How to Avoid Providing Clients Good Service Once in a Blue Moon
By: Mitchell Reno, Principal and Director of Client Experience, Rehmann
You’ve heard the cliché for years… “once in a blue moon.” What’s it mean? Well, we haven’t had a blue moon lunar eclipse in 150 years. Thus, they don’t happen very often. But, you’ll see one on January 31st—something your parents and, possibly even your grandparents, have not seen. Sky watchers are pretty excited. (Take a look at space.com’s post to learn more.)
As I was learning about the origin or the “once in a blue moon” cliché, it reminded me that our profession could take a cue from this lunar event this tax season. For too many clients, the 1040 is an annual “blue-moon” event that happens only once per year. And, as CPA-minded efficiency mongers who continue to fight a compressed season to get the work completed, we may fail to make the “blue-moon” event special and likely fail to ensure that we plan additional touches and interactions with our clients after tax season concludes.
Here’s what marketers and administrative growth leaders can be doing to make sure clients don’t feel that are getting “once-in-a-blue-moon” service experiences:
- Ensure that the experience your clients have when they arrive at your office to drop of tax materials or pick them up their returns is unique to your firm. Maximize the opportunity to make the client feel important and special. This is the moment you build your firm’s brand in the client’s mind.
- Update contact records and communication preferences in all CRM and practice management systems as a part of workflow during these interactions. Make sure you optimize email and social media connections with your clients. The greatest growth in Facebook is with people over the age of 60. You need to be communicating digitally more with client between your annual, blue-moon tax processing.
- Set-up a planned follow-up meeting with 1040 clients within 45 days after delivering the 1040 tax returns to talk about their return again, begin tax planning earlier and discuss their comprehensive financial needs.
- Begin sending direct mail resources and thought leadership materials throughout the year on issues and matters that impact private household financial matters. Retirement planning, estate planning and other transitions are too often left only to the wealth managers. Get in the game.
- Help your CPAs use their Outlook calendars and task management tools to schedule at least two or three client touches per day between May and October. It’s easy to impact retention, generate loyalty and drive additional revenue with simple phone calls and outreach. Make sure the advisors have a 30-second practiced message to leave if they get an opportunity to leave a voicemail.
Create great experiences throughout the year for your clients to set yourself and your firm apart from the competition. Make each touch special and plan to make more touches in person, on the phone and digitally in 2018.
About Mitch Reno
Mitch Reno is a principal and director of client experience with Rehmann, based in the firm’s Naples, Florida office. Mitch brings more than 15 years of marketing, sales and strategic planning experience to his current role overseeing the direction of the firm’s corporate service strategy focused on driving retention, loyalty and satisfaction. In 2006, Mitch was named “Accounting Firm Marketer of the Year.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.