During the busy tax season, you likely spend significant time engaging with clients. You answer emails and text messages, take phone calls and schedule meetings, all in preparation for Tax Day.
But what happens after your clients’ tax returns are filed? One option is to say, “See you next time,” and not contact them again until January of the next tax year. However, another option is to re-engage clients year-round and learn how to generate more business. After all, April to January is a long time — long enough for clients to decide to take their business elsewhere. If you can continue to provide value beyond tax season, you’ll help ensure clients return to your business again and again.
Why re-engaging tax clients is so important
It’s much easier (and cheaper) to keep existing clients than it is to find new ones. According to research, boosting your retention by only 5% can lead to a 25% increase in profits. Also, having regular clients can help you better predict your earnings and provide a baseline of annual income, giving you extra security for your business.
Plus, existing clients can serve as a source of new clients. If they’re happy with your services, they may refer you to their friends, family and colleagues through a formal referral process or simply by word-of-mouth. Since repeat customers offer so many benefits to your tax business, you’ll want to regularly re-engage with clients, even after tax season is over. Here are seven tips for how to re-engage with tax clients.
Follow their lead
When you onboard a new client, do you ask them what their communication preferences are? Do you know how they prefer to stay in contact with you: text, email, phone call or online chat? What about social media or face-to-face meetings? If not, it’s a good idea to start asking them.
By gathering this information, you can start re-engaging clients where they’re most receptive to your message. You’ll also prevent yourself from investing too heavily in a communication channel that isn’t favored by your clientele. For example, if only a small percentage of your clients prefer to be contacted via email, you should pass on that marketing automation software subscription.
Whatever your clients’ preferences are, be ready to engage with them through that forum, whether voa social media, Zoom meetings or phone calls. They may favor some combination of the three but in different situations. But the only way to know is to ask.
Go beyond tax prep
Many modern accounting firms now provide non-tax services, such as wealth management, bookkeeping, consulting, investment and financial reporting. If your tax business offers services other than tax preparation, communicate these additional offerings to your clients. On the other hand, if you don’t currently provide services beyond tax season, consider your clients’ needs and research whether you should expand your offerings — which brings us to our next tip.
Ask for feedback
One great method for re-engaging tax clients is asking them for feedback. What did they like about your work? What could use improvement? Should you offer additional services, and if so, which ones?
One option for gathering feedback is a short and simple online survey. Email each client the link and encourage them to fill it out; you can even offer a chance at a discount or prize for anyone who submits their responses. Another is requesting a positive review on Yelp or Google, or asking them to provide a testimonial to use in your marketing materials.
Customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a helpful tool for measuring client satisfaction. You ask them one key question: on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? Those who respond with 9s or 10s are promoters, 7s and 8s are neutrals, and 6s or lower are detractors. Then, subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters to get your NPS.
Study your repeat customers
Are there specific traits that your regular customers have in common? Do they work in a particular industry or field? Do they take advantage of offerings beyond tax return preparation? Do they follow you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter?
Knowing the characteristics of your best customers can help you identify other potentially valuable clients and reach out to them in an authentic way. You can also keep note of “preferred” clients and offer them additional discounts or specialty services to retain and even expand their business with your tax firm.
Keep them informed
Let your clients know about any changes to your practice or important deadlines. For example, reach out at the start of tax season to get the ball rolling on gathering documents, signing forms, etc. But your communication doesn’t need to be confined to January-April. Keep them updated on changes at your firm, including new service offerings, new staff members, price or fee increases, special discounts or upcoming events. You can also pass along recent articles on relevant taxation, finance, investing and accounting topics.
Segment your client base
To better tailor your communications and re-engagement campaigns, consider breaking out your clientele by segment. How you do this is up to you. You might segment by services used: tax prep only, tax prep plus additional services, non-tax services only, etc. If your clients work in various fields, you might segment them by industry. Have a lot of business clients? Segment by size or target market. By grouping your clients by what they have in common, you can provide relevant information to their specific needs and interests.
Take advantage of automation
Continuously re-engaging with tax clients is a big job, and it’s easy to forget to reach out regularly, especially when you’re busy. Let’s say you decide to reach out to clients at least once a month. Then, a few months go by, and you realize you forgot to contact them. Automation can help you “set it and forget it” by scheduling email blasts, social media posts and other communications in advance. Several marketing automation tools have free or premium options to reduce expenses.
Stay in contact with clients after tax season
By constantly re-engaging your tax clients throughout the year, you’ll continue adding value and highlighting your services even after tax season is over.
Want to grow your tax business? We can help. If you’re considering broadening your accounting skill set or expanding your services, browse our Continuing Professional Education courses as well.