You already know how preparing a tax return is the sole opportunity to interact with clients and it happens only one season each year. Keeping a client happy year round can be a challenge for seasonal work but investing in client’s satisfaction is proven to be a major yearly revenue boost for businesses across industries.
Clients already seek you out for your services because you are a trusted expert. This is an opportunity to grow the current services your business offers, develop new relationships, and increase client satisfaction by offering something they really value.
Find avenues outside tax preparation courses for the best new ways to increase client satisfaction and increase your yearly income.
1. Know Your Market
The first step to making customers happy is to know what they are looking for. Find the answers to these important questions by asking:
- What do tax preparation clients need?
- Why are they coming to you? Do your services offer something more than the available online resources?
Begin looking at the demographics of your clients to create a snapshot of the age, location, education, occupation, and marital status of your market. Then make a list of the most common client concerns or your business’ most-used services. Do most of your clients have simple returns but don’t like using online services like TurboTax? Are there clients with small businesses who need a professional to help itemize deductions and manage more complex tax regulations?
You are starting to outline the niche market that your business serves and now have the data that tell you:
- Who you are targeting
- What needs your business fulfills
- What marketing messages or platforms will be the most useful to successfully reach them
Use market research strategies to gain more insight into how your customers think by:
- Send each client an exit survey to assess their feelings about your tax preparation services and what you can do to better help
- Make a habit of personally checking in during the slow season with a phone call or email to see how clients are doing and how you can help
2. Get to Know People on a Personal Level
Tax preparation is already a personal business, but to raise client satisfaction your business needs to connect even further with clients’ needs. Go beyond the numbers and code by answering the following questions:
- What problem(s) are they looking to overcome?
- What are their motivations?
A client’s pain point is the core of why they seek out a professional tax preparer each year. Do you often see clients bogged down by back taxes? Are any of your clients business owners overwhelmed by managing payroll and bookkeeping need? Is credit debt delaying tax payments?
With the recent changes in the tax code and the Affordable Care Act, you are likely to find shared frustrations between individuals you meet with. If you are struggling to define a client’s needs, pick up the phone and reach out. It may seem informal, but a personal call will help bolster your relationship with the client and give you the necessary insight into understanding how to help them overcome financial obstacles.
Looking at the compiled list of pain points and client motivations, you should consider new ways to reach your target market:
- Offer bundled services to solve clients problems more effectively and all year long
- Invest in non-traditional tax preparer courses, like learning how to repair credit to better serve your niche market and improve client’s financial well being
Offering diverse services that focus on the unique needs of your client base will boost your business income and keep clients happy all year long.
3. Know Your Unique Value
Every successful business knows what makes it unique. That unique quality is what sets a business apart from the competition, draws in new clients, and serves client’s needs.
Look at your unique value proposition or UVP (or take time to write one) and make sure it answers the following:
- What do you offer that's different than others in your industry?
- Can you add something more to that UVP?
Is your business the fastest tax preparation in town? Do you offer a guarantee for your services? Do you offer a service your competition does?
You need to stand out from the crowd in order to increase client satisfaction. Tax preparation is increasingly competitive and in order to find more leads, your business has to be one of a kind.
Stand out and better satisfy your clients by:
- Offering value-added services like credit repair consulting that ties directly into your tax preparation work
- Refreshing your marketing materials to ensure they are directed toward the people who need you most
- Advertise your bundled services in order to expand your client base and generate more revenue per client
- Expand your knowledge and increase your off-season business offerings with low investment training
Differentiating your services will not only better serve your business’ bottom line, but also give your clients the services they need to have more prosperous financial futures. Upselling or upgrading clients to a value-added service like credit repair is a win-win for your tax preparation business.
Improve your tax preparation client’s satisfaction while creating an alternative revenue stream that lasts all year.