Posted at: October 13, 2022
Fostering and maintaining trust with your clients is the key to running a successful tax preparation business. However, it can be challenging to build trust when your calendar is cluttered with double bookings and missed meetings. Even a single scheduling mistake can make your business look unprofessional, potentially tarnishing a client relationship.
Stop letting administrative mix-ups hurt your business. Follow these tips to keep your calendar efficient and manageable, avoid missed meetings, and build stronger relationships with your clients.
First and foremost, you need to use an all-inclusive software rather than a variety of individual tools. Other than the obvious blessing of not having to remember a million different user names and passwords, this decision will help you stay organized and increase efficiency. Gaps and misunderstandings are much less likely to occur when all of your data is stored and managed in a centralized location.
Quick tip: Ensure that the comprehensive tool you choose has Office 365 & Google Suite Integrations so that you can skillfully oversee your calendar.
One of the most effective ways to prevent no-shows and scheduling headaches is by utilizing self-scheduling technology.
The idea of self-scheduling was introduced back in the 1960s in a London hospital for nurses to select their own shifts. The idea was to “facilitate, not control,” the employee’s time and improve scheduling issues that had been occurring. Since then, technology has drastically evolved, and self-scheduling has never been more popular.
For tax preparers such as yourself, self-scheduling means allowing clients to directly select available times off your calendar and set up the appointment. No more endless emails back and forth- “what time works best for you?” “Actually, something came up. Can we reschedule?”
A few reasons to give self-scheduling consideration:
We’ve all been guilty of forgetting to convert time zones when scheduling a meeting. It’s a tremendous time-waster and can be particularly frustrating.
Ever since Covid-19, businesses have made a massive transition from in-person meetings to the virtual world, leading to more meetings between people in different time zones. At first, this was accepted as a reasonable excuse for scheduling mishaps as we navigated the challenges of the pandemic. However, due to advanced technology, we now have a simple solution.
By selecting a business tool that automatically detects time zones and makes the conversion for you, you can avoid scheduling mistakes and put 100% of your time and focus on doing your job.
When your clients miss appointments, your schedule is the one that suffers.
Forgotten meetings will occur- we’re only human. However, the number of missed appointments can be drastically reduced by sending out automatic reminders via email or text. A quick message can make all the difference. Personalizing these messages is even more effective, and you need to make sure that your message is delivered at a convenient time for your client.
Quick tip: Ask your clients if they prefer text or email to ensure you are reaching out to them on their preferred channel.
When you’re trying to grow your business and keep clients delighted, it is so easy to overwork yourself and overpack your schedule. Setting daily limits and buffer times is a way to prevent your calendar from accumulating more than you can handle. Ultimately, this will keep you reliable and productive for your clients- not to mention that it will help you keep your sanity during tax season.
Setting daily limits prevents you and your clients from scheduling times on your calendar outside of your business hours. Without daily limits, you are more likely to miss appointments, disappoint clients, and disrespect your own mental health needs.
You know those days when the meetings never seem to end? Heaven forbid if you need a bathroom break or a quick snack. After the third or so meeting, your energy has likely plummeted, and your skills are not on par with your client’s high expectations. Plus, nothing screams unprofessional like being unprepared for your next meeting.
The solution is simple. By setting brief, 15-minute buffer times between appointments, you can take a quick break and prepare for your next meeting. This small yet necessary change completely transforms your busy days from a disorganized disaster to a productive success.
Deep down, we already know that having too many back-to-back meetings is unhealthy, but do we take this seriously enough? In 2021, Microsoft conducted a research study analyzing the brain activity of 14 volunteers to prove the effects that consecutive meetings have on our productivity. As you can imagine, taking breaks has been proven to help you engage better, improve focus, and reduce stress levels. Your brain needs a break- if not for your own sake, for your clients.
“In today’s world of remote and hybrid work, it’s not sufficient to only encourage self-care. We need to innovate and leverage technology to help employees operationalize much-needed breaks into their daily routines.” - Kathleen Hogan, Chief People Officer at Microsoft
It's easy to say, yet so hard to accomplish. By utilizing a platform that takes care of daily limits and buffer times for you, you can stay as productive as possible without even trying.
As you can see, there are many tips and tricks to help tax professionals avoid double bookings and missed meetings. However, it all boils down to the capabilities of your business tools.
ProClient is an affordable, comprehensive solution to help you grow and manage your business. ProClient has all the features we discussed above plus many additional capabilities, including document management, marketing, billing, scheduling, and more.
Best of all, ProClient was created by a tax expert with years of experience managing the frustrating administrative tasks that accompany running a tax business. ProClient was built with your time and money in mind to help you take complete control of your work hours, empower your entire team, and streamline your client experience with ProClient.