Every tax and accounting business strives to improve its services and efficiency, essential for delivering the desired results. However, one of the most significant factors is often neglected in the long-run, i.e., customer service.
According to Hubspot Research, 93% of the customers would become a part of the repeated client base due to excellent customer service at a company.
Positive customer experience helps to build the reputation, trust, and brand awareness of a firm.
With the tax season in full swing, it is essential to take specific steps to enhance this customer experience for the growth of one’s tax and accounting business.
Here are six ways that can help to improve customer service this busy season.
1. Strategize A Plan
Preparing a plan beforehand is crucial when accountants have to file the returns of their clients, especially during the stressful time of tax season. Everyday hassle at this time can create chaos in business operations if not managed correctly and, as a result, affect the customer experience.
For a streamlined tax filing process, it is essential to be proactive by starting the tax process early and not wait until the last hour to accomplish the task. Also, it is crucial to gather the necessary documents and information from the clients on time before filing the returns.
Furthermore, categorizing each task depending upon their priorities and urgency helps to deliver critical work whenever required. It helps to plan a better financial year and enhances customer service.
2. Improve Communication
It is crucial to ensure that clients interact with the firm conveniently and get regular updates on the filing status. The lack of transparency within a system can have a negative impact on the reliability of services. The communication gap within a system can increase the chances of errors while filing the client returns during the tax season.
It is imperative to set up different channels like phone, email, and chat through which clients can contact the tax and accounting professionals for any information or queries. Moreover, platforms like cloud technology can be adopted to collaborate with clients on a single platform. It further builds trust between clients and the firm for a long-term relationship.
3. Get Regular Feedbacks
Getting feedback from customers helps to understand the weak and strong points of the business. One won’t be able to fix the loopholes in its tax filing business without asking the necessary questions from the clients.
It is advisable to reach out to the customers periodically and get to know the areas that need improvement. Adopting practices like taking regular surveys of the clients can help in gathering necessary data on client experience with the services offered. Answering user queries on different forums, such as Quora, helps to keep them engaged with the services.
Also, one can understand the customer’s opinions by reading online reviews on Serchen or Google My Business and asking former clients the reasons for leaving the service. Furthermore, integrating a feedback form on the website page allows clients to leave suggestions that make them feel valued. Hence, it further helps to retain clients and increases customer engagement during the tax season.
4. Leverage Technology
In this digital age, it is essential to adopt the latest technology to gain a competitive edge in the market. The use of traditional “pen and paper” methods of accounting can result in increased tax filing errors slower response time.
The use of modern-day technology like cloud computing and AI can enhance the efficiency of a business. Most of the tedious tasks like data entry can be automated during the tax season so that professionals can focus on their core competencies to serve clients better.
Also, the use of cloud technology enables remote access and multi-user collaboration so that clients and the accounting team can communicate with each other from anywhere and at anytime, globally. It further enhances the presence of the firm to attract prospective clients from around the world.
These automation and mobility features speedup the accounting process and improve the productivity of the firm.
5. Customize Services
In order to achieve success during the tax season, an accounting firm needs to go the extra mile to serve its customers. There are many companies offering tax and accounting services. Therefore, in order to stay ahead of the competition, one must find different ways to cater to the client’s needs.
Different clients have different requirements. So, it is essential to personalize services depending upon the type of client. Offering financial and business advice to the customers in addition to the underlying tax filing services can enhance the value of the firm. It makes one a trusted advisor in the eyes of his/her clients.
Furthermore, sending customized emails containing tax season reminders can help retain customers. Firms can also reward loyal customers with discounts and points for tax season. These little gestures go a long way, as the client base further influences other prospective clients.
6. Implement Security Standards
Data is of the utmost importance to the tax and accounting firms, especially during the tax season. Clients want their data to be shared in a secure manner that doesn’t compromise their privacy of information. However, various malicious attacks can breach the security of this data and can cause loss to the business.
Firms must implement various security measures to safeguard data from cyberattacks and other threats. Some of the most common practices that must be executed include:
- Anti-malware and anti-virus system
- Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS)
- Multiple firewalls
- Multi-factor authentication
- Regular backups of data
These security standards can help protect client data so that tax professionals can focus more on serving them and boost productivity.
Clients are the backbone of a business. Therefore, it is crucial to adopt the measures mentioned above to retain loyal customers and gain new ones this tax season.
Also, it is vital to maintain contact with the clients even after the tax season is over. Send the clients greeting mails at special events or holidays, offer them the subscription to the company’s newsletters, and send them tax or accounting-related tips year-around for a long-term relationship.
Want to streamline your tax season with cloud solutions? Contact our Solutions Expert at 855-223-4887.