Accounting firms get busy during tax season, and that is when most of the interaction between a CPA and the customer take place. However, just like in any other business, the key to keeping a client long-term is in building a relationship with that customer. How does your accounting firm build that kind of a relationship with your customers in the limited interaction that you get with them?
Here are 3 CPA Customer Service Tips To Help You Build That Relationship.
1. Be an Excellent CPA
The best and most important step, one that no other relationship will cover over, is doing your job and doing it well. File taxes on time. Be honest and upfront with clients. Keep all promises that you make. In short, treat your customers like you like to be treated and treat their tax returns like they are your own.
Most importantly, don’t make a major mistake that costs your client money. This is the foundation that all of the other tips are built on, and none of them will do you any good if you do not do a good job for them as their CPA.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
In real estate, they say the three most important things are location, location, location. Based on what I hear from people about their tax professionals is, the most important thing is communication, communication, communication.
The most common complaint that I hear from people about their accountants is that they cannot get a call back. Especially during tax season, it can be days before they hear back from their CPA. You have to remember that taxes are scary to people. If they have a question, they are probably a bit freaked out. Answer their question within 24 hours and you will stand out in the industry and they will love you for it!
3. Be Available When Your Customers Need You
Of course, no one can truly be available 24/7. But your clients may come up with a question after you close for the day (or after your receptionist leaves for the day). A voicemail message is not what they are hoping for. Again, you can truly stand out by having someone answer the phone whenever it rings. How can you do that? An easy and not all that expensive way is by hiring an accounting answering service (we have many CPAs that love our service!) to answer your calls when you cannot get them.
Whether you are a lone CPA or have a large office staff, there will always be calls that go unanswered. Don’t let that happen. With an answering service, you can make sure that every call is answered by a friendly and professional voice that will follow the instructions that you have laid out for any callers. They can take a message, connect the caller to the on-call person, or even answer from a list of frequently asked questions that you provide. This is another opportunity to stand out in your industry and offer the kind of service that your customers want.