BONUS: How my accountant got me in trouble with the IRS over thousands of dollars
Why one quick response to our email, made us break up with the tax guy we had been loyal to for years
About This Episode
Ok, so we all know taxes affect pretty much all of us here in the United States (and I’m sure many other countries as well) and when I started my business, I knew we needed to bring on an expert to navigate all of the ins and outs instead of doing taxes ourselves, which is the way I was raised to think about taxes.
BUT, let me tell you how offended I was at how our tax person responded to a very real issue.
So here’s what happened…
We got a referral and had been going to the same person for years and everything was going along fine…
Then a letter from the IRS came. (and this was just before we were scheduled to do our taxes for the next year with the same person)
Now, I am all for understanding and acknowledging what really happened and hearing their side. I actually went into our documents, and understood what happened before they even responded.
It was an inputting error where they hit the keys adjacent to the proper numbers. For example instead of 8009 they entered 7008.
Which alone ended up classifying us into the incorrect tax bracket.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I one thousand percent understand that. Why? Because that’s a classic mistake I have caught myself making (its why I am so thorough, because I know I make silly mistakes)
BUT when he came back to respond, he pretty much made a false statement, or order to deny the extent of the problem this inputting error had created.
Honestly, let’s be real – I spend a few years in corporate before becoming an entrepreneur and it was a struggle and learning experience for me, because I cannot deal with corporate speak and the politics and the way that a mistake was just brushed under the rug and essentially diminished.
When you’re dealing with *real people* you have to continue to support that message the entire way through.
Because the fact is, the most common reason someone stops working with a company is because they don’t feel like you CARE.
This is a prime example. Because after those words were said, I saw it all
-how we were rushed to sign and I wasn’t encouraged to review everything that had been input
-how the only reason we hadn’t gone somewhere else was because we were referred and familiar with this service and company
-and more examples of how little they cared
Immediately we began looking for a new company to care for us and our tax needs.
If I was going to speak to this company, who I honestly can do such better work than this.
Here are the takeaways I would give to them…
All you have to do is this…
-show your clients throughout the process how much you care about *them* as human beings
-if a problem arises that a client is bringing to you, be honest, own up to your side of things and tell them the truth. Do NOT try to slide it under the rug or diminish it
Here’s what’s missing from the Client Delight™ Framework.
-What was promised
-What was expected of them
-What was expected of me
-Highlighting the direction I am going
-My immediately valuable next step
Once they have all 8 pieces in place, they’ll be good to go.
This is what I do with my clients, if you want to check it out go to ClientDelightFramework.com
Here’s what you can implement into your business right now:
→ if a problem ever arises, understand when it isn’t about you. Look at it from their point of view and engage empathy.
→ show them on a consistent basis that you value them as *human beings* not as clients or a source of income, but as a person.
→ understand that how you address a concern with a client, can very easily change their entire perception of the relationship with you retrospectively (it can honestly change and re-write the past, negating other positive experiences with you)
Clients are relationships, not transactions, so make them feel like it!