Everything I've believed and taught about marketing has been based on great service as a differentiator. Things like listening, caring, being accessible and available when your customers (clients if you prefer to call them) need you. Being friendly, returning calls, making people feel like they are important. That kind of stuff.
Nevermind. Don't waste your time. You can make enough money without doing any of it.
Here's a successful
CPA's tax preparer's approach described on his website:
1) Every Wednesday in February and March is BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WEDNESDAY. I will be unavailable and inaccessible on Wednesdays during the tax season. My phone and fax will be unplugged on Wednesdays and I will not be checking my email.
2) I never answer the telephone without first screening the call via my answering machine - so don't hang up because I may be listening (except on Wednesdays)!
3) Do not attempt to contact me at any other phone number other than....This is my only telephone number!
4) Returns than are not literally in my hands, with all the necessary information, by March 31, 2007 will be automatically extended.
5) I will not be responsible for any late payment penalties on returns that were not literally in my hands, with all the necessary information, by March 31, 2007.
6) Before you send me your "stuff" be sure to make and keep a photocopy of all your 2006 Form W-2s.
7) When sending me an email be very specific in the "Subject" line. If you need a copy of your W-2 - write "Need Copy of W-2". If you have received additional info - write "Additional Info".
If you have a question on a completed return - write "Question on Finished Return".
I do not have the time during the season to read and respond to "Are We There Yet" emails.
I will not open or read emails for returns I have not yet started until I am working on the returns - unless your "Subject" indicates a timely response is needed. Do not just write "URGENT" - note why it is urgent!
I retract my previous marketing advice because, if this guy has clients (and apparently he has quite a lot—too many perhaps) then people will apparently work with anyone regardless of how inaccessible, unresponsive, and impersonal they might be to work with—thus my advice is all for naught.
I will say that he's definitely doing a great job setting client expectations!