Tax Preparer Interests   04/22/2022

Growing Your Tax Business With Online Reviews

By 360 Coverage Pros

Growing Your Tax Business With Online Reviews

One of your best marketing tactics is encouraging your customers to review your company online. Here’s how to use these reviews to generate more business.

What’s the best way to grow your company? Social media ads, targeted email blasts, Google Business, Yelp or direct mail? None of these. The best way to grow your business is to deliver an outstanding experience to every tax customer. This will result in positive word of mouth, referrals to new customers and glowing online reviews. Then, with a great reputation behind you, your other promotional tactics will become more effective, increasing your marketing return on investment (ROI).

The Power of Online Reviews

Online reviews have become an integral part of shopping for virtually all products and services. According to BrightLocal, 77% of shoppers always or regularly read them when browsing for local businesses. This is up from 60% in 2020. Once they decide to purchase, 72% of consumers will share their experience by posting an online review. These statistics make clear that businesses can’t avoid having customers rate them publicly. What’s more, if they wish to thrive in today’s marketplace, they must encourage clients to post reviews of their work in order to attract new business.

The Benefits of Online Reviews

Decades ago, people would get shopping advice from trusted third-party experts. For example, someone who wanted to buy a certain car model would seek guidance from an auto salesperson they knew. Or if they wanted to buy a refrigerator, they’d check back issues of Consumer Reports.

Although consumers still do these things today, they’re more likely to request shopping advice from others in their personal network—their friends, family and colleagues, along with strangers on the internet. This change has given online reviews immense power to shape consumer behavior. Tapping into that power will benefit your tax-preparation business in multiple ways. For instance, it will:

  • Give you instant credibility among people considering your services.
  • Accelerate the sales process by reducing the need for further research.
  • Reduce the number of objections you receive when you try to close a sale.
  • Generate invaluable consumer feedback that will help you improve service quality.
  • Increase your firm’s online footprint, making it easier for prospects to find you on major search engines.

In short, if you’re not asking your customers to evaluate your work, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. If this describes you or if you’d like to increase your online review volume, consider adopting the following tips.

Claim your accounts on Google Business Profile, Yelp and other review sites. Doing this means your clients will be able to find you on review platforms and then post their opinions about your service. You can also drive traffic to these accounts and request positive reviews from satisfied customers. Claiming your Google Business account is especially important. Many consumers use Google to find a local tax preparer, typing in a search term such as “tax preparer + (their town).” When Google will showcase your activated Google Business account. Showcasing details about your practice, editorial you’ve updated regularly on the page, images of your office and again, showcase reviews. Seeing a large number of positive reviews will increase the odds someone will want to speak with you. However, having few or no reviews will raise questions about whether you’re a legitimate company.

Don’t be shy about asking for reviews. Make review requests a standard item in your customer-relationship-management (CRM) system. This will assure that you or your staff won’t neglect to make this important request. You should also ask every customer, not just satisfied ones. Why? Because you want an objective sampling of consumer feedback on your review site. Activating a targeted quarterly email to your client list with gentle reminders about the upcoming tax season, impactful changes happening in the upcoming year and a Google Business review request is an ideal way to draw attention to the page and request support for your growing practice.

These are ideal ways to stay connected with your clients and likewise, grow your local or national business by actively providing updated data to your Google Business account.

Incentivize customers to post reviews. It’s not customary yet, offering a “cup of coffee” with a Starbucks or Dunkin coupon card and request a review is an idea. A nominal discount for future work in the upcoming tax season. These reviews need to be current, honest and reflect your business in a positive light in order to help you gain a new clientele.

Respond swiftly to all reviews. Make sure to enable notifications when consumers post reviews online or use a service to track these notifications like YEXT. This is a paid service that offers you the ability to make sure your business is listed online within all the appropriate directories and also tracks feedback from postings about your business. Clearly, a prompt response to negative reviews would be ideal. It’s important to acknowledge reviews and showcase you are actively seeing what people are saying about your firm.

The Importance of Tax Preparers Professional Liability Insurance

Not every tax engagement will end on a positive note. Sometimes, mistakes happen. And when that occurs, clients won’t be happy. It may even result in complaints and threats of litigation. When this happens, it’s important to have E&O insurance to protect your business.

The top 4 ways Tax Preparers Professional Liability Insurance provides peace of mind:

  1. It reduces financial doubt. Professional liability insurance replaces a large, unknown risk (the chance of getting sued) with a smaller, known expense (periodic insurance premiums). Most tax preparers understand the benefit of this trade-off.
  2. It provides convenient access to a proven defense attorney. If a customer sues you, mounting a swift defense is important. Professional liability insurance equips you with an attorney and covers other legal logistics.
  3. It reduces stress. Facing a lawsuit can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming. First, it raises the possibility of liability for a large settlement or judgment. Second, it can also raise questions about your professional competence, which may become public. Professional liability insurance pays for an attorney to have the claim(s) dismissed or settled outside of court.
  4. It fills in the coverage gaps general liability and other business insurance fail to address. Many tax preparers believe their general liability insurance or business owner’s policy (BOP) covers professional mistakes or negligence. In most cases, they only cover third-party injuries and property damage, not mistakes made during the rendering of tax-related professional services.

In short, with the tax code becoming more complex every year, the risks of making a mistake while preparing taxes also grows. Without robust professional liability coverage, doing tax-preparation work may expose your finances to litigation. Why take this risk when you can easily protect yourself with comprehensive, affordable E&O insurance? 

In the market for tax preparer professional liability insurance? Check out the coverage available at 360 Coverage Pros, with premiums starting at $23.33 per month.