Texting is quickly becoming a preferred communication channel in business environments to reach and attract clients more effectively. Emails no longer work well – with 90% being considered spam and the email click rates being under 5%, you need new approaches. Phone calls are not a suitable option either, since most people do not like answering calls, especially ones that are unplanned.

Texts, on the other hand, get much better results. Less than 1% of texts are considered spam, and 99% of texts are read within 30 minutes and even faster when it comes from a recognized number. This gives you and your clients a much more personal and convenient mechanism to communicate with each other, and texting can be added easily to the existing business phone numbers that your clients associate with you.

This is why tax professionals are adding texting options to their businesses. By adopting a suitable business texting service, tax professionals can help their practice grow, especially during these challenging times.

What are the Four New ways texting can lead to growth?

  1. Recruit
  2. Retain
  3. Reviews
  4. Referrals

1. Several Ways to Recruit New Clients

With response rates commonly above 25-30%, texting programs allow tax professionals to be more responsive to current customers, while also providing new, more effective ways to recruit new clients than other communication channels. There are several effective ways to get prospective clients to opt-in to receive text messages and learn more about your services. These techniques will also make sure these leads are receiving prompt attention. Employees can also be recruited in this manner too.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, 71% of leads never receive any follow-up, and the average lead response time in many organizations is 47 hours. There is no need to let your prospective clients, regardless of source, fall through the cracks anymore. Using a text-based Speed-to-Lead campaign can guarantee that those prospects get a response right away and can be further qualified quickly. The right business texting solution will allow you to incorporate these new opt-ins, as well as follow-up techniques.

A great text-based recruiting technique is to advertise keywords with easy to remember, shared (therefore inexpensive) short codes to build up an opt-in marketing list. For example, Text “TaxesGail” to 87000 to get a 15% off coupon on your first return.”

This approach can be posted on social media sites, portal sites, billboards, TV/radio ads— anywhere you advertise your practice. Once again, the response can be configured to come from your office number where you have added texting capability. This makes it much more personal than receiving the response from a short code, which has proven to be less effective. Tax offices can send text drip campaign templates to provide more info about your services to nurture these prospects until they are ready to hire you. Arranging to use a shared short code from the business texting provider is a very cost-effective way to extend your current investments in advertising.

The second great approach to help recruit more clients is to embed a “text-in” option for mobile visitors, that is visible from anywhere on your website. When clicked on, this text-in option will automatically pre-fill a text message on the prospect’s phone. Now, all they must do is type their message telling you of their interest. Since so many consumers today are searching for products or services using their phones, this is a very effective technique.

Another proven approach for recruiting new clients is to incorporate a texting program into your lead capture mechanisms. Consider sending an immediate text response to prospects who have completed the webform on your website or come from your social media accounts. Let’s call this a “Speed-to-Lead” text campaign. Your form likely captures details about the client’s request. Instead of simply sending an email response or calling them right away (which might feel intrusive at such an early stage), consider sending a text response first. The text message can be automatically personalized and tailored to their inquiry using data from the form.

This customized text campaign can be created to ask your leads open-ended questions that invite them to share more information about what they need. This way you can further qualify prospective clients and better prepare to give them a quote or tell them about your services, as well as, easily set up a follow-up consult. It allows you to be more professional and responsive and will accelerate the prospective client’s decision to choose you.

Another data point in the Harvard study indicated that, when businesses contacted potential customers within an hour of receiving a query, they were nearly seven times as likely to qualify the lead as those that tried to contact the customer even an hour later. If the prospect doesn’t respond to your Speed-to-Lead text message, your business can default to your other standard follow-up techniques. Our experience has indicated that 50% of the time prospects do respond via text with more useful details about their area of interest, and it makes the prospect feel that you are paying attention to them and will provide good service in the future. A good texting solution will also allow you to receive client responses while you’re on the go from an app on your cell phone. Any responses would always be sent from your business line, not your personal cell phone number to protect your privacy.

These innovations work well whether you are focused on new clients or recruiting employees. A good texting service will help make this easy for you with templates that can be branded and personalized for your practice. A robust texting solution should allow you to see which approaches work best with your target prospects. They should also allow you to continuously improve your opt-in texting lists and maintain customer history for your future outreach while staying compliant with TCPA practices.

2. Retention is Key to Building Your Practice

Texting is such a mainstream mode of communication, that research shows that 70% of customers would much rather text with businesses if possible. By using text messaging services and providing clients with their preferred mode of communication, you are increasing customer satisfaction and retention. With the right text messaging service, you can even let them book their own appointment saving you many chase calls. The following are examples of messages that lead to increased customer satisfaction and retention and can all be done automatically with non-sensitive data provided by your tax software.

– Invite and/or notify clients to confirm appointments – significantly reduce phone calls
– Send them reminders – make sure they are prepared and eliminate no shows
– Remind them of missing paperwork or deadlines – accelerates filing time & cash flow
– Confirm their return has been filed – reduces phone calls
– Alert them of a refund that is ready – increases customer satisfaction
– Send out thank yous text messages – builds client loyalty
– Send Birthday greetings – builds long-term client relationships

The possibilities are endless and will take your customer service to a whole new level of professionalism and personalization. This is significant, as a recent Harvard Business Review pointed out that a 5% increase in the retention rate can lead to up to a 25% increase in profitability.

3. Use Texting to Increase Reviews

Reviews, of course, play an important role in getting new clients and making sure they choose you above others.

— 35% of prospects look at reviews before deciding to choose a given professional. Business texting will get you a much better response to your review requests, which are often ignored in email. This is incredibly important since more positive reviews can make a huge difference to any business and remember when you respond to your reviews it positively impacts your SEO rankings so the more the better.

Consider this…once you complete the returns for your clients, you can send them a personalized, yet automated, text asking them to post a review for you and include the review link in the text message for their convenience. You will be shocked at how many more reviews you will get. Even a 15- 20% increase in recent reviews will lead to a big impact. After all, increased reviews will lead to an increase in new customers and a further increase in customer retention. It all ties together.

4. Boosting Referral Rates

In professional services sectors, up to 70% of business comes from referrals, but asking for referrals is awkward. When you offer an enhanced service experience — which is easy with the right business texting service — it can automatically assist you to ask for referrals too.

You may further choose to offer an incentive to your clients to provide referrals, such as a discount on next year’s return.

A good business texting service will automate this process for you by leveraging data in your tax software. By recognizing when a client’s return is filed, the service can automatically send a thank you text making sure they know how important referrals are for your growth while asking for one. This process is a gentle ask and many tax professionals see up to 20% of their clients offer a referral. You will be surprised by how many customers will refer you to their friends or family who need help with their taxes.

Final Thoughts…

Whether you have a long-standing practice or a new practice, these techniques can work for you. By embracing texting as a new and proven communications channel, a business texting solution like Textellent can streamline your appointment setting and work processes for you and give you the customer service edge you need to stand out in a competitive field.

A Bit About Us

Founded by tax professionals to meet the needs of tax professionals, Textellent is a cost-effective, cloud-based service offering with patented capabilities that work with existing systems. This service can be fully integrated with your tax software, making the set-up convenient and easy. Textellent operates throughout North America and has been awarded US Patent 9,756,487. Copyright 2013- 2020 Textellent, Inc. All Rights Reserved Textellent and ProText are Registered Trademarks of Textellent, Inc.