CPAs, the pre-tax season is the time to work on your listening

CPAs, the pre-tax season is the time to work on your listening

Posted by  on 21 November, 2018  4 minute read

Do you know 81% of businesses that provide an exceptional client experience do much better than their competitors, says the “Customer Experience Maturity Monitor” report from the Peppers & Rogers Group?

It’s true.

Clients love to be heard. They like to give feedback from time-to-time, talk about their pain-points and actively seek consultations to be profitable. Unfortunately, every business talks about having a customer-centric model but not many focus on client servicing.

Outsourced accounting firms, on the other hand, have to maintain a healthy working rapport with their outsourcing partner. If you are into outsourcing, you will agree unless that happens it is a bit difficult to complete any outsourced accounting work, and that’s a risk not to be taken during the tax season.

This brings me to the point that good listening is a skill to learn and one that is pertinent to your business growth. And, it can come in handy for outsourced accounting firms during the busy period that is set to commence from January next year.

Want to get more value from your outsourced accounting work? Here’s what you need to do:

1) Treat them as your extended team

Don’t just hand your extended team a pile of tax returns for them to sort out. Instead get to know them and encourage your practice staff to do the same. Help them understand your work processes. A boost in employee morale will not let your outsourced accounting work get hampered.

2) Keep track of the extended team’s information

Outsourced accounting firms often have to keep their ears open for any pieces of information like work anniversaries and birthdays thrown by the outsourcing partner. If you are listening, make sure you order a cake on their birthdays online or send them e-gift cards to make them feel appreciated, and most importantly heard.

3) Set weekly calls with them

Meeting them periodically is out of the question if they are sitting in a different country. But what you can do is have a daily phone or Skype call with them so that you can at least have some primary contact with them. Keep all communication lines open.

Let us take a look at how you can listen to your clients better.

1) Meet your clients face-to-face

Of course, the advancement of technology has made it possible for us to do business globally but it has also eliminated the physical factor from the picture. Therefore, if you can meet your clients for a cup of coffee or lunch, do it. That will make a massive difference to your relationship. This also holds true for outsourced accounting firms.

2) Don’t interrupt when they are talking

Let them finish their flow of thought. And if you need clarification, then say something like, “I am sorry to interrupt but is this what you meant when you said…” Then talk about what you understood from the conversation. Don’t leave room for any misunderstandings.

3) Follow up via phone and emails

Even if you have met your clients, make sure you stay in touch with them through phone calls and emails. This way you can keep the conversation going about the new tax laws, data for tax preparations, and more. Once again, outsourced accounting firms should pay attention to this.

4) Commit work only when you are sure

Your clients may have lots of new work to add to your portfolio, but that doesn’t mean you pick them all up. Don’t over-commit when you don’t have the bandwidth to finish off the tasks.

Endnotes

The 2019 tax season is two months away which means there is enough time on your plate to work on your relationships between your clients and outsourcing partner. In other news, if you are looking for support to prepare your tax returns, click below as we may have something exciting on offer for you.