preparers.
- Our Triple Guarantee removes all doubt or uncertainty someone might have. Our guarantee covers accuracy, satisfaction and year-round service.
Peoples Tax also strives to provide taxpayers (clients or not) with helpful information that they’ll want to share with friends and family. This comes in the form of blog posts, email newsletters and whitepapers.
Give them a way to talk about you
Even if a client has had an amazing experience, they need to know how they can spread the word. If you’re on social media, make sure that the information is readily available whether in your newsletter, email signature or at the reception desk. You can also send an email after the appointment with a survey and call to action to refer a friend – making the referral process easy.
Highlight your raving Fans
One great way to show some love (and increase your chances of being raved about) is to highlight your raving fans. You can do this in customer testimonials on YouTube, in blog posts or on your social media channels in general. Do you have clients who own businesses? Why not rave about them – or at least share information about them? As they say, “Sharing is Caring”.
Be a resource
Positive publicity is another effective way to create awareness and get people talking about your tax service. A feature newspaper article about you or your tax firm will help to keep you top-of-mind, especially if it is published during tax season. Doing local radio and TV interviews or writing a column on tax tips are also possibilities.
Opportunities to engage
Don’t miss opportunities to interact with your clients. Tax season or not you are their “tax person”. Being as helpful and informative as possible is key. Here are a few ways to keep in touch and offer a higher level of service:
- Newsletters that offer tax reminders throughout the year.
- Tax Appointment checklists with appointment reminders.
- Reminders to schedule their appointment in the New Year.
People do business with people, not brands. More often than not, someone may choose your tax business because they’ve met and liked the owner or an employee. You can’t hide behind that monitor all day. Networking events give your business more exposure by making other professionals aware of your expertise and capabilities so they will think of you whenever the topic of income tax comes up with their clients and professional contacts.
How do you generate Word of Mouth in your business? Tell us what works for you!