When it comes to creating a peaceful and profitable tax practice, there is ONE recipe for success that you can ALWAYS count on: automation!
Here’s the cold, hard truth: Client experience is what makes or breaks a tax practice. Without a thoughtful and efficient system in place, your clients may end up feeling confused, overwhelmed, and ready to move on to a new tax pro.
DON’T let this happen to you!
Today, I’m going to share my easy, 5-step recipe for cooking up a VIP client experience through automated services. Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Provide A Guided Custom Experience
In this day and age, clients need to know that you are THEE expert when it comes to preparing their taxes. They are trusting you with their money (i.e. their livelihood!) and they want to feel safe knowing that you’ve got their best interests at heart.
Having a guided, custom experience will give them peace of mind while keeping things simple for you and your team.
- Break down the process and send communications when they are pertinent to the client and essential for your process.
- Don’t overload them with unnecessary steps.
- Ask yourself: WHAT do they need to know, WHEN do they need to know it, and what information do they need to give you?
Step 2: Send Automated Status Updates
Fact: Your client is craving communication with you! They want to know when and how their taxes are being prepared and what to expect throughout the process. Satisfy their craving by creating and maintaining thoughtful and consistent communications.
- Communicate and acknowledge your client’s emotional peaks and valleys at just the right time.
- Be sure to celebrate what they’ve already accomplished while asking for what you still need.
- Set reasonable expectations and be sure to tell them what happens next!
Step 3: Make Information Gathering Easy for Both of You!
Using thoughtful organizers that mold to your client’s unique situation will keep things from getting messy and overwhelming. By leveraging your automation tools, you can create a seamless info gathering process.
- Ditch the traditional organizers and spreadsheets and lean into today’s modern technology instead!
- Evaluate your information needs and create efficient online organizers or forms that get you exactly what you need WITHOUT bogging down your client.
Step 4: Use a Centralized Information and Communications Hub
Keep in mind that you (and your clients!) are busy and don’t want to waste valuable time chasing down emails or trying to keep track of documents. Having an easy to use and secure client portal will centralize all client information and ensure the process stays smooth from start to finish.
- Clients want to know that their sensitive information is secure…Protect yourself and your clients by establishing documentation delivery using ONLY the portal!
- Boundaries are important! Establish tools that allow your client only ONE place to interact with you & your staff and allow for self-service as much as possible.
- Create a 2-3 minute onboarding video that shares how they will work with you, what your client communication policy is, and how to access the portal and upload their docs. Make sure to include information about your firm’s availability for support and communication.
- Rogue clients happen…create a plan for how to navigate them without letting things slip through the cracks.
Step 5: Look Professional Yet Easy to Access
Creating a professional and consistent experience will have your client feeling confident in your expert status. Keep it classy while still remaining available and personable.
- Create standardized workflows to ensure that the client is considered at every step (REMEMBER: Standardization + Boundaries = Happy Clients AND Happy You!)
- Certainty breeds trust…Automated workflows ensure your client is treated the same every time.
- Establish a consistent tone and brand for ALL of your client communications and utilize templates whenever possible.
- Develop policies and procedures in your practice that ensure your team is clear on how to complete each step of the process.
An excellent client experience paired with automations is the PERFECT recipe for a prosperous practice! Creating thoughtful and client-centered automations will help increase profits while giving you more time and freedom in your practice.