How to capitalize on loyalty from satisfied clients during tax season
March 01, 2016

Business thrives during tax season, so it's the perfect time for accountants and bookkeepers to ask for client referrals. Yet some professionals refuse to take advantage of this opportunity out of fear of looking needy. They don't want to seem like they're struggling for business, and they're afraid of annoying their clients with such a request. However, there's nothing pushy about asking for a recommendation - it's a trusted client acquisition technique that shows a firm values a person's business and trusts their professional relationship. Here are a few tips for requesting referrals:

Ask from the most satisfied clients
The happiest customers are the ones most likely to give their accountant or bookkeeper a glowing review. Such enthusiasm is contagious - friends and colleagues will trust this energy and get excited themselves. Accounting professionals don't have to wait until they're finished working with a satisfied client to ask for a referral. In fact, Accounting Web suggested firms take advantage of any unsolicited compliments. When a client says, "Thanks for your hard work," this is the perfect time for professionals to ask they spread the word about their experience.

Provide the best service possible
How should firms approach the less-than-satisfied clients? Accounting Web said the answer is simple: provide the best service. While no encounter with a client will be completely perfect, an abundance of late deliveries, rescheduled meetings, miscommunications and other errors has a negative impact on a customer's satisfaction. In the end, they'll be far less likely to take a referral request seriously if they've suffered several inconveniences - no matter how minor. Thus, one of the simplest ways to get a referral is to truly earn it by providing the best possible service.

Make it easy
Most clients, especially those who own or manage a business, don't have a lot of time on their hands. Even if they want to refer a business to their personal and professional associates, they may not have the opportunity to craft even a brief note. Making the referral process as simple as possible increases the likelihood clients will recommend their accountant or bookkeeper to others. LinkedIn suggested firms create a prewritten email and have clients sign their name at the end. The site also said accountants and bookkeepers should take advantage of mobile and social media options.

The best referrals hinge on the services offered. The Sage Accountants Network supports accountants and bookkeepers and helps them provide clients with the best assistance available.

Nexus: G-WEBCD1