If you’re trying to grow your CPA firm these days, you need to go online. The business world is now wide open, and you could find yourself bringing in leads from around the planet. However, once you’ve put yourself out there on the world wide web, are you losing potential customers by failing to communicate quickly enough?
Just having good CPA website isn’t in and of itself enough. You need to know how to use it effectively.
Financial professionals run into 5 dangers when first getting into the web space. Crafting a solid online presence requires a number of different tactics: social networking (like Twitter and Facebook), drawing attention to your site via article marketing and other tactics.
But what if you haven’t planned ahead for the increase in communication? But what if you aren’t sure how to find the blog comments and respond to them?
Take the following paragraphs into account as you craft a plan to meet the needs of your customers and deliver outstanding results as you expand into cyberspace.
Got a Comment on Your Blog? You MUST Respond!
Making a blog is an excellent way to attract a customer base and keep the world informed about where your business is heading. It also helps keep your website dynamic and interesting. But don’t just “set it and forget it.” If someone gives you feedback in the form of a blog comment, you have to comment on that comment. It’s just plain polite to respond to people who have made the effort to read your work. When you do, you show your professionalism, and you also keep any negative situation from getting out of control.
If you take the time to respond to each comment, you’ll find your blog receiving greater and greater attention. By the same token, if you ignore your commenters, others who check out your posts won’t be encouraged to leave a response.
Respond in Good Time to Emails
This one’s a big one: if you’re leaving email unanswered for weeks at a time – or even worse, not answering them at all – your customers are not going to be your customers very long. The best course of action is to set up your email client with an auto-response so that your clients know the email has reached you. After that, it’s best to reply as quickly as you can in person, even if it is just an “I will look into that” response in the interim.
Keep Track of Your Forums
Forums are notoriously difficult to make popular, so why would you leave questions unanswered and comments ignored? If you decide to start a forum, it’s absolutely critical that you monitor it regularly (check in every hour or so) and respond to all worthy posts – especially if they’re negative. And it goes without saying that all spam and otherwise inappropriate posts should be promptly removed.
Take Twitter Seriously
The age of Twitter is here. Even if you can’t stand this social networking microblogging phenomenon, your clients might be deeply involved in it. Folks are now using Twitter as a way to reach companies – and, alarmingly, lodge complaints against them. (They also say nice things, too.) Assume that folks ARE reading these comments and make sure you respond to them. It’s certainly important for the person who leaves the message – but it’s even more crucial for anyone “watching” your conversation to see that you haven’t ignored your naysayers and supporters. Respond to negative and positive tweets alike: ask the user to contact your company for a resolution, or thank them for their positive comment. This will engage them in a medium with which they are comfortable and may even get some exposure to your website and firm from your clients friends.
Being actively involved with your customers in this way can be the difference between success and failure in a competitive market.
Take Internet Messages As Seriously As Old-fashioned Letters
The object of both types of communication are the same, after all. But we can’t deny it: almost no one sends letters today. Email has taken their place – and whereas email is used casually in our social lives, in business, it should be treated with as much care as one treats a letter.
If you decide to get online – and I definitely suggest you do – please don’t make the same mistake made by others. Getting a quality CPA website up and running and then going back to business as usual is not going to work.
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