For most, tax season is ending. But you’re not most people, or are you?
What do I mean by that?
Well, that depends on how you view your business, how much you’d like it to grow, and what you found successful this year.
Tax season has been exhausting, perhaps even more stressful than the previous one. At this point, referrals are slowing down, most people have completed their taxes, and are thinking about what the summer is going to be like. You’re probably thinking the same, which is perfectly OK. In other words, opportunities to bring in more business naturally dwindle around this time.
But, what If you worked on the little things to help improve your business for next year?
Wait, what the hell does that mean?
Let me explain.
Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner says, “It’s the little things that count”. Now, this can be an excuse to get out of trouble or it can really mean that your partner loves the details. I’ll leave that up to you, but my point is this: What if you applied that to your business?
One of the biggest things most businesses miss is proper follow up. Follow up doesn’t mean you visit every single customer and provide those Ferrero Rocher chocolates everyone loves. But it does mean that you need to do something.
How do you make your client feel special? Wanted? Different?
It’s the little things that make the difference. This industry is becoming more and more competitive every day, and it's important to understand what makes your client feel appreciated. Why you ask? Well, part of your business is bringing in new customers and other is maintaining relationships with existing ones.
Imagine this. You’re at work, having one of those so-so days and you’re counting the minutes to lunch. You look around the office and everyone seems to have the same thought. But then suddenly something unexpected happens. You receive a handwritten letter. Maybe that letter also contains those Ferrero Rocher chocolates we all love or tickets to a Giants game. Then you read the letter and it says, “I really appreciate your business and your help this year with some referrals you sent my way. I know it may not be much, but I just wanted to say thanks”.
You smile but also look confused. The confused look on your face will still be there when you find out it's from your tax preparer. This does two things. It gives you customer loyalty, and it helps everyone in that office see your appreciation for your client.
I’m not saying you do this for every client because, of course, it costs money. But maybe you can do it to those that sent you the most referrals. Remember, the important thing is showing that you’re appreciative and you care. You know...the little things.
Below I’ve listed some ideas to get you started, but remember that you know your clients best, so take some time and think about it. I promise it’ll help in the long run.
1. Handwritten Notes
Take the time to thank your customers with a simple handwritten note and express your sincere gratitude. When was the last time someone actually did this? If you go the extra length to write a letter, it will resonate with your clients.
2. Offer Rewards For Customer Referrals
Providing a referral program will incentivize your customers to help grow with you.
3. Create A Loyalty Program, and Offer Discounts To Members
Providing your customers with rewards tells them that even though they might consider looking elsewhere for a similar product, the fact that you take the time to provide them with bonuses and rewards goes a long way.
4. Remember Special Occasions (Birthdays, Anniversaries etc)
Taking the time to send a message or congratulate them in some way (could be in person, or a simple email) helps build trust and appreciation. When was the last time your banker or accountant did this for you?
5. Personalize Communication (email, social media etc)
When sending out mass emails for communication about a new product or service make sure to personalize the message. As opposed to saying “To Whom it may Concern” or “Hi Customer”, you can use cost efficient software like iContact, Benchmark, or GetResponse to personalize the greeting with your clients’ name. This way, it’s more specific to them and not the masses.
6. Superb Customer Service: Follow up calls (see how well they’re doing or if they need help with something else)
Make sure you touch base with your clients after they’ve received their refund. This is an opportunity for you to build trust. How? You can say something like “now you can take that long awaited vacation”. This doesn’t mean they will or had it planned, but it’s an opportunity for you to engage. Be Fun!
7. Spotlight Fan: Thank those who share your work (empower them and their efforts to grow your business)
Use your social media space or website to congratulate your customers for their efforts (specifically referrals). They can write a testimonial about their experience or have a short video doing the same. Remember that people read reviews! According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. They are more likely to do something if others have had a good experience.